David J. Hayes

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David Hayes
David J. Hayes - Official Photo.jpg
3rd United States Deputy Secretary of the Interior
In office
May 22, 2009 – June 30, 2013[1]
PresidentBarack Obama
Preceded byLynn Scarlett
Succeeded byMichael L. Connor
Personal details
Born1953 (age 65–66)
Rochester, New York, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Alma materUniversity of Notre Dame
Stanford Law School

David J. Hayes is the executive director of the State Energy & Environmental Impact Center (State Impact Center) at New York University School of Law. The State Impact Center is dedicated to helping state attorneys general fight against regulatory rollbacks and advocate for clean energy, climate change and environmental values and protections. It was launched in August 2017 with support from Bloomberg Philanthropies and is non-partisan.


Hayes is a 1978 graduate of the Stanford Law School, and is a 1975 summa cum laude graduate of the University of Notre Dame.


Prior to leading the State Impact Center, he was a Distinguished Visiting Lecturer at Law at Stanford Law School. As a Visiting Lecturer at Stanford, Hayes has developed and taught courses focused on renewable and conventional energy development and regulation, international wildlife trafficking, NEPA reform, and the Arctic. He has published several articles relating to this work.[2]

From 2009 to July 2013, he was the Deputy Secretary and Chief Operating Officer of the Department of the Interior in the Obama administration. His nomination was confirmed by unanimous consent on May 20, 2009 [3] by the United States Senate and he took office on May 22, 2009.[4] Hayes’ confirmation was delayed, and subject to a cloture vote, based on then-Senator Bob Bennett’s objections to Secretary Salazar’s cancellation of an oil and gas lease sale in Utah.[5][6] During his tenure as Deputy Secretary, Hayes facilitated the development of major renewable energy projects by helping to institute permitting reforms and introducing landscape-scale planning for solar projects on public lands and wind projects in offshore waters.[7] He oversaw the establishment of a network of climate science and regional cooperatives to address climate change impacts on resources; managed the day-to-day response to the Gulf Oil spill; negotiated a resolution of the Cobell Indian trust fund litigation and oversaw the settlement of several Indian water rights settlements; and was the point person for the Administration on water issues in California and energy issues in Alaska.[8] After helping to develop the Administration’s response to the African wildlife trafficking crisis, the President appointed Hayes to the White House Advisory Council on Wildlife Trafficking.[9]

Hayes served as Counselor to Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt, and then as the Senate-confirmed Deputy Secretary of the Interior, during the Clinton administration (1997–2001). Before and between his service in the Clinton and Obama administrations, Hayes practiced environmental and energy law as Global Chairman of the Environment, Land and Resources department at the firm of Latham & Watkins (1990-1997; 2001-2008). He was a Senior Fellow at the Hewlett Foundation from 2013 to 2014, and he previously served as a Senior Fellow of the World Wildlife Fund, and as a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute (the think tank affiliated with the Democratic Leadership Council).

During Hayes' first tenure as Deputy Secretary of the Interior, he focused on environmental priorities, including the acquisition and protection of threatened lands (e.g., the Headwaters old-growth redwood forest in Northern California); the restoration of threatened ecosystems (e.g. the Bay-Delta ecosystem restoration project in California); the introduction of modern water management approaches in the west (e.g. the Colorado River initiatives undertaken by the Clinton administration); the negotiation of habitat conservation plans under the Endangered Species Act; energy-related issues associated with federal lands and resources (e.g. oil and gas development, hydropower licensing, etc.); and the settlement of long-standing Indian water and land disputes.

Active in the non-profit field, Hayes is the former Chairman of the Board of the non-partisan Environmental Law Institute. He also served[10] as the Vice-Chairman of the national conservation group, American Rivers, and was[11] a board member of RESOLVE, a non-profit that focuses on problem-solving in the energy and environmental fields.

During the 2007-2008 academic year, Hayes was a Consulting Professor at Stanford University's Woods Institute for the Environment,[12] where he undertook a special project analyzing the regulatory challenges associated with carbon offsets. His report was published by the Center for American Progress. He is the author of dozens of journal articles on issues related to energy and the environment.

Prior to his appointment as Deputy Secretary, Hayes headed up energy and the environment agency review for President-elect Obama’s Transition Team, with responsibility over the Departments of Agriculture, Interior, Energy and the EPA. He was a lead environmental and energy advisor to the Kerry campaign in 2004; acted as special emissary for Vice President Gore to advise the new President of Bolivia on sustainable development issues in 1993 and 1994; and served on the EPA Transition Team for President-elect Clinton in 1992.

He served[13][14] as Chairman of the Board of Visitors for the Stanford Law School.

Personal life[edit]

Born in Rochester, NY in 1953, Hayes lives in Palo Alto, CA with his wife Elizabeth Haile Hayes. They have three children, Katherine, Stephen, and Molly.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Snow, Nick. "Hayes resigns as Deputy US Interior Secretary". Oil and Gas Journal. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
  2. ^ "David J. Hayes".
  3. ^ "Senate confirms Hayes's nomination as deputy DOI secretary".
  4. ^ "Secretary Salazar Swears in David J. Hayes as Deputy Secretary of the Interior". Archived from the original on 2009-10-16. Retrieved 2009-05-26.
  5. ^ "U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 111th Congress - 1st Session".
  6. ^ Kane, Paul (May 14, 2009). "GOP Senators Block Interior Nominee's Confirmation". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 1, 2010.{
  7. ^ See generally Congressional Record – Senate, "S516-S518". (July 10, 2013). See also David J. Hayes, "Thinking Big," (PDF).[permanent dead link] The Environmental Forum (Nov/Dec 2013) and David J. Hayes, "Addressing the Environmental Impacts of Large Infrastructure Projects: Making 'Mitigation' Matter" (PDF)., 44 Envtl. L. Rep. 100 (2014).
  8. ^ Id.
  9. ^ http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2013/09/09/announcing-advisory-council-president-s-taskforce-wildlife-trafficking
  10. ^ "David Hayes - Washington Post Live". Archived from the original on 2012-03-19. Retrieved 2011-04-14.
  11. ^ "RESOLVE Board of Directors".
  12. ^ "Environmental Faculty Profile David J. Hayes".
  13. ^ "SLS Board of Visitors 2008". Archived from the original on 2012-03-19. Retrieved 2011-04-14.
  14. ^ "SLS Board of Visitors 2010".
Political offices
Preceded by
Lynn Scarlett
United States Deputy Secretary of the Interior
Succeeded by
Michael L. Connor