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120.2 - Office of the Director

The Director reports to the Department of the Interior (DOI) Assistant Secretary for Water and Science and is responsible for executive leadership, overall direction, and policy oversight of the USGS.

OPR:  Office of the Director

Date: 07/31/2020

Instruction:  This Survey Manual (SM) chapter, last updated May 9, 2018, is revised to reflect current organizational structure.

1. General Organization.  The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) consists of a headquarters organization located in Reston, Virginia, and is organized on the landscape into seven geographic regions in support of the 12 Department of the Interior (DOI) Unified Regions.

2. Office of the Director.  The Director reports to the Assistant Secretary for Water and Science and is responsible for all activities of the USGS.  The Director is assisted by two Deputy Directors, Deputy Director—Operations and Deputy Director—Administration and Policy, and a Chief Scientist, who share with the Director the responsibility for direction and coordination of USGS programs and activities, including assessing, ensuring, and reporting the USGS’ Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) compliance to the Chief FOIA Officer.  The Chief of Staff is responsible for coordinating the management and execution of initiatives, programs, and policies in critical areas of concern to the Director to ensure the Director’s goals are achieved.  Associate Directors (ADs), Regional Directors (RDs), Office Directors, and Office Chiefs share in the responsibility for leading and managing specific Mission Areas or functions.  Offices reporting to the Director are as follows:

A. Deputy Director—Operations.  The Deputy Director—Operations serves as the Chief Operating Officer of the USGS.  The Deputy Director—Operations is responsible for overseeing USGS regional operations, which are managed by the seven USGS Regional Directors covering the DOI 12 Unified Regions.  The Deputy Director—Operations is responsible for providing direct line supervision to the Regional Directors and leading planning and operations for the day-to-day activities of regional programs to ensure the USGS stays at the forefront of science initiatives.  The Deputy Director—Operations is also responsible for implementing process improvements; monitoring internal controls to manage risks; ensuring that science quality, integrity, ethics, and diversity policies are followed; resolving resource-allocation issues; and empowering the field to make strategic decisions and investments.  Offices reporting to the Deputy Director—Operations are as follows:

(1) Regional Director Offices.  Each Region is overseen by the respective RD.  The RDs exercise the authority delegated by the Director and Deputy Director to provide leadership, support, and oversight for the execution and operation of USGS science programs including research and development; investigative studies; data collection and integration; tools, technologies, and protocol development; information dissemination; technical assistance; and assessments.  RDs provide executive leadership to ensure the successful implementation of assigned projects to accomplish the Bureau’s mission. RDs provide critical oversight and evaluation of Center plans that address annual program requirements and ensure the human and fiscal resources, interdisciplinary and integrated direction, and region-wide coordination is accomplished.  RDs also establish mechanisms for cross-Center communications, engagement and collaboration on science priorities, partnership engagement and issues, and development of region-wide capacities and capabilities.

RDs provide region-wide leadership to leverage these capacities and capabilities to build synergies and minimize redundancies.  As members of the ELT, RDs provide advice and counsel to the Director, Deputy Director, and other ELT members on issues and opportunities to advance USGS science and operations.  They also provide advice and recommendations to the ELT on the broad suite of science policies, practices and science-support programs of the Bureau, including but not limited to facilities; laboratory management and Quality Management Systems (QMS); Center mergers and consolidations; fundamental science practices; enterprise IT; communications and publishing; employee engagement, diversity, and training; and Tribal relationships.  Regional Directors have responsibility spanning the collective direction, health and productivity of the Science Centers within their purview and accountability for meeting program commitments and priorities.  As appropriate, RDs work together on cross-Region and cross-Mission Area initiatives.  Direct responsibilities include:

(a)  Strategic science planning—Providing field perspective to Mission Area science planning to help shape directions and investments, evaluate strategic possibilities with regard to technical capabilities and workforce capacity.

