Doug Lawrence, a North Dakota native, worked for the Natural Resources Conservation Service for 37 years in various capacities. He retired as the NRCS Deputy Chief for Soil Survey and Resource Assessment. In this position he was responsible for overseeing the world’s leading soil survey program. In addition, he was responsible for two key natural resource assessment activities: the National Resources Inventory and the Conservation Effects Assessment Project. His responsibilities also included directing NRCS international conservation activities.
From January 2009 to July 2009, Doug served as the acting USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment. From June 2008 to January 2009 Dr. Lawrence was the acting NRCS Farm Bill Coordinator and led the development of the 2008 Farm Bill conservation title regulations.
For most of his 37-year NRCS career Doug worked as an economist. From 2004 to 2008 he was the Director of the NRCS Resource Economics and Social Sciences Division where he was responsible for national policy related to economics, social sciences, energy, and other related areas. In addition to serving as the Director of the Resource Economics Division, he has served as a Senior Economist in the NRCS Economics Division. Doug also worked as an Economist at the NRCS National Technical Centers in the Northeast and the South regions; and as a state-level economist in Wisconsin, Maryland, Delaware, and the New England states. In 1997, he was detailed to the House Agricultural Appropriations Committee to work on developing the 1998 Appropriations Act for the Department of Agriculture and in 2003 he was detailed to the Environmental Protection Agency to work with the Agricultural Counselor to the EPA Administrator. In 2006 he was a co-recipient of a USDA Honor Award for his work on energy conservation; in 2011 he was a co-recipient of a USDA Honor Award related to reorganizing the soil survey program; and in 2008 he received the NRCS Chief’s Circle of Excellence award for his work on the 2008 Farm Bill.
Doug holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of New Hampshire; a Masters degree in agricultural and resource economics from the University of Maryland; and a Bachelors degree in economics from the University of Wisconsin.