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A professional career in environmental policy
Susan P. Quinn
1021 South Dinwiddie Street
Arlington, VA 22204
Number Hidden/Address Hidden
Career Objective: A professional career in environmental policy
Skills and Related Accomplishments:
Skill: Communicating environmental policy
Developed FS strategic communication plan and managed public/FS employee
National Partnership for Reinventing Government
National Roadless Area Conservation Interim Rule
National FS land management plan
Developed FS strategic communication plan for:
American Heritage Rivers Initiative
National Recreation Fee Project
Skill: Developing environmental policy
Contributed to establishment of:
National FS Rural Community Assistance Staff
National FS early intervention program for internal and external disputes
National FS social assessment training
Skill: Analyzing environmental policy
National Forest Service (FS) water assessment – wrote sections on pollution,
wetlands, social effects
National FS land management plan – wrote section on social effects
Authored report on rural demographics
Authored report on firewood policy
Skill: Event planning
Managed national press conference and focus groups for Roadless Area
Conservation Interim Rule
Managed introductory roundtables for FS Chief
Managed teambuilding workshop for FS Office of Communication
Contributed to public meetings on national forest land management plans
Contributed to FS awards programs and social assessment training sessions
Managed events for personal civic and alumni organizations
Skill: Public speaking
Presenter, Social Science in Resource Management biennial meeting
Presenter, Rural Sociological Society annual meeting
Panel Member, Environmental Protection Agency/Conservation Foundation
seminar on conflict resolution
Panel Member, “Federal Sociologists at Work” conference
Leadership of civic and alumni organizations
PetMac, Inc. (2/2008-present)
Family Caregiver (4/2003-12/2008)
USDA Forest Service (6/1980-3/2003)
Office of Communication (10/93-3/2003)
Resources Program and Assessment Staff (3/84-10/93)
Policy Analysis Staff (6/80-3/84)
Columbia Forest Civic Association (President and Parks Committee)
Friends of Arlington Parks (Board of Directors)
Arlington County Civic Federation (Executive and Parks Committees)
Arlington Dogs (Board of Directors)
University of Florida (Executive Committee)
University of New Hampshire (Executive Committee)
National and local political campaigns
University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
M.A., Public Administration (land use planning)
University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH
B.A., Political Science; Minor: Sociology
Narrative of Accomplishments
Susan P. Quinn
1021 South Dinwiddie Street
Arlington, VA 22204
Number Hidden/Address Hidden
My extensive professional experience with the Forest Service (FS) features numerous accomplishments concerning the communication, development and analysis of environmental policy. My tenure with the Office of Communication featured a national strategic planning orientation with the goal of implementing major communication themes. For the Resources Program and Assessment Staff I addressed the national FS land management plan and its legislative requirements such as the National Environmental Policy Act, the National Forest Management Act, etc. My work for the Policy Analysis Staff gave me an excellent background in evaluating FS activities and their relationship to forest users.
My training and experience as a sociologist give me an excellent understanding of what makes people “tick” and how that shapes interactions; my awareness of the human factor enables me to tailor my presentations to suit a variety of audiences. Because many of my assignments had not been previously addressed by the FS, the success of my efforts required substantial initiative to plan, conduct and communicate. Gathering, interpreting and conveying information is almost second nature to me due to my educational background and work experience; both have emphasized its analytical collection as well as organized interpretation and capable dissemination.
I also have an excellent appreciation of the fact ecosystems are subject to socioeconomic as well as biological influences and that there is a “two-way street” between ecological trends and cultural adaptations. The distribution of human activities across landscapes is a function of this relationship; the interaction it represents is a dynamic and, for me, fascinating process.
My skills and accomplishments include the following:
Communicating Environmental Policy:
National Partnership for Reinventing Government -- I served as the FS representative to the Partnership, which was created to implement Vice- President Gore’s initiative to streamline federal government operations. This responsibility entailed attending government-wide meetings, briefing FS leadership and managing internal and external release of information related to such topics as the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), the Government Performance and Results Act and a national survey of federal employees on job satisfaction, customer orientation and reinvention. For the ACSI I conducted content analysis of customer
surveys which elicited public comment on various FS activities and programs. I wrote the national FS strategic communication plan, press release and “Reports to the Customer” -- public brochures summarizing survey findings and outlining Agency responses. I also reviewed a Roper poll on environmental attitudes of the American public and compared its substance to survey findings.
American Heritage Rivers -- This initiative was designed to showcase and enhance the role of rivers as both natural and cultural resource. I wrote the national FS strategic communication plan and worked closely with the United States Department of Interior (USDI), the Department of Agriculture Office of Communication (USDA) and others. President Clinton held a press conference announcing this policy.
Council on Environmental Quality -- I served on the interagency content analysis team which reviewed public comment on proposed regulations concerning notification procedures.