(b)  Providing Executive leadership on the landscape—Interacting with other bureaus, Federal and State agencies, local governments, Tribes, congressional leaders, and other groups to discern science needs and foster collaboration, also serving as the USGS or DOI representative on regional scale partnerships and coordinating committees.

(c)  Developing partnerships—Developing regional, cross-Region, national, and international partnerships.  Developing new science initiatives, particularly characterizing partner needs and leveraging capabilities at Centers.

(d)  Developing leveraged partnerships—Working with external organizations to develop leveraged partnerships and generate resources that align with and further the USGS mission. Communicating priorities and issues; link Centers to partners.

(e)  Serving DOI Regions—Serving as the primary USGS representative on the Interior Region Field Committee(s) associated with their USGS Region.

(f)  Providing Tribal engagement—Working closely with Tribal leadership to discern research needs and facilitate relevant science collaborations.

(g)  Providing Center oversight—Making decisions regarding project funding, Center staffing and personnel, facilities, and other key science execution and operational issues. Ensuring that Center-level budget (appropriated and reimbursable) and staffing is aligned with Bureau, DOI, and regional priorities. Review science and workforce plans.  Ensuring Center’s reimbursable portfolio is consistent with USGS mission.  Conducting Center reviews (e.g., financial health, performance measures/accountability, succession planning, science portfolio, and risk exposure).

(h)  Developing USGS cross-regional science—Developing cross-regional and integrated (multi-discipline) science opportunities. This includes preparing for Bureau-level planning, future budget initiatives, supplemental appropriations, and integrated Project Plans to address requirements.

(i)  Supporting emergency response activity—As requested by Director, serving as Bureau coordinator and lead for landscape-based emergency/hazard-focused science response (e.g., Hurricane Sandy, Deepwater Horizon, Kilauea Volcano).  Before, during, and after hazard events, relaying vital information and directives to/from Centers and Headquarters.  Maintaining situational awareness of status of employees and facilities. Coordinating closures or other emergency response decisions.  Interfacing with USGS Hazard Response Executive Committee and working with relevant external agencies and organizations.

(j)  Executing annual program requirements—Ensuring regional representation and participation for various Mission Area or program activities (for example, Mission Area science planning meetings) to provide regional perspectives for consideration during development of annual program requirements.

(k)  Executing annual budgets to accomplish Mission Area/Program Requirements—Coordinating the efforts of Center Directors and topical experts to develop Project Plans that address annual Program requirements from the Mission Area Associate Directors. Identifying project approach, required expertise, timelines, costs, and deliverables. Determining specific Center involvement. Reviewing and finalizing Project Plans in consultation with Associate Directors and Program Coordinators (PC).  Tracking and reporting annual progress and accomplishments in conjunction with science ADs and PCs for annual requirements, as well as other Mission Area, Bureau, and DOI priorities.

Regional Organization is located in SM 120.11, Regional Director Offices.

B. Deputy Director—Administration and Policy.  The Deputy Director—Administration and Policy is responsible for providing executive-level leadership to the USGS science support programs, which include the Office of Administration; Office of Budget, Planning, and Integration; Office of Communications and Publishing; Office of Science Quality and Integrity; Office of International Programs; Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity; and the Office of the Associate Chief Information Officer.  The Deputy Director—Administration and Policy is responsible for implementing the Director’s policy and program objectives and providing direct line supervision over bureau-level science support activities. Offices reporting to the Deputy Director—Administration and Policy are as follows:

(1) Office of Administration.  The Associate Director for Administration is responsible for providing executive-level leadership for the development and implementation of policies and strategic and operational plans related to the business information and administrative functions of the USGS, including finance, facilities, safety, environment, security, acquisitions, directives, and technology transfer.  The Associate Director for Administration also serves as the USGS Chief Financial Officer.  In addition, this office provides human resources and organizational and employee development services for the USGS through headquarters and field Human Resources Offices that report to the Deputy Associate Director for Human Capital.

