United States Secretary of the Interior
|United States Secretary of the Interior|
|United States Department of the Interior|
|Reports to||President of the United States|
|Appointer||President of the United States|
with Senate advice and consent
|Term length||No fixed term|
|Constituting instrument||43 U.S.C. § 1451|
|Formation||March 3, 1849|
|First holder||Thomas Ewing|
|Deputy||United States Deputy Secretary of the Interior|
|Salary||Executive Schedule, Level I|
The United States secretary of the interior is the head of the United States Department of the Interior. The secretary and the Department of the Interior are responsible for the management and conservation of most federal land and natural resources, leading such agencies as the Bureau of Land Management, the United States Geological Survey, Bureau of Indian Affairs, 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 United States Cabinet and reports to the president of the United States. The function of the U.S. Department of the Interior is different from that of the interior minister designated in many other countries.
As the policies and activities of the Department of the Interior and many of its agencies have a substantial impact in the Western United States, the secretary of the interior has typically come from a western state; only one secretary since 1949, Rogers Morton, was not a resident or native of a state lying west of the Mississippi River.
Following senate confirmation, former U.S. representative Deb Haaland was sworn in as the secretary of the interior, the first Native American woman to hold the position.
Line of succession
The line of succession for the secretary of interior is as follows:
- Deputy Secretary of the Interior
- Solicitor of the Interior
- Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management and Budget
- Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management
- Assistant Secretary for Water and Science
- Assistant Secretary for Fish, Wildlife and Parks
- Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs
- Director, Security, Safety, and Law Enforcement, Bureau of Reclamation
- Central Region Director, US Geological Survey
- Intermountain Regional Director, National Park Service
- Region 6 (Mountain-Prairie Region) Director, US Fish and Wildlife Service
- Colorado State Director, Bureau of Land Management
- Regional Solicitor, Rocky Mountain Region
List of secretaries of the interior
acting Secretary of the InteriorDenotes
Living former secretaries of the interior
As of September 2021, nine 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||January 31, 1938|
|Donald P. Hodel||1985–1989||May 23, 1935|
|Bruce E. Babbitt||1993–2001||June 27, 1938|
|Gale A. Norton||2001–2006||March 11, 1954|
|Dirk Kempthorne||2006–2009||October 29, 1951|
|Ken Salazar||2009–2013||March 2, 1955|
|Sally Jewell||2013–2017||February 21, 1956|
|Ryan Zinke||2017–2019||November 1, 1961|
|David Bernhardt||2019–2021||August 17, 1969|
- "3 U.S. Code § 19 - Vacancy in offices of both President and Vice President; officers eligible to act". Legal Information Institute.
- Lowery, Courtney (December 17, 2008). "Salazar, Vilsack: The West's New Land Lords". New West. Archived from the original on December 20, 2008.
- 5 U.S.C. § 5312
- "Salary Table No. 2021-EX: Rates of Basic Pay for the Executive Schedule (EX)" (PDF). United States Office of Personnel Management. January 2021.
- "Chapter 3: Secretarial Succession". Electronic Library of the Interior Policies. September 3, 2004. Retrieved October 30, 2016.
- "About Secretary Jewell". U.S. Department of the Interior. Archived from the original on June 8, 2013. Retrieved May 23, 2013.
- Official website
- Utley, Robert M.; Mackintosh, Barry (1989). "The Department of Everything Else: Highlights of Interior History". National Park Service. Archived from the original on March 28, 2006.