Jeanne Wade Evans served as the Deputy Regional Forester for the Pacific Southwest Region of the U.S. Forest Service for seven years before retiring in 2017. In her final leadership role, she directed all State and Private Forestry programs in California, Hawaii and the U.S. Pacific Islands. She also strategically led Fire, Aviation, Safety and Acquisition programs for the region affecting 18 National Forests, 8000 employees and annual budgets of over $500 million. She held numerous other leadership positions over her 40 years of public service.
Previous to that position, Jeanne served as the Forest Supervisor of the San Bernardino National Forest in southern California where she led over 600 employees through large organizational change and delivered numerous programs to improve the public forest experience and land stewardship. Prior to this assignment she spent six years at the Forest Service National headquarters in Washington D. C. focused on solving Fire, Aviation, Forestry, Range, Partnership and Legislative issues that impacted the entire agency. She did this in her roles as Deputy Director for Forest and Rangelands, Policy Specialist for Fire and Aviation, National Fire Plan Coordinator, and as the agency representative to the White House Conference on Cooperative Conservation.
Before beginning her service in the Forest Service’s National headquarters, Jeanne worked for 22 years in various Forest Service field positions in Arizona. She immensely enjoyed her role as District Ranger on the Coronado National Forest in southeastern Arizona believing that this is where a direct impact on land stewardship occurs. She began her Forest Service career in 1977 on the Coconino National Forest in Arizona as a Range Conservationist. Jeanne received her Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Resources from Arizona State University, completed course work in Environmental Policy at the University of Arizona and is a graduate of the Senior Executive Fellows Program at Harvard. She was committed to continuous learning over her career and focused on leadership development for her employees. She still mentors those in the agency.
Jeanne demonstrated commitment to partnerships throughout her career. She realized that it is in the public interest to bring together those who care about land stewardship through collaborative public private business models. She partnered with many different conservation corps and conservation organizations over the years to achieve ecological restoration on the ground. Her passion was doing all she could to insure everyone arrived home safely after every work assignment. To that end, she helped lead the Forest Service through a leader engagement strategy with a focus on being a learning organization. During her tenure safety and risk management saw increased focused leadership attention at all levels of the organization and reduction in serious injuries and fatalities.
Jeanne has been connected to the outdoors since she was a young girl camping and fishing in the Rocky Mountains with her family. She currently spends time enjoying and sharing experiences with her young grandchildren when she is not traveling.