(2) Office of Budget, Planning, and Integration.  The Associate Director for Budget, Planning, and Integration is responsible for bureauwide policy, guidance, and direction for strategic planning; budget formulation, presentation, and advocacy; and for accountability and efficient use of resources in executing the mission of the USGS.  

(3) Office of Communications and Publishing.  The Associate Director for Communications and Publishing is responsible for planning and managing bureauwide public affairs and congressional activities; developing a USGS communications strategy; engaging with customers and stakeholders; providing media relations activities on behalf of USGS organizations and programs; supporting employee communications; providing oversight for USGS branding; managing the USGS Web home page and social media platforms; advising senior managers on crisis communications; serving as the liaison with the DOI Office of Communications; and managing the publication of USGS science products through the USGS Science Publishing Network.

(4) Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity.  The Chief, Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity, is responsible for developing USGS policies, programs, and guidelines to assure proper implementation of equal employment opportunity (EEO) laws and regulations; monitoring and enforcing compliance with Federal financial assistance; implementing diversity and inclusion initiatives and activities; providing guidance and assistance on related matters to managers, supervisors and employees; developing and delivering EEO, diversity, and inclusion related training; managing the discrimination complaints programs; providing technical assistance to recipients of USGS financial assistance; developing and monitoring implementation of Affirmative Employment Plans for Women, Minorities and People with Disabilities, to include Veterans; developing and managing USGS’ Special Emphasis Programs; developing and managing the USGS Disability Employment Program; developing and managing the USGS Diversity and Inclusion Program; managing diversity outreach efforts; and coordinating partnerships with minority serving colleges, universities, and institutions.

(5) Office of the Associate Chief Information Officer.  The Associate Chief Information Officer, Office of Enterprise Information, is responsible for providing critical information management and technology foundation for the USGS science mission by implementing advances in IT and computing capability and using them to facilitate research, data gathering, analysis and modeling, scientific collaboration, knowledge management, and work processes.  Additionally, this office provides oversight for a broad suite of activities that support information discovery and delivery and ensures collection, storage, sharing, preservation, and publication of scientific data according to Federal laws and regulations.

(6) Office of International Programs.  The Director, Office of International Programs, is responsible for supporting activities that enable USGS scientists to contribute to efforts to address global scientific, natural resource, and environmental issues; improving the effectiveness of the United States to carry out its fundamental domestic missions; furthering U.S. foreign policy and national security interests; and promoting the competitiveness of the U.S. private sector in the global economy.

(7) Office of Science Quality and Integrity.  The Director, Office of Science Quality and Integrity, is responsible for monitoring and enhancing the integrity, quality, and health of all USGS science through the following activities: Providing oversight and execution of the USGS scientific integrity program; engaging the next generation of scientists through USGS science education and youth development programs and by building interagency partnerships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics education areas; maintaining positive relationships with tribes through oversight of the Office of Tribal Relations; overseeing the evaluation, review, and recognition programs for USGS scientists and managing the Scientists Emeritus program; reviewing and approving interpretive science products; advising and ensuring compliance on the execution of USGS Fundamental Science Practices and peer review; providing analyses of science publications and trends; and coordinating QMS for science processes and laboratories.

(8) Freedom of Information Act Program.  The USGS FOIA Officer is responsible for performing the duties and responsibilities listed in 383 DM 15 to include serving as the primary contact between the DOI FOIA Office and the USGS for FOIA activities; consulting with the Office of the Solicitor, Division of General Law, for USGS records requiring a legal review (i.e., denying fee waivers or withholding all or part of a requested record); supervising and managing a USGS FOIA team, including developing annual performance plans, progress reviews and rating narratives, and approving the final rating of the team members reporting directly to the USGS FOIA Officer; and providing advice, guidance, and training to USGS employees on matters relating to the FOIA and FOIA requests.  The USGS FOIA Officer is authorized to deny a requester access to records.

