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February 07, 2013

Sally Jewell Named as Secretary of the Interior

President Obama nominates Sally Jewell, a former commercial banker, chief executive and oil engineer, to lead the Interior Department.

President Barack Obama announced on Wednesday, Feb. 6 that Sally Jewell will be the next Secretary of the Interior. The Secretary of the Interior is responsible for managing issues involving conserving public lands such as national parks, and oversees eight bureaus including the Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service.

"Sally’s broad expertise and set of values I know are going to serve her well as she takes on these new challenges," said Obama, on Wednesday.

The American Sportfishing Association (ASA), the trade association that represents the recreational fishing industry, applauds the nomination.

“From an industry perspective, Sally Jewell understands the important role that our public waters and lands have in supporting the nation’s $646 billion outdoor recreation economy,” said ASA President Mike Nussman. “Given its responsibility for managing approximately one-fifth of the nation’s lands and waters, the Department of the Interior has a significant role in providing recreational fishing opportunities and conserving the nation’s fisheries resources.”

Nussman further said, “Public lands and the outdoor recreation economy are closely tied, and Ms. Jewell’s private sector experience provides her with a valuable perspective that would well-serve the fishing industry and all sportsmen and women.”

Previously, Jewell had worked in oil fields in Oklahoma and Colorado as an engineer for Mobil Oil Corporation, and as an energy expert in commercial banking. Most recently, she was the CEO of REI,  a national retailer of outdoor gear and clothing. 

Jewell has been a spokesperson for President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors initiative, which promotes reconnecting Americans to the outdoors and supports community-level conservation of fish and wildlife habitat. She also served on the "National Parks Second Century Commission," whose goal was to help shape the future of the National Parks System which is under the Interior’s jurisdiction.

Jewell takes over the position from Ken Salazar, who served as Secretary of the Interior during President Obama's first term.