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Presidential Management Fellows Program

2013 Cohort pictured with Associate Chief Mary Wagner

Current PMFs

Featured Profiles from the 2013 Cohort:

Andrew Loescher

Andrew Loescher
Program Analyst
Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument

Andrew Loescher is currently serving as a program analyst on the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument. He received his MBA from Western New Mexico University and his B.A. from the University of New Mexico. Andrew is a member of Delta Mu Delta and a graduate of the Southwest New Mexico Leadership Program. In a somewhat unique sense, Andrew was a fulltime Forest Service employee when he was accepted into the PMF program. He was working as a Public Affairs Specialist on the Gila National Forest when he decided to go back to school. On the Gila, Andrew worked closely with the Travel Management Rule, and also served as a Type 2 Firefighter and public information officer. Before coming to the Forest Service, Andrew spent 10 years in the U.S. Navy working as an electronics technician. He was stationed in Germany, Hawaii, and Calif. His travels allowed him to explore his many outdoor interests such as snowboarding, spear fishing, hiking, and climbing. A native New Mexican, Andrew grew up in the outdoors and is looking to pass that along to his son. As part of the PMF program, Andrew hopes to weave his passion for process improvement and strategic level planning with the values of conservation and stewardship. Andrew is married, has one son, a cat, and a pug.

Brandy M. Billie

Brandy M. Billie
Administrative Management Specialist
Office of Civil Rights, Washington Office

A Shreveport, La., native, Brandy Billie joins the Forest Service from Ft. Hood, Texas. Brandy served in the U.S. Army for 10 years and left military service at rank of staff sergeant. The mother of one daughter (and two dogs!); she chose to remain in Killeen, Texas, after her military life was over. As a 10 year Army veteran with three deployments under her belt, it only made sense for her to begin her educational journey right outside the military gates at Central Texas College, where she received an associate degree in social science. Later, she attended Texas A&M University and graduated with a bachelorís degree in business administration, then began working on her masterís degree immediately. Brandy completed her MBA at American Military University. While in school, Brandy worked at the Operational Test Command on West Ft. Hood, Directorate of Logistics Ft. Hood, and Directorate of Public Works Ft. Hood. The thing she is most proud of is being able to set a positive example for her daughter. By completing education, Brandy showed her daughter it can be done, no matter what obstacles lay in your path. For fun, Brandy enjoys shopping (of course!), zip lining, and refinishing old flea market finds. She also enjoys exploring the towns around her new D.C. area home on the weekends with her daughter. Brandy most looks forward to the wide variety of experiences that she now has the opportunity to explore. The PMF program offers a multitude of opportunities right at your fingertips, all you have to do is reach out and grab ahold of them. As a PMF, you are not expected to ďknowĒ everything. The purpose is to take fresh and agile minds, and provide a wealth of training that normally takes years to achieve. Brandy looks forward to exploring all that is offered, and finding the position within the FS that best fits her and the agency.

Carter Deems

Carter Deems
Assistant Lands Officer
Sierra National Forest

Carter Deems, originally from Cartersville, Ga., graduated with a Juris Doctor degree in the spring of 2013, from Faulkner Universityís Thomas Goode School of Law in Montgomery, Ala. During law school, Carter worked as a reference assistant at the university law library. He also spent time as a research assistant for the Alabama Appleseed Center for Law and Justice, which is a nonprofit organization working for systemic policy change. He also gained legal experience while working as a student advocate for the Family Violence Clinic in Montgomery, Ala. While in law school, Carter also developed a keen interest in land issues and property law; and he hopes to use his curiosity for law and passion for the environment as a PMF with the Forest Service. Carter will be working as an assistant lands officer for the Sierra National Forest, located on the western slope of central Sierra Nevada in the state of California. He is excited to be living out west for the first time and is looking forward to working on a wide array of land issues on the Sierra. Outside of work, Carter enjoys his free time by going on adventures, backpacking, and exploring places that he has never been before.