C. Chief Scientist.  The Chief Scientist is responsible for providing strategic scientific counsel, including analysis, planning, and coordination, to the Director and the USGS Executive Leadership Team (ELT) on scientific research and applications programs and projects that cross multiple USGS mission areas.  The Chief Scientist is also responsible for serving as the USGS Executive Science Liaison within the Department of the Interior and with other Federal agencies.

D. Chief of Staff.  The Chief of Staff works collaboratively with USGS Office of the Director staff, including the Chief Scientist, Senior Program Analyst, and Administrative Officers to ensure the Director’s priorities are implemented.  Direct responsibilities for the Chief of Staff include:

(1)  Strategic planning—Providing strategic advice and counsel to the Director and other members of the ELT.

(2)  Coordinating senior-level support—Supporting special studies and preparing recommendations to address complex issues affecting the Bureau.  This also includes coordinating senior-level support and analysis for the development of position papers for timely response to the ELT, DOI, OMB, or Congressional requests.

(3)  Leading cross-departmental efforts—Creating and maintaining cross-departmental relationships to enable leadership success.

(4)  Managing office priorities and issues—Assuming day-to-day responsibility for various projects and tasks including coordinating with the Director and Administrative Officer to prioritize the Director’s office activities, meetings, and other engagements.  This includes maintaining awareness of upcoming meetings/events and preparing/coordinating related materials for the Director.  This also includes providing situational awareness and advice to the Director on his attendance.

E. Associate Directors for Science Mission Areas.  Each Science Mission Area is overseen by the respective AD.  ADs exercise the authority delegated by the Director to provide leadership and nationwide guidance for their Mission Area’s program activities and are responsible for ensuring integration of these activities between Mission Areas and with the strategic goals of the USGS and the DOI.  ADs provide executive direction and leadership to ensure the successful implementation and accomplishment of the Department’s Strategic Plan goals and objectives, presidential and secretarial initiatives, and the USGS Science Strategy. ADs provide critical oversight and evaluation of broad natural science programs to ensure the human and fiscal resources, interdisciplinary direction, and Bureau-wide coordination needed to carry out the mission of the USGS are available and effectively managed.  ADs also establish long-term program goals, requirements, and programmatic internal controls.

ADs provide Bureau-level oversight and leadership to ensure that the Bureau’s scientific and technical program priorities and goals stay at the forefront of emerging science and technological trends, align with national policies and emerging priorities, satisfy the needs of external customers and constituent groups, and promote the integrated, interdisciplinary scientific direction of the USGS.  ADs lead the development and update of the USGS Science Strategy and the annual strategic science planning as described in the USGS Science Planning Process.  As members of the ELT, the ADs provide advice and counsel to the Director, Deputy Director, and the ELT on issues and emerging programmatic opportunities that will advance the scientific knowledge and information the USGS shares with its customers.  ADs provide advice and guidance to the ELT on the broad suite of science and science-support programs of the Bureau, including but not limited to fundamental science practices, facilities and lab management, communications and publishing, international programs, laboratory management, employee engagement, diversity, and employee training.  Direct responsibilities include:

(1)  Strategic science planning—Setting long-term and annual science direction, including consideration of input from the field, stakeholders, and partners, and analysis and evaluation of resource capacity.

(2)  Formulating annual budget—Preparing the annual budget request to Congress based on OMB policy, national strategic science planning and initiatives, and DOI and OMB review.

(3)  Coordinating annual reporting—Providing program-level, project, and financial reporting based on consultations with the Regional Office(s).

(4)  Establishing annual Bureau guidance—Establishing the set of strategic priorities and associated science requirements for the USGS to invest the appropriated funds received from Congress to achieve strategic goals. This includes ensuring the portfolio addresses science requirements outlined in annual Bureau Guidance to achieve both short- and long-term strategic goals.

(5)  Developing new science initiatives—Aligning initiatives with Program priorities, identifying capabilities at Centers, and leveraging nonappropriated funding.

