United States Deputy Secretary of the Interior

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Deputy Secretary of the Interior of the United States
Seal of the United States Department of the Interior.svg
Seal of the Department of the Interior
Flag of the United States Deputy Secretary of the Interior.svg
Flag of the Deputy Secretary of the Interior
David Bernhardt official photo (cropped).jpg
David L. Bernhardt

since August 1, 2017[1]
Department of the Interior
Style Mr. Deputy Secretary
The Honorable
(formal address in writing)
Reports to Secretary of the Interior
Seat Washington, D.C., United States
Appointer The President
with Senate advice and consent
Term length No fixed term
Constituting instrument 45 U.S.C. § 1452
Formation 1995
First holder John Garamendi
Salary Level II of the Executive Schedule
Website www.doi.gov

The Deputy Secretary of the Interior, in the United States government, advises and assists the Secretary of the Interior in the supervision and direction of the Department of the Interior and its activities, and succeeds the Secretary in his or her absence, sickness, or unavailability.[2] The Deputy Secretary of the Interior is appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate.[3] In 1990, the title of the position was changed from Under Secretary of the Interior to Deputy Secretary of the Interior.[4]

With the resignation Secretary Gale Norton announced March 10, 2006, effective at the end of March, Lynn Scarlett became the Acting Secretary of the Interior until President George W. Bush's nomination for Secretary, Dirk Kempthorne, was confirmed by the United States Senate on May 26 of that year.[5]

Section 3346 of U.S. Code within Title 5, or 5 U.S.C. § 3346, details time limitations of acting officers. An acting officer may serve no longer than 210 days after the vacancy, from the date a first or second nomination is pending before the Senate, the date a first or second nomination is withdrawn, rejected, or returned, or the date the Senate reconvenes if the appointment has taken place while Congress has adjourned sine die.[6]

List of Deputy Secretaries of Interior

# Name Term began Term ended President(s) served under
1 John Garamendi August 15, 1995 April 1998 Bill Clinton
2 Lynn Scarlett 2005 May 22, 2009 George W. Bush
Barack Obama
3 David J. Hayes May 22, 2009 June 30, 2013[7]
4 Michael L. Connor February 27, 2014 January 20, 2017
* Julie Lillie (acting) January 20, 2017 August 1, 2017 Donald Trump
5 David L. Bernhardt August 1, 2017 Incumbent

Other former Deputy Secretaries include David J. Hayes who served during the second term of the Clinton administration from 1997 to 2001, and J. Steven Griles who served during President George W. Bush's first term from 2001 to 2004.


  1. ^ "Colorado's David Bernhardt is sworn into post as deputy Interior secretary after contentious nomination". August 1, 2017. Retrieved September 24, 2018.
  2. ^ "US Code: Title 5,3345. Acting officer". Retrieved September 20, 2007.
  3. ^ "US Code: Title 43,1452. Deputy Secretary of the Interior; appointment". Retrieved September 20, 2007.
  4. ^ "US CODE: Title 43,1452. Deputy Secretary of the Interior; appointment". Retrieved September 20, 2007.
  5. ^ "U.S. Department of the Interior - Lynn Scarlett Biography". Archived from the original on August 4, 2007. Retrieved September 20, 2007.
  6. ^ "US Code: Title 5,3346. Time limitation". Retrieved September 20, 2007.
  7. ^ Snow, Nick. "Hayes resigns as Deputy US Interior Secretary". Oil and Gas Journal. Retrieved March 1, 2014.
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