United States Secretary of the Interior

The United States Secretary of the Interior is the head of the United States Department of the Interior. The Department of the Interior in the United States 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 two of the individuals to hold the office since 1949 have not been from a state lying west of the Mississippi River. The current Interior Secretary is David Bernhardt, who holds the office in an acting capacity. He succeeded Ryan Zinke who resigned on January 2, 2019.

United States Secretary of the Interior
Seal of the United States Department of the Interior
Seal of the Department
Flag of the United States Secretary of the Interior
Flag of the Secretary
David Bernhardt official photo (cropped)
David Bernhardt

since January 2, 2019
United States Department of the Interior
StyleMr. Secretary
Member ofCabinet
Reports toPresident of the United States
SeatWashington, D.C.
AppointerThe President
with Senate advice and consent
Term lengthNo fixed term
Constituting instrument43 U.S.C. § 1451
FormationMarch 3, 1849
First holderThomas Ewing
DeputyDeputy Secretary of the Interior
SalaryExecutive Schedule, level I

Line of succession

The line of succession for the Secretary of Interior is as follows:[3]

  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


  Whig (3)   Democratic (16)   Republican (33)

  Denotes acting Secretary of the Interior
Number Portrait Name State of Residence Took office Left office President(s)
1 ThomasEwingSr Thomas Ewing Ohio March 8, 1849 July 22, 1850 Zachary Taylor
Millard Fillmore
2 Thomas McKean Thompson McKennan Thomas M. T. McKennan Pennsylvania August 15, 1850 August 26, 1850
3 AxHHStuart Alexander H. H. Stuart Virginia September 14, 1850 March 7, 1853
4 Robert McClelland 1 Robert McClelland Michigan March 8, 1853 March 9, 1857 Franklin Pierce
5 Jacob Thompson (ca. 1857) Jacob Thompson Mississippi March 10, 1857 January 8, 1861 James Buchanan
6 CBSmith Caleb B. Smith Indiana March 5, 1861 December 31, 1862 Abraham Lincoln
7 John Palmer Usher John P. Usher Indiana January 1, 1863 May 15, 1865 Abraham Lincoln
Andrew Johnson
8 James-Harlan James Harlan Iowa May 16, 1865 August 31, 1866 Andrew Johnson
9 Orville Hickman Browning - Brady-Handy Orville H. Browning Illinois September 1, 1866 March 4, 1869 Andrew Johnson
10 Jacob Dolson Cox - Brady-Handy Jacob D. Cox Ohio March 5, 1869 October 31, 1870 Ulysses S. Grant
11 CDelano Columbus Delano Ohio November 1, 1870 September 30, 1875
12 Zachariah Chandler Zachariah Chandler Michigan October 19, 1875 March 11, 1877
13 Carl-Schurz Carl Schurz Missouri March 12, 1877 March 7, 1881 Rutherford B. Hayes
14 Samuel Jordan Kirkwood Samuel J. Kirkwood Iowa March 8, 1881 April 17, 1882 James A. Garfield
Chester A. Arthur
15 Henry Moore Teller Henry M. Teller Colorado April 18, 1882 March 3, 1885
16 Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Lamar Lucius Q. C. Lamar II Mississippi March 6, 1885 January 10, 1888 Grover Cleveland
17 Vilas2 William F. Vilas Wisconsin January 16, 1888 March 6, 1889
18 John Willock Noble John W. Noble Missouri March 7, 1889 March 6, 1893 Benjamin Harrison
19 M. Hoke Smith, 1912 Hoke Smith Georgia March 6, 1893 September 1, 1896 Grover Cleveland
20 David Rowland Francis David R. Francis Missouri September 3, 1896 March 5, 1897
21 Cornelius Newton Bliss Cornelius N. Bliss New York March 6, 1897 February 19, 1899 William McKinley
22 EAHitchcock-SecInterior Ethan A. Hitchcock Missouri February 20, 1899 March 4, 1907
Theodore Roosevelt