(6)  Providing leadership—Leading cross-program and cross-mission strategic opportunities and initiatives.

(7)  Communicating scientific priorities and issues—Communicating critical science issues and priorities, accomplishments, and highlights internally and externally.

(8)  Developing national partnerships—Leading development of national partner-leveraged efforts aligned with mission priorities that include developing reimbursable opportunities.

(9)  Developing international partnerships—Leading development of international partner-leveraged efforts aligned with mission priorities that include developing reimbursable opportunities.

(10)  Supporting emergency management activity—Participating in the Bureau’s emergency management activities, for example, the Hazards Response Executive Committee, and overseeing specific response functions, such as the delivery of maps and geospatial data to emergency responders, in accordance with Bureau Emergency Response and Continuity of Operations Plans.

(11)  Providing strategic facilities direction—Collaborating with RDs to plan for the long-term direction of USGS facilities, thus ensuring effective and efficient space utilization and the capacity and capability to provide and sustain state-of-the-art science. Examples include facilities consolidations, mergers, and moves; the establishment of science “centers of excellence,” and the location and capabilities of USGS laboratories.

(12)  Representing USGS on national coordinating committees—Acting as a national point of contact and the Bureau’s conduit for and expertise on factors that can play a role in USGS science activities.

Science Mission Area ADs include the following:

(a) Associate Director for Core Science Systems.  The Office of the Associate Director for Core Science Systems provides executive-level leadership for conducting basic and applied science research into the Earth’s topographic and geologic structure; characterizing the Nation’s geology, land surface, and biological systems through modeling, land cover, mapping, and the production of high resolution data; providing a framework for data and information sharing; monitoring assessments and risk and vulnerability assessments; and maintaining geologic collections.  This includes the National Geospatial Program, the National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program, the Science Synthesis, Analysis, and Research Program, and National Land Imaging Program.  In addition, this office has responsibility for executive leadership of the USGS library and the Federal Geographic Data Committee.

(b) Associate Director for Ecosystems.  The Office of the Associate Director for Ecosystems provides executive-level leadership for research, monitoring, modeling, and tool development for management of the Nation’s biological and ecological resources, with particular emphasis on DOI land and trust species responsibilities.  In addition, this office manages environmental health program activity; climate adaptation science centers, land management research, and biological threat and invasive species research activity; and the Cooperative Research Units program activities which provide research, teaching, and technical assistance in natural resource management through a unique Federal, state, and university partnership. 

(c) Associate Director for Energy and Mineral Resources.  The Office of the Associate Director for Energy and Mineral Resources provides executive-level leadership for the impartial science and information required to understand the foundational geologic framework of the Nation through geologic and geophysical data collection, preservation, interpretation, and mapping; the occurrence and distribution of national and global geologic resources including a wide range of current and future energy and mineral resources and their wastes; the potential environmental and socioeconomic effects associated with geologic resource occurrence and use; and the global supply and flow of nonfuel mineral commodities.  This includes responsibility for integrated, interdisciplinary characterization of the full life cycle of geologic resources to provide an understanding of the feedbacks between multiple types of resource development.

(d) Associate Director for Natural Hazards.  The Office of the Associate Director for Natural Hazards provides executive-level leadership for the research, monitoring, and evaluation of natural hazards and for the assessment of areas at risk from natural hazards.  In addition, this office has the responsibility for executive leadership for hazard response and emergency and continuity management coordination. 

(e) Associate Director for Water Resources.  The Office of the Associate Director for Water Resources provides executive-level leadership to ensure the quality and scientific integrity of USGS investigations of the occurrence, quantity, quality, distribution, uses, and the movement of surface water and groundwater, including water resource availability, water observing systems, and Water Resources Research Act Program activity.

Mission Areas are located in SM Part 120, chapters 5-10.



/s/ Jim Reilly                                                                                  7/31/2020
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Jim Reilly                                                                                       Date