Today, as in the past, America's forests are an essential asset that can help our nation work through important issues such as achieving energy security, revitalizing our economy in the 21st Century, creating jobs, successfully competing in the global economy, and sequestering carbon with forest products. The Forest Products Laboratory is working toward new utilizations of science and technology to better help us with the preceding issues, along with three other important areas where forest biomass utilization contributes to:


Tony L. Ferguson - Director of the Forest Products Laboratory

Jane D. Kohlman, Executive Assistant

Tony L. Ferguson is responsible for the overall governance of the Forest Products Laboratory and the Northern Research Station. The Forest Products Laboratory seeks to work in partnership with public and private forest land managers, the private sector overall, and colleges, universities and research organizations to carry out a forward-looking and innovative research program.

Emerging research at FPL includes developing advanced structures and green buildings, deriving energy and useful chemicals from forest biomass, creating advanced composite materials and technologies, and exploring the unique properties of wood on the nanoscale.

Foundational research areas include finding uses for woody biomass to improve forest health and boost rural economies, recycling and reuse of wood and paper products, and contributing to the development of codes and standards for wood-based construction and products.

Lon Yeary - Deputy Director

Jane D. Kohlman, Executive Assistant

Lon was assigned as the Deputy Director of the Forest Products Laboratory and Northern Research Station in November 2015. Lon joined the Forest Products Laboratory in May 2009 as the Assistant Director of Administration. In 2012, Lon worked as the Chief of Staff and Assistant Director of Business Operations for the Northern Research Station and Forest Products Lab. Lon joined the Forest Service after 30 years in the United States Marine Corps. While in the Marine Corps Lon commanded a tactical Marine Corps Helicopter Squadron, HMM-364 and a national unit responsible for enforcing mental, physical and moral enlistment standards for the Department of Defense. His career provided opportunities to develop skills in areas such as leadership, operations, safety, training, information technology, aviation and human capital management. Lon is a proven leader with ability to build high performance organizations and solve complex issues. Lon is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy (BS Oceanography), the Naval Postgraduate School (MS Computer Science) and the Marine Corps Command and Staff College (MS Military Studies).

Units within Business Operations

Alan W. Rudie - Assistant Director, Wood, Fiber and Composites Research

Karla Cunningham, Administrative Assistant

Alan Rudie has been an Assistant Director at the Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) since 2016 and currently oversees the units that comprise the Wood, Fiber and Composites Research Division. Alan served previously as the Supervisor of the Fiber and Chemical Sciences Research Work Unit and has an extensive background in pulp and paper technologies. Alan was one of several scientists who helped advance the Forest Products Laboratory initiative on nanotechnology, with primary responsibility for development of the Cellulose NanoMaterials Pilot Plant which is the primary producer of research quantities of cellulose nanocrystals and the TEMPO form of Cellulose Nanofibrils, used by research scientists throughout the US. Alan is a Member of the Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry (TAPPI), and the American Chemical Society. He holds degrees from Wartburg college (BA) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (PhD).

Units within Wood, Fiber and Composites Research

Michael Ritter - Assistant Director, Wood Products Research

Jane D. Kohlman, Executive Assistant

As the Assistant Director for Wood Products Research group at FPL, Mike provides program oversight for the units conducting research in the areas of wood anatomy, wood engineering, biodeterioration of wood, protection from decay, fire, and weathering, and evaluation of the economics of wood utilization. He also heads the Advanced Housing Research Center at the Forest Products Laboratory which evaluates and develops technology for both new and existing housing in which wood and/or wood-based products are used as primary or secondary building components. Mike is a registered Professional Engineer in the state of Wisconsin.

Units within Wood Products Research

Doug Clawson - Assistant Director, Communication & Science Delivery

Anna M. Bales, Administrative Assistant

Doug Clawson joined the Forest Products Laboratory in January, 2011, and is an Assistant Director at the lab for Communications and Science Delivery. Deploying an unprecedented leading-edge communications and social-media strategy, Doug and his communications team have been instrumental in expanding the visibility and reach of the innovative work being done at the lab to a broader national and international audience. This outreach is enabling the Forest Service to begin establishing a more prominent position as a leader in forest resource utilization and accelerated forest restoration. Before coming to the Forest Service, Doug spent 25 years in the newspaper business as a reporter; editor; executive news editor; and managing editor, working at five different newspapers. In his final appointment prior to working at FPL, Doug was the Managing Editor of Stars and Stripes where he guided a worldwide editorial staff, and oversaw the coverage of two wars from the award-winning paper's overseas headquarters in Germany and Tokyo