Government Agency

Biden Administration – Department of the Interior

Website:

www.doi.gov/

This profile contains Biden Administration nominations and appointments made at the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Nominations and Appointments

Deb Haaland is Secretary of the Interior. She was formerly a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District, and also the former Chairwoman of the New Mexico Democratic Party.[1] She was the Democratic candidate for Lieutenant Governor of New Mexico in 2014, served as the New Mexico Native American vote director for President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, and was formerly the Chairwoman of the Laguna Development Corporation.[2]

Haaland’s nomination prompted controversy related to some of her positions on environmental issues, which have been described as “radically anti-fossil-fuel.” She has expressed support for the Green New Deal and opposition to “fracking and drilling on public land.”[3] Haaland was ultimately confirmed by the U.S. Senate in a 51-40 vote.

Tommy Beaudreau is Deputy Secretary of the Interior. He was most recently a partner at the law firm of Latham & Watkins, and before that served in the U.S. Department of the Interior as Director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Acting Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management, and Chief of Staff. He has been a non-resident fellow at Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy.[4]

Shannon Estenoz is Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks. She was most recently the Chief Operating Office at the Everglades Foundation.[5] She also formerly served in executive roles at the Environmental and Land Use Law Center, the World Wildlife Fund, and the National Parks Conservation Association. During the Obama Administration, she was Director of Everglades Restoration Initiatives at the U.S. Department of the Interior. She has served as national co-chair of the Everglades Coalition.[6]

Tanya Trujillo is Assistant Secretary for Water and Science. She was most recently a project director at the Colorado River Sustainability Campaign, a fiscally sponsored project of the New Venture Fund. She is the former Executive Director of the Colorado River Board of California, and also served as Counselor to the Assistant Secretary for Water and Science at the U.S. Department of the Interior and as Senior Council to the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. She has served as Vice Chair of the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission.[7]

Tracy Stone-Manning is Director of the Bureau of Land Management. She was most recently senior advisor for conservation policy at the National Wildlife Federation, where she also previously served as associate vice president for public lands. Before that, she served as chief of staff to Montana Governor Steve Bullock, as director of the Montana Department of Environmental Quality, and as a regional director and senior advisor to Senator Jon Tester (D-MT). Before that, she was executive director of the Clark Fork Coalition.[8]

Stone-Manning’s nomination provoked considerable controversy due to her affiliation with the radical environmental activist group Earth First! during the 1980s. According to the Wall Street Journal, Stone-Manning used a rented typewriter to re-type a letter warning the U.S. Forest Service that “five hundred pounds of spikes measuring 8 to 10 inches” had been driven into Idaho trees, and that loggers would get “hurt” if they attempted to bring them down.[9] Though Stone-Manning has since worked to minimize her role in the episode, and told the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee that she had never been the target of an investigation, an investigator in the case claimed that she was an initial target of the investigation, only cooperating with authorities after being granted immunity in exchange for her testimony. According to the Washington Post, one of the investigators in the case wrote that “Ms. Stone-Manning was not an innocent bystander, nor was she a victim in this case.”[10] Stone-Manning was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in a 50-45 vote.[11]

Charles F. Sams III is Director of the National Park Service. He most recently served as a member of the Northwest Power and Conservation Council. He has formerly served as executive director of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, as president and CEO of the Indian Country Conservancy, as executive director of the Umatilla Tribal Community Foundation, as national director of the tribal & native lands program for the Trust for Public Land, as executive director of the Columbia Slough Watershed Council, as executive director of the Community Energy Project, and as president and CEO of the Earth Conservation Corps.[12] His nomination was uncontroversial and he was unanimously confirmed by the Senate.[13]

References

  1. “Climate Nominees and Appointees: Congresswoman Deb Haaland.” Biden-Harris Transition. Accessed December 18, 2020. Available at: https://buildbackbetter.gov/nominees-and-appointees/deb-haaland/ ^
  2. “Debra Haaland.” Ballotpedia. Accessed December 18, 2020. Available at: https://ballotpedia.org/Debra_Haaland ^
  3. Gessing, Paul. “Deb Haaland Could Be a Disaster at Interior.” National Review. February 23, 2021. Available at: https://www.nationalreview.com/2021/02/deb-haaland-could-be-a-disaster-at-interior/ ^
  4. “Tommy P. Beaudreau.” Latham & Watkins LLP. Accessed June 21, 2021. Available at: https://www.lw.com/people/tommy-beaudreau ^
  5. “Shannon A. Estenoz.” U.S. Department of the Interior. June 25, 2021. Available at: https://www.doi.gov/shannon-estenoz ^
  6. “Shannon Estenoz.” U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities. Accessed January 8, 2021. Available at: https://www.usendowment.org/who-we-are/board-of-directors/shannon-estenoz/ ^
  7. “The Team.” Colorado River Sustainability Campaign. Accessed January 8, 2021. Available at: https://www.rivercampaign.org/the-team ^
  8. Saccone, Mike. “Stone-Manning Nomination Highlights Biden Administration’s Commitment to Balanced, Responsible Lands Management.” National Wildlife Federation. April 22, 2021. Available at: https://www.nwf.org/Latest-News/Press-Releases/2021/04-22-21-Stone-Manning-BLM-Nomination ^
  9. Strassel, Kimberley A. “Biden’s Monkeywrencher.” The Wall Street Journal. July 8, 2021. Available at: https://www.wsj.com/articles/bidens-monkeywrencher-11625783897 ^
  10. Grandoni, Dino. “Biden’s Public Lands Nominee, Once Linked to Eco-saboteurs, Advances with Key Senate Vote.” The Washington Post. July 22,2021. Available at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2021/07/22/tracy-stone-manning-biden-senate/ ^
  11. Frazin, Rachel. “Senate Confirms Biden’s Controversial Land Management Pick.” The Hill. September 30, 2021. Available at: https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/574738-senate-confirms-bidens-controversial-land-management-pick ^
  12. “White House Announces Nomination of Charles F. Sams III as National Park Service Director.” U.S. Department of the Interior. August 18, 2021. Available at: https://www.doi.gov/pressreleases/white-house-announces-nomination-charles-f-sams-iii-national-park-service-director ^
  13. Cohen, Li. “Charles Sams III Becomes First Native American to Head National Park Service in its 105-year History.” CBS News. November 20, 2021. Available at: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/charles-sams-iii-first-native-american-to-head-national-park-service-105-year-history/ ^
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