Ginelle Heller

Ginelle Heller
Natural Resources Specialist
Region 8

Ginelle is a 2013 PMF working in Region 8 Fire and Aviation Management as a natural resources specialist. She serves as the representative for the Southern Regionís efforts on the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy, a national effort to bring together stakeholders at all levels to address wildland fire issues in a collaborative manner. She is delighted to return to the Southeast to join the Atlanta Regional Office, as she originally hails from Richmond, Va. Ginelle completed a masterís degree in environmental science and a masterís degree in public affairs from the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs. For her masterís capstone project, Ginelle co-wrote a white paper for the Forest Service titled ďAn Analysis of the Sustainability of Monitoring of Conservation Easements in the USDA Forest Serviceís Forest Legacy Program.Ē Previously, she attended Warren Wilson College, where she completed a bachelorís degree in environmental studies. Ginelle has studied abroad in Russia, Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Ecuador. Ginelle worked in the outdoor recreation and environmental education field for nine years. Most recently, she managed rental and retail operations for Indiana University Outdoor Adventures program, which serves 9,800 people per year. She also coordinated Bloomingtonís local screening of the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour for seven years. She is very excited to work for the Forest Service to bring together her passions and experiences in recreation, environmental science, education, community engagement, natural resource management, and collaboration. Ginelle and her husband spend their free time running, mountain biking, road biking, trail building, hiking, kayaking, cross-country skiing, and enjoying life with their dog.

Jason Brooks

Jason Brooks
Recreation Planner
Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest

Jason is from Austin, Texas. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2011 with dual majors in geography and government. After graduation, Jason attended the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at UT Austin, where he earned a masterís degree in global policy studies. Jason has diverse professional interests ranging from national security and foreign policy, to natural resource management, nonprofit development, and urban geography. Prior to attending college, Jason served five years in the active duty U.S. Marine Corps, where he was a helicopter mechanic and enlisted flight crew. He served in Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, and Iraqís Anbar Province. Among Jasonís noteworthy accomplishments, are being the first in his family to earn a masterís degree; working with Explore Austin to mentor the same 12 inner city youth from middle school to successful admission into college; founding a youth nonprofit (Cedar Park Boxing); and co-editing a book on the future of U.S. national security strategy. Jason is proud of his wife, Mallory, who is a personal trainer and endurance athlete, and his 16-month-old son, Paxton. Maybe Jasonís full sleeves of tattoos make him unique, but he thinks his endurance trail running accomplishments most set him apart. Jason has competed in several races from 25K to 60K distances. In all but three races, he has finished in the top three, including several first place finishes. Jason even won the menís 25-29 age group in the 2009 Pikeís Peak Marathon with a 12th place overall finish. Jason enjoys ultra-trail running, mountaineering, skiing, rock climbing, long distance hiking, going to the gym, and spending time with his wife and son. Jason is excited about his PMF position because he is constantly learning and constantly interacting with the outdoor recreation and conservation communities.

Kristin Merony

Kristin Merony
Environmental Coordinator
Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests

Kristin Merony, originally from Western Springs, Ill., is currently serving as the Environmental Coordinator on the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests, where she will focus on NEPA coordination and forest planning. Kristin received a masterís degree in environmental management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, where she focused her studies on the nexus between water and urban communities, with an emphasis on ecosystem service valuation. Prior to Yale, Kristin graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in environmental biology and zoology, where she earned honors distinction. Before coming to the Forest Service, Kristin served in various roles in D.C. She worked as a reporter for Agri-Pulse Communication, Inc., as a research assistant at the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and as a governmental affairs assistant at Trout Unlimited. Her work in the district solidified her passion for conservation and initiated her desire to protect our public lands. As a native of the Midwest, Kristin was eager to move out west, she loves spending time outdoors and is looking forward to skiing, biking, and hiking across the Western Slope of Colorado. As a part of the PMF program, Kristin hopes to meld her interdisciplinary background in environmental policy analysis with on-the-ground projects to promote resilient forest landscapes for generations to come. Kristin currently lives in Montrose, Colo., with her 1-year-old puppy, Luna.

Lindsay Buchanan

Lindsay Buchanan
Collaboration Specialist
Santa Fe National Forest

Lindsay Buchanan is the collaboration specialist for forest plan revision on the Santa Fe National Forest. While she originally hails from Northern Illinois, she has spent the last several years on the East Coast. Lindsay graduated from Washington University in St. Louis summa cum laude with bachelorís degrees in anthropology and psychology, and a minor in international affairs. After graduation, she worked as an intern, then as program director for the No Impact Project in New York City, a small environmental education nonprofit with global reach. In 2011, she started a masterís degree program in environmental management at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, where she focused on agricultural sustainability and food policy. During her two years in graduate school, she worked with the American Farmland Trust on farmland preservation issues in New England, conducted research for the Governance, Environment, and Markets Initiative, and partnered with the Betsy and Jesse Fink Foundation on a study of post-harvest food waste. Lindsay also served as a member on the Division of Regional Cooperation team at the United Nations Environmental Programme in Nairobi, Kenya. Currently, Lindsay is working on designing and implementing communication and collaboration strategies to engage with members of the public, government agencies, tribes, and other groups who have a stake in forest management. Lindsay enjoys learning new languages, traveling, backpacking, and sampling as many varieties of New Mexican chiles as she can.