23 James Rudolph Garfield James R. Garfield Ohio March 5, 1907 March 5, 1909
24 Richard Achilles Ballinger Richard A. Ballinger Washington March 6, 1909 March 12, 1911 William Howard Taft
25 Walter L. Fisher cph.3a00307 Walter L. Fisher Illinois March 13, 1911 March 5, 1913
26 Franklin Knight Lane Franklin K. Lane California March 6, 1913 February 29, 1920 Woodrow Wilson
Alexander T. Vogelsang
California February 29, 1920 March 13, 1920
27 John Barton Payne (1855–1935) - Official portrait John B. Payne Illinois March 15, 1920 March 4, 1921
28 Albert Fall Albert B. Fall New Mexico March 5, 1921 March 4, 1923 Warren G. Harding
29 Hubert Work cph.3b20185 Hubert Work Colorado March 5, 1923 July 24, 1928
Calvin Coolidge
30 Roy Owen West Roy O. West Illinois July 25, 1928 March 4, 1929
31 RayLymanWilbur Ray Lyman Wilbur California March 5, 1929 March 4, 1933 Herbert Hoover
32 Ickes Harold L. Ickes Illinois March 4, 1933 February 15, 1946 Franklin D. Roosevelt
Harry S. Truman
Oscar Littleton Chapman Oscar L. Chapman
Colorado February 15, 1946 March 18, 1946
33 Julius A Krug Julius A. Krug Wisconsin March 18, 1946 December 1, 1949
34 Oscar Littleton Chapman Oscar L. Chapman Colorado December 1, 1949 January 20, 1953
35 Douglas McKay Douglas McKay Oregon January 21, 1953 April 15, 1956 Dwight D. Eisenhower
Clarence A. Davis
Nebraska April 15, 1956 June 8, 1956
36 Seaton Fred A. Seaton Nebraska June 8, 1956 January 20, 1961
37 Stewart L Udall - 1960s Stewart L. Udall Arizona January 21, 1961 January 20, 1969 John F. Kennedy
Lyndon B. Johnson
38 Hickel Walter J. Hickel Alaska January 24, 1969 November 25, 1970 Richard Nixon
Fred J. Russell
California November 25, 1970 January 29, 1971
39 RogersClarkBallardMorton Rogers C. B. Morton Maryland January 29, 1971 April 30, 1975
Gerald Ford
D. Kent Frizzell
Kansas April 30, 1975 June 12, 1975
40 Stanley K Hathaway Stanley K. Hathaway Wyoming June 12, 1975 October 9, 1975
D. Kent Frizzell
Kansas October 9, 1975 October 17, 1975
41 Thomas S Kleppe Thomas S. Kleppe North Dakota October 17, 1975 January 20, 1977
Alfred G. Albert
January 20, 1977 January 23, 1977 Jimmy Carter
42 Cecil D Andrus Cecil D. Andrus Idaho January 23, 1977 January 20, 1981
43 James g watt James G. Watt Colorado January 23, 1981 November 8, 1983 Ronald Reagan
J. J. Simmons III
New Jersey November 8, 1983 November 18, 1983
44 William patrick clark William P. Clark California November 18, 1983 February 7, 1985
45 Donald hodel Donald P. Hodel Virginia February 8, 1985 January 20, 1989
Earl E. Gjelde
Virginia January 20, 1989 February 3, 1989 George H. W. Bush
46 Lujan manuel Manuel Lujan Jr. New Mexico February 3, 1989 January 20, 1993
47 Bruce babbitt Bruce E. Babbitt Arizona January 22, 1993 January 2, 2001 Bill Clinton
Thomas N. Slonaker
Arizona January 2, 2001 January 31, 2001
George W. Bush
48 Gale Norton.jpeg Gale A. Norton Colorado January 31, 2001 March 31, 2006
Lynn Scarlett Lynn Scarlett
California April 1, 2006 May 26, 2006
49 Dirk Kempthorne, official Interior Dept color photo, 2006 Dirk Kempthorne Idaho May 29, 2006 January 19, 2009
- Lynn Scarlett Lynn Scarlett
California January 19, 2009 January 20, 2009
Barack Obama
50 Ken Salazar official DOI portrait Ken Salazar Colorado January 20, 2009 April 12, 2013
51 Sally Jewell official portrait Sally Jewell Washington April 12, 2013[4] January 20, 2017
No image Kevin Haugrud
January 20, 2017 March 1, 2017 Donald Trump
52 Ryan Zinke official portrait (cropped) Ryan Zinke Montana March 1, 2017 January 2, 2019
David Bernhardt official photo David Bernhardt
Virginia January 2, 2019 Incumbent

