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Joe Norrell is the new deputy forest supervisor for the Santa Fe National Forest. Norrell brings 14 years of federal service experience to the Forest Service and the local community.
He chose Santa Fe due to the challenges of working on complex issues with people that have a rich history and strong connection to the land.
Norrell, who grew up in Alaska, attributes his career and passion for the outdoors to his parents. His father was a professor at the University of Alaska-Anchorage, which helped afford the time to take him and his sisters on many camping, hiking and fishing trips during the summer months.
He listened to his mother who worked for the Alaska State Legislature talk about politics and how the decisions made by the legislature would impact people, which influenced him to consider a career in public service.
He attended Montana State University, receiving his bachelor’s degree in political science and master’s degree in public administration. Beginning in 1998, Norrell worked for the Alaska Department of Natural Resources as a temporary research assistant and three years for Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens in Washington, D.C. as a staff assistant on the Committee on Appropriations. Two of those years he spent working on the Interior and Natural Resources Subcommittee.
He started with the Forest Service in 2001 as a program analyst at the national budget office headquartered in Washington D.C. Over the seven years he spent there, he had the opportunity to work in all areas of responsibility, including budget formulation, presentation of the budget to Congress and budget execution and implementation.
He moved to New Mexico in 2008 to be the regional budget director for the Forest Service’s Southwestern Region, where he has learned about the history of the Forest Service in New Mexico and the current challenges and opportunities that exist.