For his pick as the next secretary of interior, President Barack Obama has opted for a Washington outsider.
Obama is expected to announce Wednesday his nomination of outdoor equipment giant REI's chief executive Sally Jewell to head the Interior Department. Jewell was an engineer for Mobil Oil and worked as a commercial banker before becoming CEO of the $2 billion company, the Washington Post reports.
Jewell would be the first woman in Obama's crop of second-term Cabinet nominees. If confirmed by the Senate, she would oversee hundreds of millions of acres of public lands and waters, including regulating oil and gas activity on them. Her lack of public policy experience makes her an unusual pick for a post typically held by career politicians from the Western states. But Jewell has earned recognition for her management skills and support for outdoor recreation and habitat conservation, the Post said.
REI's web site says the company donates millions of dollars to conservation efforts and sends volunteers to build trails, clean up beaches, restore local habitats and other projects.
Jewell would succeed Interior Secretary Ken Salazar at a time when many conservationists are pressing Obama to take bolder action on land conservation, the Post said.
Via the Washington Post and REI