Lauren McChesney

Lauren McChesney
District NEPA Planner
Salmon/Scott River Ranger District, Klamath National Forest

Lauren is no stranger to fellowships, having participated in the David L. Boren National Security Education Program (NSEP) fellowship in Peru from July 2012 through April 2013, and having served as a John A. Knauss Marine Policy fellow for a year with the Marine Mammal Commission. She is confident that joining the Forest Service will be her greatest adventure yet. In addition to fellowships, Lauren enjoys collecting degrees. She started with a bachelorís degree in biology with a concentration in environmental science from SUNY-Cortland, and followed with three graduate degrees: masterís degree in marine-estuarine-environmental science from the University of Maryland, masterís degree in international development in development planning and environmental sustainability with a certificate in Latin American studies from University of Pittsburghís Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, and a Juris Doctor degree with a certificate in environmental law, science and policy from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. Although her Quechua (language of the Incan Empire) and invasive aquatic plant studies might not be put too much use within her new position with the Salmon/Scott River Ranger District, she hopes to apply the rest of her educational background to her duties as District NEPA Planner. Lauren has also worked on a farm as manual labor and as a professional cake decorator. Lauren moved to California, from her hometown of Upper Marlboro, Md., along with her husband, Eduardo and cat, Clark. Lauren and Eduardo are both enjoying the beauty of Northern California, and Clark is enjoying continuing to chew on Lauren's orchid collection. Besides the great outdoors, her husband and cat, Lauren loves languages, soccer, and bakingóand firmly believes that cookies make almost anything better.

Meredith Hollowell

Meredith Hollowell
Information Management Analyst
Fire & Aviation, Washington Office

Hailing from the city of southern charm, Atlanta, Ga., Meredith received a B.S. in environmental and international studies from Emory University, where she focused her research on conservation biology and community-based initiatives in sub-Saharan Africa. During her time at Emory she was awarded a David L. Boren NSEP scholarship for study in East Africa, where she conducted research on community uses of flora endemic to Laikipia District, Kenya. Upon graduation from Emory, she moved to Israel and worked as a program coordinator for an environmental education program, where she helped plan and execute the programís inaugural month long trek along Shvil Yisrael (Israel National Trail). During all of the globetrotting, she also found time to learn how to drive a tractor and build terraces in rural Israeli villages. In 2007, she returned to the United States to join the U.S. Marine Corps as an officer, and primarily worked with the public affairs group at The Basic School in Quantico, Va. She left the military after a tour and moved to D.C. to attend George Mason University, earning a graduate certificate in geographic information science. She then went on to pursue a masterís degree in international relations with a concentration in strategic studies and international economics at Johns Hopkins Universityís School of Advanced International Studies. Meredith has several interests and hobbies that may seem incongruous in the same sentence. She enjoys staff rides, single malt scotch (excluding the ďGlensĒ), rock climbing, solo backpacking, classical ballet, caves, Tolkien, Shakespeare, and black holes. Meredith is looking forward to meeting, learning from and working with Fire & Aviation staff, both in D.C. and in the field. Sheís especially looking forward to getting fire line training in time to go on a fire assignment during the 2014 fire season.

Steven Beri

Steven Beri
Trails Supervisor
Sierra National Forest

Steven Beri, originally from Philadelphia, Pa., joined the military at age 18; he rose through the ranks and decided to further his education. After a break in service, he transferred to Shippensburg University and enrolled in their ROTC program, while pursuing a B.S. in environmental biology and ecology. While nearing completion of his studies, Steven spent several weeks in an Ecuadorian rainforest for an internship. He performed biodiversity surveys on local reptiles and amphibians, which he describes as ďextremely arduous, but one of the most rewarding experiences in my life thus far.Ē After Steven graduated, he spent several months training for his U.S. Army unit which subsequently deployed to Iraq from 2008 to 2009. As a medical platoon leader, Steven led a unit of medics until he was offered and accepted the battery executive officer position in his artillery unit. For his service in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Steven was awarded the Bronze Star. After returning home he accepted a graduate research assistantship at The Pennsylvania State University. While at Penn State, he conducted research, taught biology labs, and completed his masterís degree in ecology. His research focused on cognitive ecology, which he describes as ďhow the environment shapes what animals learn and how they use this information to their benefit.Ē Steven completed his program and was accepted into the PMF class of 2013, where he took a position in the Sierra National Forest as a trails supervisor. When not at work, Steven enjoys bike riding, hiking, swimming, gaming and spending time with his wife, 2-year-old son, and dog.

