United States Secretary of the Interior
Seal of the United States Department of the Interior.svg
Seal of the Department of the Interior
Flag of the United States Secretary of the Interior.svg
Flag of the Secretary of the Interior
Secretary Deb Haaland, official headshot.jpg
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; 173 years ago (1849-03-03)
First holderThomas Ewing
SuccessionEighth[1]
DeputyUnited States Deputy Secretary of the Interior
SalaryExecutive Schedule, Level I
Websitedoi.gov

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 along with 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,[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 to hold the position.[5]

Line of succession

The line of succession for the secretary of interior is as follows:[6]

  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

As of September 2022, 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 and most recently serving to die was Manuel Lujan Jr. (served 1989–1993, born 1928), on April 25, 2019.

Name Term of office Date of birth (and age)
James G. Watt 1981–1983 (1938-01-31) January 31, 1938 (age 84)
Donald P. Hodel 1985–1989 (1935-05-23) May 23, 1935 (age 87)
Bruce E. Babbitt 1993–2001 (1938-06-27) June 27, 1938 (age 84)
Gale A. Norton 2001–2006 (1954-03-11) March 11, 1954 (age 68)
Dirk Kempthorne 2006–2009 (1951-10-29) October 29, 1951 (age 70)
Ken Salazar 2009–2013 (1955-03-02) March 2, 1955 (age 67)
Sally Jewell 2013–2017 (1956-02-21) February 21, 1956 (age 66)
Ryan Zinke 2017–2019 (1961-11-01) November 1, 1961 (age 60)
David Bernhardt 2019–2021 (1969-08-17) August 17, 1969 (age 53)

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. ^ Rott, Nathan (March 15, 2021). "Deb Haaland Confirmed As 1st Native American Interior Secretary". NPR.
  6. ^ "Chapter 3: Secretarial Succession". Electronic Library of the Interior Policies. September 3, 2004. Retrieved October 30, 2016.
  7. ^ "About Secretary Jewell". U.S. Department of the Interior. Archived from the original on June 8, 2013. Retrieved May 23, 2013.