Update on the DOI Reorganization and announcing the Regional Facilitators for the 12 Unified Regions

Last edited 09/29/2021

Interior Team, 

In an effort to keep everyone informed, here is an important update on the DOI Reorganization.

Secretary Zinke announced that our new Unified Regional boundaries were finalized and became effective on August 22, 2018, and shared the final map with all of you on August 29, 2018. A great deal of progress has been made since the Secretary’s last message. One significant achievement since then was the selection of Regional Facilitators by their peers. These Regional Facilitators are leading the Reorganization from the field, and will be seeking your input as this process proceeds. The list of Regional Facilitators for each of the Unified Regions is available here. The Regional Facilitators are building teams of subject matter experts in our primary Mission Areas: Recreation, Collaborative Conservation, and Permitting; and our Support Areas: Human Resources Management, Information Technology, and Procurement of goods and services. These Unified Region teams will be comprised of experts from all of the participating bureaus present in the Region.

I held a two-day meeting with the Regional Facilitators in Washington, D.C. on October 15-16, 2018. Secretary Zinke personally met with this group during our meeting, and told them in very plain terms that while he would provide the broad direction, they will be the ones who implement the Reorganization from the ground up. We had very thoughtful discussions about questions they posed. It is important for you to know that some topics may purposefully lack specific or detailed answers for now because the leaders out in the Regions and Field Stations will be the ones who build and shape their Unified Regions. One size does not fit all. Our Unified Regions are very diverse and may take different approaches based on their unique priorities and needs. For example, some Unified Regions have significant recreation components, while other Unified Regions have significant permitting and collaborative conservation workloads, and some Unified Regions have significant workloads in all of our Mission Areas.

Please review the list of updated Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) here. If you have a specific question on the Reorganization and you don’t see it answered in the FAQs, please send your question to reorg@doi.gov or use the online feedback form and you will receive a response.

I want to give you a date and a timeline to consider. Secretary Zinke told the Regional Facilitators that he wants all of the Unified Regions to be “stood up” and operational by July 1, 2019. The Regional Facilitators are working hard to make happen. By July 1 of next year, each Unified Region will have an Interior Regional Director (IRD). A standard process will be used to select a career Senior Executive Service member who will serve as the IRD, and that IRD will be coordinating with the bureaus to conduct business more effectively and efficiently. 

I want to thank all of you for your patience as we work through some of the administrative details of the Reorganization. I know you’ve heard parts and pieces of information on the Reorganization and would like more information. We are planning town hall meetings to help provide you with information and answers to your questions. Thank you for the important work you do every day. The goal is to have this Reorganization shaped by all of you. Your input is critical and will help build Unified Regions that stand the test of time. Unified Regions will make it easier for our partners and the public to work with us and ultimately, it will be easier for you to do your jobs as we transition to increased decision-making at the Regional/local level.  

Let’s make Reorganization a success together.

Susan Combs
Senior Advisor Exercising the Authority of the Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management and Budget

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