On Friday, the Arkansas Forestry Commission's (AFC) selection panel voted to recommend Joe Fox from among six finalists to fill the spot.
Fox currently works as a forester for the Nature Conservancy.
Former Forestry Commission Director John Shannon resigned in February following an audit that criticized Shannon's management and reported the state agency had inappropriately borrowed more than $6 million from federal grant funds to cover payroll.
According to Commission Chair Allen Bedell, Fox has prior experience within the Forestry Commission, having served on the Board of Commissioners and as its chairman.
"Joe Fox's credentials are impeccable," Bedell said. "The Board of Commissioners of AFC anticipate the approval of our recommendation to Governor Beebe, and look forward to the leadership that Mr. Fox will bring to the agency."