Living former Secretaries of the Interior

Flag of the United States Secretary of the Interior (1917-1934)
The former flag of the United States Secretary of the Interior, which was used from 1917 to 1934

As of February 2019, eight former Secretaries of the Interior are alive (with all Secretaries that have served since 1985 still living), 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. The most recently serving Secretary to die was William P. Clark Jr. (served 1983–1985, born 1931), on August 10, 2013.

Name Term of office Date of birth (and age)
James G. Watt 1981–1983 January 31, 1938 (age 81)
Donald P. Hodel 1985–1989 May 23, 1935 (age 83)
Manuel Lujan Jr. 1989–1993 May 12, 1928 (age 90)
Bruce E. Babbitt 1993–2001 June 27, 1938 (age 80)
Gale A. Norton 2001–2006 March 11, 1954 (age 64)
Dirk Kempthorne 2006–2009 October 29, 1951 (age 67)
Ken Salazar 2009–2013 March 2, 1955 (age 63)
Sally Jewell 2013–2017 February 21, 1956 (age 62)
Ryan Zinke 2017-2019 November 1, 1961 (age 57)


  1. ^ https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/3/19
  2. ^ Salazar, Vilsack: The West's New Land Lords Archived December 20, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Chapter 3: SECRETARIAL SUCCESSION (2) - Laserfiche WebLink". elips.doi.gov. Retrieved October 30, 2016.
  4. ^ "About Secretary Jewell". U.S. Department of the Interior. Archived from the original on June 8, 2013. Retrieved May 23, 2013.

External links

U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Matthew Whitaker
as Acting Attorney General
Order of Precedence of the United States
as Secretary of the Interior
Succeeded by
Sonny Perdue
as Secretary of Agriculture
U.S. presidential line of succession
Preceded by
Secretary of Defense
James Mattis
8th in line Succeeded by
Secretary of Agriculture
Sonny Perdue
1964 United States Senate election in North Dakota

The 1964 U.S. Senate election for the state of North Dakota was held November 3, 1964. The incumbent, Dem-NPL Senator Quentin Burdick, sought and received re-election to his second term, defeating Republican candidate Thomas S. Kleppe, who later became the United States Secretary of the Interior.Only Burdick filed as a Dem-NPLer, and the endorsed Republican candidate was Thomas S. Kleppe, who served two terms as a Representative for North Dakota's second congressional district from 1967 to 1971. Burdick and Kleppe won the primary elections for their respective parties.

1970 United States Senate election in North Dakota

The 1970 United States Senate election in North Dakota was held November 3, 1970. The incumbent, North Dakota Democratic NPL Party Senator Quentin Burdick, was re-elected to his third term, defeating Republican candidate Thomas S. Kleppe, who later became the United States Secretary of the Interior.Only Burdick filed as a Dem-NPLer, and the endorsed Republican candidate was Thomas S. Kleppe, who was finishing his second and final term as a Representative for North Dakota's second congressional district. Burdick and Kleppe won the primary elections for their respective parties.

One independent candidate, Russell Kleppe, also filed before the deadline.

2008 American Samoan general election

General elections was held in American Samoa on 4 November 2008, coinciding with the 2008 United States general elections.

Constitution of American Samoa

The Constitution of American Samoa is the constitution that defines the government of American Samoa.

The original Constitution was adopted by a constitutional convention and was signed by the 68 members of the convention and United States Secretary of the Interior Fred Andrew Seaton on 27 April 1960 and became effective 17 October 1960. A Constitutional Convention of American Samoa in Fagatogo begun on 26 September 1966 and approved several amendments, which were approved in a referendum in the general elections in 1966, promulgated by Interior Secretary Stewart Udall on 2 June 1967, and became effective 1 July 1967.