National FS Policies:
Roadless Area Conservation Interim Rule -- This rulemaking was in response to increasing public demand for untrammeled federal land. I managed its public release; this responsibility included writing the national strategic communication plan and fact sheet and overseeing the contracts for focus groups and the content analysis of public comment. I provided liaison with the Secretary of Agriculture’s office, USDA, the FS Chief and FS Washington Office (WO) and field staffs. I wrote talking points for the FS Chief’s speeches, contributed to the Departmental press release and worked closely with the Agency’s national media management on media contacts and the national press conference. I also planned and conducted a teleconference for national FS leadership. President Clinton issued an executive order codifying the precepts of this activity. I received both a Certificate of Merit -- a cash award -- and a Certificate of Appreciation for this work.
FS National Land Management Plan (RPA) -- For the RPA’s periodical Recommended Program I wrote the national strategic communication plan and developed a brochure designed to increase the relevance of RPA for field personnel. I conducted content analysis of -- and developed a display format for -- public and employee comment on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement and FS roles, issues and strategies. It was at my suggestion the Agency solicited employee comment on RPA for the first time. I also designed and conducted groundbreaking outreach efforts designed to obtain the opinions of non-traditional constituencies such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the National Council of La Raza, etc. I received a Certificate of Merit for this work.
Recreation Fee Demonstration Project -- This effort was in response to increasing public demand for recreation opportunities on federal land. I served on the overall team and communications subteam; the latter wrote the national strategic communication plan, reviewed communication plans developed by pilot sites and recommended items for deletion/inclusion in plans to be written by future sites. I participated in the creation/conduct of a survey with managers of existing sites to determine “what worked and what didn’t” on an array of factors such as marketing strategies. I provided liaison with the Secretary of Agriculture’s office, USDA, the FS Chief and WO and field staffs. I received a Certificate of Merit for this work.
Communication Staffing/Effectiveness -- I measured FS satisfaction with the Office of Communication (OC) by contributing to the creation of a national stratified random sample of employees, effective questionnaire design and written analysis of results. During a subsequent OC-wide reorganization I wrote a mission statement, reviewed an outside critique and contributed to a written analysis of same. I also helped plan a teambuilding workshop and developed a matrix for displaying work statements and calculating associated personnel needs. In addition, I managed the process by which the OC Internal Information (later Corporate Communications) Staff transformed itself into a self-directed team. This included directing the contracted facilitator at a series of team meetings at which mission, goals, operations and continuous improvement were addressed and written into a charter.
FS/USDI Bureau of Land Management Interchange -- I served on the interagency content analysis team which reviewed national public comment on the proposal to exchange/consolidate holdings.
Public Debates Shaping Forestry’s Future -- I edited the titled article, which was written in conjunction with the University of Minnesota and focuses on electronic content analysis of news articles about environmental issues and its potential for national strategic communication planning.
Gypsy Moth Prevention -- I successfully suggested and subsequently developed a study proposal for using the GIS-based software TIGER to incorporate demographics in the national strategic communication plan. This effort enabled the FS to tailor its public information to a variety of audiences.
Miscellaneous Outreach -- I wrote the proposal designating Alabama A&M University -- an 1890 (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) institution -- a FS Center of Excellence for forestry-related programs. I also wrote the FS Memorandum of Understanding with the Jewish National Fund.
FS Chief’s Office:
Secretary’s Quarterly Report -- I produced a quarterly report for the Secretary of Agriculture’s office from the FS Chief focusing on background materials and calendar entries related to priority topics and strategic internal and external communication themes.
Chief’s Publications -- I managed production and marketing of topic papers written by the FS Chief in conjunction with FS employees. The papers were published in several academic and professional journals.
Chief’s Roundtables -- I conducted the event planning for the outreach sessions at which the FS Chief was introduced to the leadership of national civic, environmental, industrial and scientific organizations.
Chief’s Grants -- For this internal national competition I wrote the national strategic communication plan, developed evaluation criteria featuring the extent to which local partnerships were involved, created a spreadsheet for data entry and wrote miscellaneous correspondence.
Chief’s Inbox -- I served on the content analysis team which reviewed employee comments submitted to the FS Chief, developed a display format and conveyed results to the FS National Customer Service Team, of which I was a member. Topics included communications,
organizational effectiveness, planning, program funding and resource management.
Deputy Chief Area for Programs and Legislation -- I wrote the national strategic communication plan for this Deputy Area, which at the time was comprised of the Legislative Affairs, Policy Analysis, RPA and Program Development/Budget Staffs of the WO. The plan enhanced implementation of these staffs’ respective missions.
Internal Periodicals -- I frequently wrote and/or edited The Weekly Report (a summary of emerging issues for leadership), FS Today (a bimonthly electronic newsletter for employees) and The Daily News Digest (a summary of news articles for employees).
Reports to the Customer -- See Communicating Environmental Policy/Presidential Commissions/National Partnership for Reinventing Government, above.
Employee Brochures -- See Communicating Environmental Policy/National FS Policies/FS National Land Management Plan/Recommended Program, above.
Public Debates Shaping Forestry’s Future -- See Communicating Environmental Policy/National FS Policies, above.
Chief’s Publications -- See Communicating Environmental Policy/FS Chief’s Office, above.
