Today, the National Forest Foundation (NFF), the only congressionally chartered non-profit for the United States Forest Service (USFS), announced that its President and CEO, Mary Mitsos, will step down from her role as the organization embarks on its next phase of growth.

“We cannot fully express our gratitude to Mary and the impact she has had on the NFF, our talented staff, partners, and the communities we serve. Her lifelong commitment to protecting and nurturing our public lands is unmatched, and we feel extremely fortunate for her leadership these past 23 years, the last seven of which she led the organization as President and CEO,” said Rob Leary, Chairman of the NFF Board of Directors.

Photo by USDA

“Today, the amount of work the NFF does on-the-ground is at least 10 times what it was when I became CEO, and we are the only organization executing across boundaries to ensure an outsized and sweeping impact across USFS landscapes,” said Mitsos. She added, “It has been my honor and privilege to lead this organization as President & CEO for the past seven years. The caliber of people within the NFF and at the USFS is hard to fully articulate. They do some of the hardest work there is so that generations to come can enjoy and benefit from the public lands we too often take for granted.”

“I have had the honor of working with Mary for decades,” said Randy Moore, Chief of the United States Forest Service. He added, “Her trailblazing career is reflective of her dedication to, and love for, our public lands; and our close relationship with the National Forest Foundation has only strengthened under her leadership.”

Leary added, “The 193 million acres of National Forests and Grasslands in the United States are critical to our existence. From protecting water to absorbing carbon, to mental health and recreation, our forest system continues to be one of our most precious national assets. In collaboration with the USFS, we are committed to growing the NFF’s influence and impact as American citizens and businesses confront our changing climate and look to our forests as one of the best ways to contribute to the health of our country’s natural resources and our collective love of the outdoors.”

National Forest Foundation