Outdoor retail exec picked for Interior Department
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has picked Sally Jewell, a business executive who has earned national recognition for her support of outdoor recreation and habitat conservation, to lead the Interior Department, the White House said today.
Jewell is the president and chief executive officer at the outdoors company Recreational Equipment, Inc., known as REI, which sells clothing and gear for outdoor adventures with more than 100 stores across the country. Before joining Kent, Wash.-based REI in 2000, Jewell worked in commercial banking and as an engineer for Mobil Oil Corp. She took the top post at REI in 2005.
If confirmed, Jewell would replace current Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who had the post throughout Obama's first term. Salazar announced last month that he would step down in March.
Jewell, 56, donated $5,000 to Obama's re-election effort. She would be the first woman in Obama's crop of second-term Cabinet nominees. The White House faced criticism that the new Cabinet lacked diversity after Obama tapped a string of white men for top posts, but Obama promised more diverse nominees were in the queue for other jobs.