The NRCS organization in its Northeast, Southeast, Central, and West regions is headed by a Regional Conservationist. Regional Conservationist are leadership representatives of the Chief and are responsible for providing overall direction of NRCS programs, and activities and personnel consistent with the Chief’s guidance; acting as representatives of the Chief at meetings on committees and task force, and in partnerships; and supervising the State Conservationists and the Directors of the Pacific Basin and Caribbean Areas.
More specifically, the Regional Conservationists serve as the leader and spokesperson for their designated region for the purpose of advising and collaborating with the Chief, Associate Chief, other Regional Conservationists, and Deputy Chiefs and their staffs to ensure the natural resource needs of the region are addressed in overall agency planning, budgeting, and operations in the following activities and/or functions:
- Overall planning, formulation, direction, and accountability of program and technical policies, procedures, guidelines, standards, and activities.
- Overall leadership, direction, management, and supervision to State Conservationists in the administration and delivery of NRCS programs and activities.
- Primary point of collaboration and representative for States with regard to funding allocations, allowance changes, performance, and accountability.
- Accountability officer for State-centered oversight and evaluation responsibilities in the region, including supervision of the National Oversight and Evaluation (O&E) Team Leader and responsibility for the O&E function.
- Overall point of collaboration with States for planning, formulation, direction, and accountability for strategic planning that result in meeting immediate and long-range objectives, time tables, and plans of operation to best utilize available resources and facilities.
- Represents the Chief in meetings, conferences, and functions with a variety of national, regional, or state agencies and private organizations and groups on problems, opportunities, and activities of mutual interest relating to natural resource conservation.
- Keeps partnerships informed relative to developments broadly affecting the programs and activities of NRCS while maintaining cooperative relations.
- Provides overall leadership and direction for all conservation initiatives, including watershed-based and landscape-scale special funding initiatives.
- Provides overall leadership and direction for all Farm Bill compliance activities related to Highly Evadible Lands and Wetlands.
- Keeps the Chief and other National leadership advised of significant problems, opportunities, trends, and developments that affect NRCS nationally and/or in the region. Develops and recommends prevention and/or remedial actions as necessary to overcome such problems and to capitalize on opportunities.
Astor Boozer, Regional Conservationist (West) (Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Pacific Islands Area, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming)
Astor Boozer, returned to Washington, DC after serving as the State Conservationist of New York from 2009 to 2012. Upon returning he took on the position of Regional Conservationist for the West Region. Learn more.
Gayle Barry, Regional Conservationist (Northeast) (Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia)
Gayle Barry is the Regional Conservationist for the Northeast. In this role she oversees NRCS conservation programs and activities for the 14 Northeast states.
Kevin Wickey, Regional Conservationist (Central) (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Wisconsin)
Kevin Wickey is the Regional Conservationist for the Central Region. In this role he oversees conservation programs and activities for the 12 Central states.
James E. Tillman Sr., Regional Conservationist (Southeast) (Alabama, Arkansas, Caribbean Area, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia)
James E. Tillman Sr. is the Regional Conservationist for the Southeast. In this role he oversees NRCS conservation programs and activities for the 11 Southeast states and the Caribbean Area. Learn more.
Regional Conservationist Directory
Download NRCS Regional Map (JPEG; 330 KB)