United States Secretary of the Interior

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.

United States Secretary of the Interior
Seal of the Department of the Interior
Flag of the Secretary of the Interior
Incumbent
Deb Haaland

since March 16, 2021
United States Department of the Interior
StyleMadam Secretary
(informal)
The Honorable
(formal)
Member ofCabinet
Reports toPresident of the United States
SeatWashington, D.C.
AppointerPresident of the United States
with Senate advice and consent
Term lengthNo fixed term
Constituting instrument43 U.S.C. § 1451
FormationMarch 3, 1849 (1849-03-03)
First holderThomas Ewing
SuccessionEighth[1]
DeputyUnited States Deputy Secretary of the Interior
SalaryExecutive Schedule, Level I
Websitewww.doi.gov

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,[2] 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.

Secretary of the Interior is a Level I position in the Executive Schedule,[3] thus earning a salary of US$221,400, as of January 2021.[4]

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:[5]

  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 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 (1938-01-31) January 31, 1938
Donald P. Hodel 1985–1989 (1935-05-23) May 23, 1935
Bruce E. Babbitt 1993–2001 (1938-06-27) June 27, 1938
Gale A. Norton 2001–2006 (1954-03-11) March 11, 1954
Dirk Kempthorne 2006–2009 (1951-10-29) October 29, 1951
Ken Salazar 2009–2013 (1955-03-02) March 2, 1955
Sally Jewell 2013–2017 (1956-02-21) February 21, 1956
Ryan Zinke 2017–2019 (1961-11-01) November 1, 1961
David Bernhardt 2019–2021 (1969-08-17) August 17, 1969

References

  1. "3 U.S. Code § 19 - Vacancy in offices of both President and Vice President; officers eligible to act". Legal Information Institute.
  2. Lowery, Courtney (December 17, 2008). "Salazar, Vilsack: The West's New Land Lords". New West. Archived from the original on December 20, 2008.
  3. 5 U.S.C. § 5312
  4. "Salary Table No. 2021-EX: Rates of Basic Pay for the Executive Schedule (EX)" (PDF). United States Office of Personnel Management. January 2021.
  5. "Chapter 3: Secretarial Succession". Electronic Library of the Interior Policies. September 3, 2004. Retrieved October 30, 2016.
  6. "About Secretary Jewell". U.S. Department of the Interior. Archived from the original on June 8, 2013. Retrieved May 23, 2013.
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Merrick Garland
as Attorney General
Order of precedence of the United States
as Secretary of the Interior
Succeeded by
Tom Vilsack
as Secretary of Agriculture
U.S. presidential line of succession
Preceded by
Attorney General
Merrick Garland
8th in line Succeeded by
Secretary of Agriculture
Tom Vilsack
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