Developing Environmental Policy:
Rural Development -- I contributed to the national FS policy statement and strategic plan. This effort resulted in the creation of the FS Rural Community Assistance Staff, whose objective is to help resource-dependent communities diversify their economies. I also participated in related national conferences and awards programs; most notably I designed and produced the “Value-Added Award” which recognizes innovative marketing of non-traditional forest products.
Early Intervention -- I wrote a briefing paper on conflict management for FS leadership. This effort resulted in the Agency establishing a national early
intervention program for both internal and external disputes. I also represented the FS as a panel member at an Environmental Protection Agency/Conservation Foundation seminar on conflict management.
Human Dimension in Ecosystem Management -- I contributed to the titled national FS policy statement and strategic plan and pilot-tested the social assessment training I helped design for FS employees. This effort enhanced the quantity and quality of social science used by the Agency.
Payments in Lieu of Taxes -- I reviewed state taxation legislation and calculated potential national assessment revenue from FS timber sales in resource-dependent communities. The report I wrote formed the basis for a presentation by FS leadership to Department of Agriculture leadership..
Native American Policy -- I contributed to the national FS policy statement and strategic plan and conducted field interviews with tribal leaders. This effort improved FS coordination with their governments.
Urban/Wildland Interface -- I contributed to the national FS policy statement and strategic plan. This effort improved FS coordination with local governments regarding firefighting, development pressures, etc.
Recycling -- I contributed to the national FS policy statement and strategic plan. This effort improved collaboration with the United States General Services Administration, the District of Columbia Department of Public Works and their counterparts in communities across the country.
FS/USDI Bureau of Land Management “Service First” -- I worked closely with Bureau personnel to write a grant proposal on linking/streamlining public services and wrote a briefing paper for the FS Chief. The proposal was a finalist in a national competition sponsored by Harvard University and improved coordination between the two agencies.
Collaborative Stewardship Councils -- I wrote briefing materials for FS leadership concerning the importance of demographics in understanding the social structure of communities and the role of local “power elites”.
FS/USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service Assessment and Liaison Committee -- For several years I represented the FS on this committee and coordinated the strategic planning activities of the two agencies.
Analyzing Environmental Policy:
FS National Land Management Plan (RPA):
National Water Assessment -- For this periodical I conducted a literature search of over 1,000 scientific articles and wrote sections on pollution, wetlands and – as staff sociologist -- the socioeconomic implications of projected water shortages. This information made an important contribution to the Recommended Program (see below) and I presented my socioeconomic findings at a Social Science in Resource Management conference. I received a Certificate of Appreciation for this work.
Recommended Program -- For this periodical I contributed social science expertise to the interdisciplinary team charged with determining the effect of different management scenarios. I provided social assessment guidance to field offices, analyzed their submissions, conducted a literature search and wrote the social effects section. For the Program’s Healthy and Diversified Local Economies Initiative I developed a worksheet for reporting the socioeconomic effects of different management scenarios on resource-dependent communities, analyzed field office responses to same and wrote the section on this topic. I received a Certificate of Merit for this work.
Population Dynamics in National Forest System Zones of Influence -- I wrote the titled report to assess changing rural demographics and their effects on natural resource management. A major finding of this paper is that special use administration is particularly affected by such shifts. This effort included using Census data to construct an appropriate sample of counties and sociological variables as well as visiting field offices and presenting my findings at a Rural Sociological Society conference. This study was cited by the New York Times in an article on the urban/wildland interface.
FS Firewood Policy -- I wrote the titled report in response to increasing public demand for this resource. This effort required reviewing appropriate legislation, developing study topics, formulating a questionnaire and worksheet for field offices and analyzing results. I made a presentation to FS leadership which resulted in firewood becoming a reported management activity and budget line item.
National Forest Land Management Plans:
Angeles (CA) National Forest -- I contributed to a study of the land use ethics of different cultural groups using the Angeles, which is at the cutting edge of the urban/wildland interface due to its proximity to Los Angeles’ large, diverse population.
Custer (MT) National Forest -- I researched, analyzed and reported the potential socioeconomic effects of proposed oil and gas exploration and production.
Shoshone (WY) National Forest -- I reviewed the available methodology for quantitative analysis of social effects and, at several public meetings, conducted a modified Delphi technique designed to predict which management alternative would cause the least amount of community polarization.
Civic Organizations -- As president of the Columbia Forest Civic Association, I revived what had been a moribund organization by generating membership and working with Arlington County, VA on such neighborhood issues as infrastructure, park maintenance and traffic engineering. As a Director of Friends of Arlington Parks, I managed our entry in the Arlington County Fair -- our primary marketing opportunity -- and won first prize. I have also served on the Executive and Parks Committees of the Arlington County Civic Federation – a consortium of civic associations -- and the Board of Directors of Arlington Dogs, which works with the County on dog park issues.
Alumni Associations -- As a vice president of the Washington, DC chapter of the University of Florida Alumni Association, I achieved a tripling of membership. This increase strengthened our partnership with the University and the latter’s standing on Capitol Hill. I also conducted extensive event planning including the Association’s annual reception for Florida’s congressional delegation. For the University of New Hampshire Alumni Association I served as Secretary.
National and Local Political Campaigns – I prepared materials for distribution.
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