United States Secretary of the Interior
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United States Secretary of the Interior

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
Scott de la Vega in 2020.png
Scott de la Vega

since January 20, 2021
United States Department of the Interior
StyleMr. Secretary
The Honorable
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; 171 years ago (1849-03-03)
First holderThomas Ewing
DeputyUnited States Deputy Secretary of the Interior
SalaryExecutive 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,[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.

The acting secretary of the interior is Scott de la Vega, who succeeded David Bernhardt, who resigned on January 20, 2021.

President Joe Biden has nominated U.S. representative Deb Haaland as the secretary of the interior, the first Native American woman selected for the position.

Line of succession

The line of succession for the secretary of interior is as follows:[3]

  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 February 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 (age 83)
Donald P. Hodel 1985-1989 (1935-05-23) May 23, 1935 (age 85)
Bruce E. Babbitt 1993-2001 (1938-06-27) June 27, 1938 (age 82)
Gale A. Norton 2001-2006 (1954-03-11) March 11, 1954 (age 66)
Dirk Kempthorne 2006-2009 (1951-10-29) October 29, 1951 (age 69)
Ken Salazar 2009-2013 (1955-03-02) March 2, 1955 (age 65)
Sally Jewell 2013-2017 (1956-02-21) February 21, 1956 (age 65)
Ryan Zinke 2017-2019 (1961-11-01) November 1, 1961 (age 59)
David Bernhardt 2019-2021 (1969-08-17) August 17, 1969 (age 51)


  1. ^ https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/3/19
  2. ^ Salazar, Vilsack: The West's New Land Lords Archived December 20, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Chapter 3: SECRETARIAL SUCCESSION (2) - Laserfiche WebLink". elips.doi.gov. Retrieved 2016.
  4. ^ "About Secretary Jewell". U.S. Department of the Interior. Archived from the original on June 8, 2013. Retrieved 2013.

External links

U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
as Attorney General
Order of Precedence of the United States
as Secretary of the Interior
Succeeded by
as Secretary of Agriculture
U.S. presidential line of succession
Preceded by
Attorney General
8th in line Succeeded by
Secretary of Agriculture

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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