Tyler Fish

Tyler Fish
Minerals Management Planner/ Interagency and Tribal Liaison
Superior National Forest

Tyler Fish is a minerals management planner/ interagency tribal liaison at the Superior National Forest. Tyler is Muscogee-Creek and a citizen of the Cherokee Nation from Tulsa, Okla. He is a graduate of University of Oklahomaís College of Law, with research interests in property, natural resources, and indigenous peoples law. During law school, Tyler was elected president of the OU Native American Law Students Association (NALSA), competed in the National NALSA Moot Court Competition, and sat on the American Indian Law Review. Tyler co-authored the OU College of Law report on the Republic of Colombia, concerning the human rights of indigenous peoples, to the United Nations Human Rights Council. He served as a legal intern with the U.S. Department of Justice and as a clerk for the Organization of American States under the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Prior to law school, Tyler served his tribal nation as the legislative officer where he promoted the recognition, preservation, and expansive exercise of the sovereign authority of the Cherokee Nation. Tyler honorably served six years in the U.S. Marine Corps, earning the rank of sergeant and serving as the detachment operations chief to the first combat deployed High Mobility Artillery Rocket System unit. In 2011, he received the Cherokee Nation Medal of Patriotism for his service in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Tylerís proudest accomplishment is the Eagle Feather given to him at 17-years-old; it guides him, and carries prayers of his family, wisdom of his elders, and protection of the great Creator. Tyler is excited to join the FS, and plans to make meaningful contributions to the health, diversity, and productivity of U.S. forests. In his free time, Tyler enjoys playing rugby, fishing, and amateur woodwork.

Walita Kay Williams

Walita Kay Williams
Public Affairs Officer
Pacific Southwest Research Station

Walita Kay Williams, a native of Detroit, Mich., graduated with a bachelorís degree in advertising and public relations, and a masterís degree in communications from Grand Valley State University. She is excited to be serving as a public affairs officer for the Forest Serviceís Pacific Southwest Research Station. Walita looks forward to the PMF experience, as it will afford her the opportunity to connect her passion for people and community involvement, with her love of nature; while gaining valuable experience and forging friendships along the way. As a student, Walita completed a market research internship with Walt Disney World, an opportunity with Oprahís Harpo Studios, and worked at Verizon Wireless. She organized numerous community outreach events, with her most proud being a womanís conference that brought out AIDS activist, Ray Lewis-Thornton; and a leadership conference that brought out poet and civil rights activist, Maya Angelouóboth events aimed to educate and provide mentorship to local college and high school students. Walita also served as an ambassador for her university, and spent time working in the university writing center. Outside of work, you can find Walita writing poetry, attending indie music shows, running, dancing, and traveling at every chance she gets. Her number one enjoyment, however, is hanging with family and friends, and her two dogs, Sparky and Mallie. Walita also enjoys volunteering; and is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., a public service organization. She has participated in many public service events, including projects with Habitat for Humanity, Gleanerís Food Bank, Godís Kitchen, and tutoring in the Grand Rapids Public School system. She especially loves donating her time to programs that impact inner city youth.

PMF Alumni: Where are they now?

Dana Coelho Current PMF Dana Coelho
Start Date: July 2007
PMF Position: Natural Resource Specialist, Urban & Community Forestry/Cooperative Forestry, Washington DC
Current Position: Program Manager, Western Forestry Leadership Coalition


MS Sustainable Development & Conservation Biology (University of Maryland, College Park MD)

Master of Public Policy, Environmental Policy (University of Maryland, College Park MD)

Bachelors of Urban & Environmental Planning, dual minor in Architecture and Environmental Science (University of Virginia, Charlottesville VA)

Alex Dunn Alex Dunn
Start Date: September 2004
PMF Position: Public Participation and Planning Specialist, San Bernardino National Forest, Supervisor’s Office, Pacific Southwest Region 5
Current Position:

Environmental Coordinator, Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest, Dillon, MT

Former Positions: Program Manager, Western Forestry Leadership Coalition; State and Private Forestry; Rocky Mountain Region; Lakewood, Colorado


MS Environmental Studies, Natural Resource/Fire Policy and Public Participation/Collaboration Focus (University of Montana, Missoula MT)

