Sally Jewell Nominated to Head Interior
Interior Secretary nominee Sally Jewell joined WTA's Karen Daubert, Senator Maria Cantwell and other local environmental leaders on a hike last to Rattlesnake Ledges last summer.
Today President Barack Obama nominated Sally Jewell to be the new Secretary of the Interior. Jewell is a longtime resident of Washington, a hiker, conservationist and businesswoman. She has been CEO of outdoor retailer REI since 2005 and spent 20 years in the banking industry. During her tenure at REI, she’s been a strong advocate for hiking and youth in the outdoors, and if confirmed, will give our state a strong presence in Washington, DC.
“Sally Jewell is a Pacific Northwest treasure. She's a savvy, visionary leader and committed conservationist,” commented WTA Executive Director Karen Daubert who went hiking with her last summer. “We commend the Obama administration for making such an excellent choice, and look forward to working with an Interior Secretary of such caliber who hails from Washington.”
Jewell brings a strong business background to the agency. In addition to her eight years at the helm of REI, where she oversees 11,000 employees, more than 120 retail stores, and almost $2 billion in annual revenue, Jewell had a 20 year career in the banking industry and a few early years as a petroleum engineer. She’s a strong conservationist as well. She is currently a vice chair of the National Parks and Conservation Association and a board member and longtime leader of Mountains to Sound Greenway.
Jewell is the first woman appointed by President Obama to a top post since his election. She represents an unconventional choice for Interior, traditionally led by male politicians from Rocky Mountain states.
The Department of Interior has broad jurisdiction over the country's federal land and natural resources. The National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Geologic Survey and Bureau of Reclamation are just some of the agencies that will be under Jewell’s direction. The U.S. Forest Service is managed by the Department of Agriculture.
If confirmed, Jewell will be stepping into a big job with many challenges. From fiscal cliff scenarios at every agency to climate change, energy policy and the call for the Obama administration to leave a legacy on public lands, it will be interesting to see one of our own tackle the issues and leave her mark at the agency.With current Interior Secretary Ken Salazar stepping down in March, it is likely that the Senate will take up her nomination within the next few weeks.
All of us at Washington Trails Association wishes her the best of luck!