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Dave Applegate, Ph.D.

Director, U.S. Geological Survey.

As Director, Dave Applegate oversees the scientific and operational programs of the bureau.

David Applegate is the 18th Director of the U.S. Geological Survey, sworn in by Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland on Aug. 15, 2022. Prior to assuming his official role, he exercised the delegated authority of the USGS Director beginning on Jan. 20, 2021. He served as the Associate Director for Natural Hazards since 2011, leading USGS emergency response activities and overseeing the bureau’s geologic hazards and coastal and marine programs. He co-chairs the interagency Science for Disaster Reduction working group and chairs the interagency Civil Applications Committee.

Applegate is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Geological Society of America and is a past president of the Geological Society of Washington.

Applegate joined the USGS in 2004 as the first Senior Science Advisor for Earthquake and Geologic Hazards. Prior to that, he spent eight years with the American Geosciences Institute (AGI) federation of geoscience societies, where he directed science policy and served as the editor of Geotimes, AGI’s news magazine for the earth sciences. Applegate has also served with the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources as the American Geophysical Union's Congressional Science Fellow and as a professional staff member. He has taught at Johns Hopkins University and served as an adjunct professor at the University of Utah.

Applegate has a B.S. in geology from Yale University and a Ph.D., also in geology, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.