BS Environmental Studies and Fine Arts (University of Oregon, Eugene OR)

Sarah LaPlante Current PMF Sarah LaPlante
Start Date: September 2007
PMF Position: Biological Scientist, Research and Development/Quantitative Sciences, Rosslyn, VA/Washington, DC
Current Position:

Assistant Recreation & Wilderness Program Manager, White Mountain National Forest


Master of Forestry (Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences, Duke University, Durham NC)

Master of Environmental Management (Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences, Duke University, Durham NC)

BA Environmental Biology (Dartmouth College, Hanover NH)

Jason Nedlo Current PMF Jason E. Nedlo
Start Date: May 2007
PMF Position: Natural Resource Specialist (Recreation), Recreation Travel Management Implementation Coordinator, Eldorado National Forest, Placerville, California
Current Position: Deputy District Ranger, Alleheny National Forest
Previous Position: Resource Planning Specialist


PhD Environmental Physiology (Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of Georgia, Athens GA)

BS Forestry (University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana IL)

Brad Paul Brad Paul
Start Date: August 2006
PMF Position: Program Manager,Hood Canal Ranger District, Olympic National Forest, Quilcene, WA
Current Position:

Regional Litigation Specialist, Pacific Northwest Region (R6), Portland, OR


JD with a certificate in environmental, urban and land use law (University of Missouri School of Law, Kansas City MO)

BA Communications (University of Missouri, Columbia MO)

Aaron Pratt Current PMF Aaron Pratt
Start Date: August 2008
PMF Position: Budget Analyst, Program and Budget Analysis Staff, Washington Office, Washington, DC
Current Position: Travel Management Planning Team Leader on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest


MS in Forestry with Forest Biology emphasis and certificate in Watershed Management (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg VA)

BA in Geological Science (Brown University, Providence RI)

Paula Randler Current PMF Paula Randler
Start Date: June 2008
PMF Position: Natural Resources Specialist, Urban and Community Forestry and Cooperative Forestry, Washington, DC
Current Position:

Program Specialist with the Forest Stewardship Program, Cooperative Forestry in State and Private

Previous Position:

Natural Resource Specialist with Cooperative Forestry, State and Private


Master of Environmental Management, focus in Social Ecology/Urban Forestry (Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, New Haven CT)

Bachelor of Science in Geological Sciences, focus in Hydrogeology (University of South Carolina, Columbia SC)

image Anthony V. Scardina
Start Date: June 2004
PMF Position: Budget Analyst, Program and Budget Analysis Staff, Washington Office: Washington, DC
Current Position:

Forest Supervisor, Ottawa National Forest

Previous Position:

District Ranger, Allegheny National Forest, Bradford Ranger District

Deputy District Ranger, Eldorado National Forest

Travel Management coordinator, Eldorado National Forest


MS Forestry, Master of Public Administration ( Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg VA)

BS Forest Resources Management, BS Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences (West Virginia University, Morgantown WV)

Brandan W Schulze Current PMF Brandan W. Schulze
Start Date: January 2008
PMF Position: Public Affairs Specialist, Olympic National Forest, Olympia, WA
Current Position: Public Affairs Specialist, Northern Region


MA Communication (University of Oklahoma, Norman OK)

BS Mass Communication & Journalism (City University of Seattle, Seattle WA)

Peter Taylor Peter Taylor
Start Date: August 2006
PMF Position: Natural Resource Specialist, Aviation and Fire Management, Eastern Region, Milwaukee, WI
Current Position: Forest Environmental Coordinator, Superior National Forest, Duluth, MN


Master of Forestry and Master of Environmental Management ( Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences, Duke University, Durham NC)

BS Biology ( College of William & Mary, Williamsburg VA)

Contact Information

Current Forest Service employee contact information is available through the FS employee search.

Become a Forest Service PMF

  • USDA Forest Service & the PMF Program Quick Questions

  • Forest Service PMF Program Information Sheet

  • Current PMFs in Action brochure

  • Events and Updates

    2013 PMF Finalists!

    For more information on working with the Forest Service in one of our 2013 PMF positions,
    or for rotational openings,
    visit our opportunities page.

    Interested in becoming a 2014 PMF? Check the OPM website for information on the 2014 application period.

    The Forest Service, Future Leaders Growing Future Leaders, was selected as one of the Top 50 programs for the Harvard Innovations in Government Award in 2008.

    Search Forest Service and OPM websites for additional information



    USDA Forest Service
    Last modified April 8, 2014