Rhea S. Suh was confirmed by the U.S. Senate and sworn into office as Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management and Budget at the Department of the Interior on May 19, 2009. President Obama nominated her for this position on March 25, 2009.
As Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management and Budget, Suh oversees programmatic, administrative and financial policy for the Department, including budget formulation and implementation.
Before becoming Assistant Secretary, Suh served as a program officer and manager at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, where she planned and managed a $200 million, six-year initiative to build ecological integrity and resilience in key lands and watersheds in western North America.
From 1998 to 2007, Suh was a program officer at The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, where she managed the foundation’s portfolio of grants designed to protect the ecosystems of the western part of North America. She also created the Hewlett Foundation’s energy program; spearheaded early efforts to support diverse communities, including environmental justice groups; and developed new strategies to strengthen the voice of hunter and angler groups on conservation issues. In addition, she led the Foundation’s successful effort to help protect 21 million acres of coastal temperate rainforest, known as the Great Bear Rainforest, in British Columbia. Previously, she served as a consultant for the National Park Service where she developed educational strategies and programs for under-served constituencies, bringing National Park lessons to a broader audience in public schools.
During the Clinton administration, Suh served as a senior legislative assistant on the staff of Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell, where she worked on public lands management and regulatory issues with respect to energy, air and water.
Suh is a graduate of Barnard College, Columbia University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree, and the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University, where she earned a Masters of Education, Administration, Planning and Social Policy. She has received both a Fulbright Fellowship and a Marshall Memorial Fellowship.