Survey Manual

120.11 – Regional Director Offices

Date:  01/15/2020

OPR:  Office of the Director

Instructions:  This Survey Manual (SM) chapter, last updated November 16, 2015, is revised to reflect current organizational structure.


1.  Regional Offices.  The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is organized on the landscape into seven geographic regions in support of the 12 Department of the Interior (DOI) Unified Regions as specified in Figure 1.  Within their assigned regions, Regional Directors (RDs), under the supervision of the Deputy Director, are responsible for executive leadership in the execution of USGS science programs including research and development activities; investigative studies; data collection and integration; tools, technologies, and protocol development; information dissemination; technical assistance; and assessment.  This includes: 

A.  Providing leadership to ensure quality, timeliness, and relevance of science and information products; and providing quality and consistency in the application of management policies and procedures with full authority and responsibility for all science programs and field-based administrative support activities.  

B.  Providing scientific leadership, management, and direction for the entire breadth of USGS science; providing capabilities to the science centers and multidisciplinary project personnel within the region of responsibility; and providing bureauwide leadership for national-level issues or administration priorities with strong regional implementation requirements. 

C.  Serving as the key representative for the Director and the USGS with customers, partners, and stakeholders in their respective region and as the primary representative for regional congressional relations. 

D.  Working with the USGS Office of Communications and Publishing to communicate USGS programs, capabilities, and relevance to the news media, USGS constituents, and customers. 

E.  Managing the science and science support activities of the region through immediate staff and the science center directors.  The RDs oversee staff to support the formulation, execution, and management of regional science and science support activities.  The staff provides support for long-range strategic planning and performance monitoring, regional program execution, and contributes to bureau-level program planning, policy, and budget formulation.

F.  Coordinating with DOI RDs to provide needed scientific expertise to other DOI bureaus and offices located in the Unified Regions, particularly in the areas of recreation, permitting, and collaborative conservation.  In addition, the USGS Regional Director supports regional administrative shared services activities managed by the DOI Regional Director.

G. Providing liaison activities between regional staff and headquarters to disseminate and coordinate information sharing, review new policy/manual updates, and develop a shared strategic approach to meeting USGS goals.

While the regions represent geographic entities, the responsibilities of the RD can reach beyond those boundaries.  In an effort to balance the regional science portfolios, RDs are often assigned responsibility for centers outside of their geographic regions. Likewise, some facilities on the landscape are the responsibility of the Mission Areas and line authority is to these headquartered entities.


2.  Geographic Areas of Responsibility.  Regional Offices are managed by RDs with line authority for science centers.  RDs are responsible for managing the implementation of broad, complex science programs within an assigned geographic area and across regional boundaries to achieve science program execution.  The geographic regions of responsibility for the USGS RDs are listed in Figure 1.

/s/ Jim Reilly                                                                         01/15/2020
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Jim Reilly                                                                               Date