To prevent the Secretary of the Interior from appointing an Attorney General independent of the elected Governor, the United States Congress passed a law in 1983 mandating that amendments to the Constitution be made by Congress alone.The Ratification Act of 1929 was joint resolution of the United States Congress that ratified the Treaty of Cession of Tutuila of 1900 and the Treaty of Cession of Manuʻa of 1904, which ceded the islands of Tutuila and Manuʻa, respectively, to the United States and now form part of American Samoa. As such it is one of the basic Constitutional documents of American Samoa.

David Bernhardt

David Longly Bernhardt (born August 17, 1969) is an American attorney, lobbyist and government administrator who serves as Acting United States Secretary of the Interior. A partner and shareholder at the Colorado law firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, he began working for the United States Department of the Interior in 2001, and served as the department's solicitor from 2006 to 2009, among other roles.On April 28, 2017, President Donald Trump nominated him to be the United States Deputy Secretary of the Interior. He was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on July 24, 2017. He was sworn into office on August 1, 2017. On January 2, 2019, he became Acting Secretary of the Interior, replacing Ryan Zinke.

David R. Francis

David Rowland Francis (October 1, 1850 – January 15, 1927) was an American politician and diplomat. He served in various positions including Mayor of St. Louis, the 27th Governor of Missouri, and United States Secretary of the Interior. He was the U.S. Ambassador to Russia between 1916 and 1917, during the Russian Revolution of 1917. He was a Wilsonian Democrat.

Douglas McKay High School

Douglas McKay High School, most commonly known as McKay, is a public high school located in the North Lancaster neighborhood of Salem, Oregon, United States. Built in 1979, the school was named after Douglas McKay, former Governor of Oregon and United States Secretary of the Interior.

High Court of American Samoa

The High Court of American Samoa is a Samoan court and the highest court below the United States Supreme Court in American Samoa. The Court is located in the capital of Fagatogo. It consists of one chief justice and one associate justice, appointed by the United States Secretary of the Interior, holding office during "good behavior" and removable for cause.The High Court of American Samoa also has several Samoan associate judges who sit with the two justices. Normally, two associate judges will sit with the chief justice and associate justice on every case.

The Secretary of the Interior retains ultimate authority over the courts.

Idaho Human Rights Day

Idaho Human Rights Day is a state holiday recognized only in the U.S. state of Idaho. It was created on January 16, 2006 by then Governor and former United States Secretary of the Interior, Dirk Kempthorne. The holiday is celebrated simultaneously each year on the same day as Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The full name of this holiday in the state of Idaho is Martin Luther King, Jr. - Idaho Human Rights Day.

Judiciary of American Samoa

The Judiciary of American Samoa is defined under the Constitution of American Samoa and the American Samoa Code. It consists of the High Court of American Samoa and a local district court under the administration and supervision of the Chief Justice. Both courts are located in the capital of Pago Pago. The Chief Justice and the Associate Justice of the High Court are appointed by the United States Secretary of the Interior, and the six associate judges of the High Court and one local district court judge are appointed by the Governor of American Samoa.

Because American Samoa does not have a federal court like the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, or the United States Virgin Islands, matters of federal law arising in American Samoa have generally been adjudicated in the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii or the District Court for the District of Columbia.

Julius Albert Krug

Julius Albert Krug (November 23, 1907 – March 26, 1970) was a politician who served as the United States Secretary of the Interior for the administration of President Harry S. Truman from 1946 until 1949.

Lake Agassiz Peatlands Natural Area

Lake Agassiz Peatlands Natural Area is a 25,411-acre (10,283 ha) National Natural Landmark located in Koochiching County, Minnesota. Designated in November 1965 under the Historic Sites Act, its ownership and oversight are provided by the National Park Service of the United States. This designation from the United States Secretary of the Interior, gives it recognition as an outstanding example of the nation's natural history. The designation describes it as

An example of the extensive peatlands occupying the bed of ancient glacial Lake Agassiz, illustrating the process of peat accumulation over about 11,000 years. The area contains Myrtle Lake Bog, which developed contrary to the usual successional process of lake filling, and is an excellent example of both raised and string bogs.

