Washington, D.C.–The Department of the Interior Wednesday announced key members of agency leadership who will advance the Biden-Harris administration’s agenda to build back better and address the four intersecting challenges in the U.S. : COVID-19, economic recovery, racial equity, and climate change.
“With today’s announcement, President Biden is delivering on his commitment to build teams that exude talent and experience, and look like America,” said Jennifer Van der Heide, incoming Chief of Staff. “We look forward to working with the dedicated civil servants at the Department to fulfill Interior’s missions, advance President Biden’s vision to honor our nation-to-nation relationship with Tribes and uphold the trust and treaty responsibilities to them, address the climate and nature crises, and build a clean energy future that creates good-paying jobs and powers our nation. We are ready to get to work on behalf of the American people.”
Interior’s team reflects the Biden-Harris commitment to diversity, with more than 80% of First Day appointees identifying as people of color, women, or LGBTQ. Additional members of the Biden-Harris appointee team will be named in the days and weeks to come.
The incoming leadership team possesses a broad range of expertise and perspectives — representing decades of experience in federal, state, and tribal governments; academia; and non-profit and advocacy organizations. As part of the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to the highest ethical standards, all appointees received an initial ethics training today following their swearing-in.
The leadership team is listed here in alphabetical order along with their new role:
- Robert Anderson, Principal Deputy Solicitor
- Travis Annatoyn, Deputy Solicitor for Energy and Mineral Resources
- Ann Marie Bledsoe Downes, Deputy Solicitor for Indian Affairs
- Tyler Cherry, Press Secretary
- Laura Daniel Davis, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary – Land and Minerals Management
- Shannon Estenoz, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary – Fish and Wildlife and Parks
- Morgan Gray, Deputy Director of Congressional Affairs – Senate
- Ruchi Jain, Deputy Solicitor for General Law
- Kate Kelly, Deputy Chief of Staff – Policy
- Marissa Knodel, Advisor, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
- Shantha Ready-Alonso, Director for Intergovernmental and External Affairs
- Paniz Rezaeerod, Deputy Director of Congressional Affairs – House
- Melissa Schwartz, Communications Director
- Janea Scott, Counselor to the Secretary
- Rachael Taylor, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary – Policy, Management and Budget
- Maggie Thompson, White House Liaison
- Maria (Camille) Touton, Deputy Commissioner, Bureau of Reclamation
- Tanya Trujillo, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary – Water and Science
- Jennifer Van der Heide, Chief of Staff
- Andrew Wallace, Director of Congressional Affairs
- Martha Williams, Principal Deputy Director, Fish and Wildlife Service
The Department of the Interior conserves and manages the nation’s natural resources and cultural heritage for the American people, and provides scientific and other information about natural resources.