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Dr. Erin Sills named Department Head in Forestry and Environmental Resources

Below is the announcement from Dean Floyd sent on 7 July 2021.


It is my pleasure to announce Dr. Erin Sills as the permanent head of the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources. Her effective date of appointment is June 30, 2021. Dr. Sills joined the department in 1997 as an instructor and director of international programs. In 2018, Dr. Sills was named the Edwin F. Conger Professor of Forestry and Environmental Resources. She has served as interim department head since July 2020.

Dr. Sills’ research focuses on markets and payments for non-timber forest benefits, forest-based livelihoods and economic development, international forest policy and sustainable forest management, deforestation and land use in the tropics, economic assessment of invasive species policies, and program evaluation with matching methods and panel data. She is recognized internationally for research on reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries.

Prior to joining NC State, Dr. Sills served as a research associate at Virginia Tech and the Federal University of Pará (Brazil). She received her B.A. in International Development and Latin American Studies from Princeton University, and her M.A. in Natural Resource Economics and Policy and her Ph.D. in Natural Resource and Environmental Economics from the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University.

Two primary factors led to the decision to waive an open search for this position. First, Dr. Sills’ qualifications are outstanding. Although an open recruitment would attract many qualified candidates, it is unlikely that we would find someone to lead FER with her unique combination of exemplary faculty accomplishments, broad perspective on forestry disciplines, extensive institutional knowledge, proven leadership, and commitment to program excellence.

Second, as interim department head, Dr. Sills has provided critical leadership during a very difficult year. She has been highly effective in leading the largest and most complex department in CNR. In particular, she has navigated the uncertainties of the pandemic, facilitated new conversations about diversity, equity and inclusion, and dealt with a range of administrative and policy issues in an inclusive and thoughtful manner.

I am excited to see the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources continue to flourish under her leadership. Please join me in welcoming Dr. Erin Sills to her new role as the permanent head of the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources.

Sincerely, Myron