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Leadership Photo


NRCS is led by a Chief, an Associate Chief, Regional Conservationists and Deputy Chiefs over different focus areas. They provide leadership, guidance, and support for the agency’s locally-led conservation programs, partnership efforts, and business operations throughout the United States and abroad.

Chief Terry Cosby

Chief Terry Cosby provides overall leadership for the activities of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). During Terry’s more than 40-year career with NRCS, he has held numerous leadership and staff positions. He began his career as an NRCS intern in Iowa in 1979 and rose through the agency’s ranks to become its 17th chief on May 24, 2021. Prior to his current position, Terry served as NRCS’s Acting Chief for several months. See full biography

Associate Chief Louis Aspey

Associate Chief Louis Aspey is responsible for NRCS activities and programs. The position is responsible for directing and overseeing the agency's financial and technical assistance programs, management and strategy, science and technology, and soil science and resource assessment. See full biography

Regional Conservationists

Map of NRCS Regions

The Regional Conservationists oversee NRCS’s four regions (link to the attached map) in the Northeast, Southeast, Central, and West. They are the NRCS Chief’s leadership representatives and provide overall direction for agency operations, programs, activities, and personnel consistent with the Chief’s guidance. Regional Conservationists supervise the agency’s State Conservationists and Directors of the Pacific Islands and Caribbean Areas:


Deputy Chief for Management and Strategy

Deputy Chief for Management and Strategy Angela Biggs is responsible for outreach and partnerships, international programs, strategic support services, and policy and program analysis. See full biography.

Deputy Chief for Programs

Deputy Chief of Programs Karen Woodrich is responsible for the delivery of financial assistance programs, easement programs and conservation technical assistance. See full biography.

Deputy Chief for Science and Technology

Deputy Chief of Science and Technology Noller Herbert ensures scientifically sound conservation practices, technology acquisition, development, and transfer. See full biography.

Deputy Chief for Soil Science and Resource Assessment

Acting Deputy Chief for Soil Science and Resource Assessment Astrid Martínez provides leadership for addressing the scientific basis for conservation and sustainable agriculture, inventories of U.S. natural resources and their ecological transitions, and analyzing the effects of voluntary conservation practices across working lands nationwide. See full biography.

NRCS recently lost a valued leader, colleague, and friend, Dr. Luis “Louie” Tupas. Dr. Tupas served as the Deputy Chief for Soil Science and Resource Assessment from 2020-2023. See his full biography here.