United States Secretary of the Interior

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The United States secretary of the interior is the head of the United States Department of the Interior. The Department of the Interior in the United States is responsible for the management and conservation of most federal land and natural resources; it oversees such agencies as the Bureau of Land Management, the United States Geological Survey, and the National Park Service. The secretary also serves on and appoints the private citizens on the National Park Foundation board. The secretary is a member of the president’s Cabinet. The U.S. Department of the Interior should not be confused with the Ministries of the Interior as used in many other countries. Ministries of the Interior in these other countries correspond primarily to the Department of Homeland Security in the U.S. Cabinet and secondarily to the Department of Justice.

Because the policies and activities of the Department of the Interior and many of its agencies have a substantial impact in the Western United States,[2] the Secretary of the Interior has typically come from a western state; only two of the individuals to hold the office since 1949 have not been from a state lying west of the Mississippi River. The current interior secretary is David Bernhardt, who held the office in an acting capacity until April 2019. He succeeded Ryan Zinke who resigned on January 2, 2019.

Line of succession

The line of succession for the Secretary of Interior is as follows:[3]

  1. Deputy Secretary of the Interior
  2. Solicitor of the Interior
  3. Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management and Budget
  4. Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management
  5. Assistant Secretary for Water and Science
  6. Assistant Secretary for Fish, Wildlife and Parks
  7. Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs
  8. Director, Security, Safety, and Law Enforcement, Bureau of Reclamation
  9. Central Region Director, US Geological Survey
  10. Intermountain Regional Director, National Park Service
  11. Region 6 (Mountain-Prairie Region) Director, US Fish and Wildlife Service
  12. Colorado State Director, Bureau of Land Management
  13. Regional Solicitor, Rocky Mountain Region

List of secretaries of the interior

Living former secretaries of the interior

The former flag of the United States Secretary of the Interior, which was used from 1917 to 1934

As of June 2019, eight former secretaries of the interior are alive (with all secretaries that have served since 1993 still living), the oldest being Donald P. Hodel (served 1985–1989, born 1935). The most recent to die was Manuel Lujan Jr. (served 1989–1993, born 1928), on April 25, 2019. He was also the most recently serving secretary to die.

Name Term of office Date of birth (and age)
James G. Watt 1981–1983 (1938-01-31) January 31, 1938 (age 81)
Donald P. Hodel 1985–1989 (1935-05-23) May 23, 1935 (age 84)
Bruce E. Babbitt 1993–2001 (1938-06-27) June 27, 1938 (age 80)
Gale A. Norton 2001–2006 (1954-03-11) March 11, 1954 (age 65)
Dirk Kempthorne 2006–2009 (1951-10-29) October 29, 1951 (age 67)
Ken Salazar 2009–2013 (1955-03-02) March 2, 1955 (age 64)
Sally Jewell 2013–2017 (1956-02-21) February 21, 1956 (age 63)
Ryan Zinke 2017-2019 (1961-11-01) November 1, 1961 (age 57)

References

  1. ^ https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/3/19
  2. ^ Salazar, Vilsack: The West’s New Land Lords Archived December 20, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ “Chapter 3: SECRETARIAL SUCCESSION (2) – Laserfiche WebLink”. elips.doi.gov. Retrieved October 30, 2016.
  4. ^ “About Secretary Jewell”. U.S. Department of the Interior. Archived from the original on June 8, 2013. Retrieved May 23, 2013.

External links

U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Matthew Whitaker
as Acting Attorney General
Order of Precedence of the United States
as Secretary of the Interior
Succeeded by
Sonny Perdue
as Secretary of Agriculture
U.S. presidential line of succession
Preceded by
Secretary of Defense
James Mattis
8th in line Succeeded by
Secretary of Agriculture
Sonny Perdue


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