Obama to nominate REI’s CEO to head Interior Department

(Brendan Smialowski / Getty Images) (Brendan Smialowski / Getty Images)

President Obama on Wednesday will nominate Recreational Equipment (REI) chief executive Sally Jewell to head the Interior Department, according to a White House official who asked not to be identified because the public announcement has not yet been made.

The choice of Jewell, who began her career as an engineer for Mobil Oil and worked as a commercial banker before heading a nearly $2 billion outdoors equipment company, represents an unconventional choice for a post usually reserved for career politicians from the West.

But while she boasts less public policy experience than other candidates who had been under consideration, Jewell, who will have to be confirmed by the Senate, has earned national recognition for her management skills and support for outdoor recreation and habitat conservation.

For more details, read the complete story from Washington Post reporter Juliet Eilperin.

Also, see In the Loop’s prediction that the search for a new interior secretary came down to a battle between two women from Washington state.

Juliet Eilperin is The Washington Post's White House bureau chief, covering domestic and foreign policy as well as the culture of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. She is the author of two books—one on sharks, and another on Congress, not to be confused with each other—and has worked for the Post since 1998.

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Debbi Wilgoren · February 6, 2013

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