The Myrtle Lake Peatland SNA is contained within the Lake Agassiz Peatlands and covers 22,950 acres (9,290 ha).

M. Hoke Smith

Michael Hoke Smith (September 2, 1855 – November 27, 1931) was an American attorney, politician, and newspaper owner who served as United States Secretary of the Interior (1893–1896), 58th Governor of Georgia (1907–1909, 1911), and a United States Senator (1911–1920) from Georgia.

National Natural Landmark

The National Natural Landmarks (NNL) Program recognizes and encourages the conservation of outstanding examples of the natural history of the United States. It is the only national natural areas program that identifies and recognizes the best examples of biological and geological features in both public and private ownership. The program was established on May 18, 1962, by United States Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall.

The program aims to encourage and support voluntary preservation of sites that illustrate the geological and ecological history of the United States. It also hopes to strengthen the public's appreciation of the country's natural heritage. As of November 2016, 599 sites have been added to the National Registry of National Landmarks. The registry includes nationally significant geological and ecological features in 48 states, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The National Park Service administers the NNL Program and if requested, assists NNL owners and managers with the conservation of these important sites. Land acquisition by the federal government is not a goal of this program. National Natural Landmarks are nationally significant sites owned by a variety of land stewards, and their participation in this federal program is voluntary.

The legislative authority for the National Natural Landmarks Program stems from the Historic Sites Act of August 21, 1935 (49 Stat. 666, 16 U.S.C. 641); the program is governed by federal regulations. The NNL Program does not have the protection features of Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. Thus, designation of a National Natural Landmark presently constitutes only an agreement with the owner to preserve, insofar as possible, the significant natural values of the site or area. Administration and preservation of National Natural Landmarks is solely the owner's responsibility. Either party may terminate the agreement after they notify the other.

Noble County, Oklahoma

Noble County is located in the north central part of Oklahoma. As of the 2010 census, the population was 11,561. Its county seat is Perry. It was part of the Cherokee Outlet in Indian Territory until Oklahoma Territory was created in 1890, and the present county land was designated as County P. After the U. S. government opened the area to non-Indian settlement in 1893, it was renamed Noble County for John Willock Noble, then the United States Secretary of the Interior.Timothy McVeigh was arrested in a traffic stop on a highway in Noble County shortly did after he committed the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, in which he murdered 168 people. The arresting officer was later elected sheriff of Noble County.

Robert McClelland (American politician)

Robert McClelland (August 1, 1807 – August 30, 1880) was a US statesman, serving as U.S. Representative from Michigan, the ninth Governor of Michigan, and United States Secretary of the Interior.

Secretary of the Interior

Secretary of the Interior may refer to:

Secretary of the Interior (Mexico)

Interior Secretary of Pakistan

Secretary of the Interior and Local Government (Philippines)

United States Secretary of the Interior

Thomas McKean Thompson McKennan

Thomas McKean Thompson McKennan (March 31, 1794 – July 9, 1852) was a 19th-century politician and lawyer who served briefly as United States Secretary of the Interior under President Millard Fillmore.

Walter L. Fisher

Walter Lowrie Fisher (July 4, 1862 – November 9, 1935) was United States Secretary of the Interior under President William Howard Taft from 1911 to 1913.

Fisher was born July 4, 1862 in Wheeling, Virginia (now West Virginia) to Daniel Webster Fisher (1838 – 1913), a presbyterian minister, and his wife Amanda D. Kouns († 1911). Educated at Hanover College in Indiana from which he graduated in 1883. While at Hanover, he was initiated into the Chi Chapter of the Sigma Chi fraternity. In 1890, he was elected as the fifth Grand Consul (the National President) of the Sigma Chi Fraternity, a position he held until 1892. He married Mabel Taylor on April 22, 1891 and they had five sons and two daughters.

His papers, covering his professional and political careers and containing 14,000 items, are in the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.Fisher had a brother, Dr. Howard Lowrie Fisher, who established a hospital for war victims in France during World War I. He survived the sinking of the RMS Lusitania in 1915 by jumping off the ship.

Dr. Fisher died November 9, 1935 in Winnetka, Illinois.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.