United States Secretary of the Interior

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Secretary of the Interior of the United States
Seal of the United States Department of the Interior.svg
Seal of the U.S. Department of the Interior
Flag of the United States Secretary of the Interior.svg
Flag of the U.S. Secretary of the Interior
Ryan Zinke official portrait.jpg
Ryan Zinke

since March 1, 2017
United States Department of the Interior
Style Mr. Secretary
Member of Cabinet
Reports to The President
Seat Washington, D.C.
Appointer The President
with Senate advice and consent
Term length No fixed term
Constituting instrument 43 U.S.C. § 1451
Formation March 3, 1849; 168 years ago (1849-03-03)
First holder Thomas Ewing
Succession Eighth[1]
Deputy Deputy Secretary of the Interior
Salary Executive Schedule, level 1
Website www.doi.gov
The former flag of the United States Secretary of the Interior, which was used from 1917 to 1934.

The United States Secretary of the Interior is the head of the U.S. Department of the Interior.

The U.S. Department of the Interior is responsible for the management and conservation of most federal land and natural resources; it oversees such agencies as the Bureau of Land Management, the United States Geological Survey, 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 President's Cabinet.

The U.S. Department of the Interior should not be confused with the Ministries of the Interior as used in many other countries. Ministries of the Interior in these other countries correspond primarily to the Department of Homeland Security in the U.S. Cabinet and secondarily to the Department of Justice.

Because 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 of the individuals to hold the office since 1949 is not identified with a state lying west of the Mississippi River.

The current Interior Secretary is Ryan Zinke, who was nominated by President Donald Trump on December 13, 2016 [3] and approved by the Senate on March 1, 2017.

The line of succession for the Secretary of Interior is as follows:[4]

  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 February 2018, eight former Secretaries of the Interior are alive, the oldest being Manuel Lujan, Jr. (served 1989-1993, born 1928). The most recent to die was Cecil D. Andrus (served 1977-1981, born 1931), on August 23, 2017.

Name Term of office Date of birth (and age)
James G. Watt 1981–1983 (1938-01-31) January 31, 1938 (age 80)
Donald P. Hodel 1985–1989 (1935-05-23) May 23, 1935 (age 82)
Manuel Lujan, Jr. 1989–1993 (1928-05-12) May 12, 1928 (age 89)
Bruce E. Babbitt 1993–2001 (1938-06-27) June 27, 1938 (age 79)
Gale A. Norton 2001–2006 (1954-03-11) March 11, 1954 (age 63)
Dirk Kempthorne 2006–2009 (1951-10-29) October 29, 1951 (age 66)
Ken Salazar 2009–2013 (1955-03-02) March 2, 1955 (age 62)
Sally Jewell 2013–2017 (1956-02-21) February 21, 1956 (age 62)


  1. ^ https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/3/19
  2. ^ Salazar, Vilsack: The West's New Land Lords Archived 2008-12-20 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ Vogel, Kenneth; Severns, Maggie (December 13, 2016). "Trump selects Zinke as interior secretary". Politico. Washington, DC. Retrieved December 13, 2016. 
  4. ^ "Chapter 3: SECRETARIAL SUCCESSION (2) - Laserfiche WebLink". elips.doi.gov. Retrieved 2016-10-30. 
  5. ^ "About Secretary Jewell". U.S. Department of the Interior. Archived from the original on 8 June 2013. Retrieved 23 May 2013. 

External links

  • Official website
  • List of Secretaries of the Interior (worldstatesmen.org)
  • The Department of Everything Else: Highlights of Interior History (1989)
Current U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Jeff Sessions
as Attorney General
Order of Precedence of the United States
as Secretary of the Interior
Succeeded by
Sonny Perdue
as Secretary of Agriculture
Current U.S. presidential line of succession
Preceded by
Attorney General
Jeff Sessions
8th in line Succeeded by
Secretary of Agriculture
Sonny Perdue
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