- Written by PNC Washington Correspondent Matt Kaye
Jewell heads Seattle area Recreational Equipment, Inc., one of the nation’s major outdoor retailers, is an advocate for outdoor recreation, and a national parks supporter.
She’s expected to play a key role in recommending to President Obama a replacement for former Assistant Secretary for Insular Areas, and Guam native, Tony Babauta, who resigned last week before the release of an Interior IG probe into charges of travel and contract abuses.
HEAR Matt Kaye's report HERE>>>05-07 jewellnodinterior.mp3
Outgoing Secretary Ken Salazar introduced Jewell at a White House press conference with President Obama.
SALAZAR: “Sally was a key contributor to you and your entire team, in the creation of the America’s great outdoors agenda. She’s been a champion of the land and water conservation fund, and so many other conservation issues of our time. I would also note that her successful business record and experience as an oil and gas engineer will serve her well, as she implements your ‘all of the above energy agenda."
Jewell says she has a great job at REI in Seattle, but adds, “There’s no role that compares, than the call to serve to serve my country,” as the Secretary of Interior.
JEWELL: “I’m humbled, and I’m energized by this opportunity, and I look forward to getting to know members of the Senate, as they consider my nomination in the coming weeks. Thank you, Secretary Salazar, for the opportunities you’ve given to people across this country to engage with the Department of Interior, sharing their hopes and their dreams for our public lands, our resources, our people—especially our first people—our history, and our culture.”
Jewell concluded she’d do her best to fill Coloradoan Salazar’s “big boots” but conceded, “ I think I might get lost in your hat.”
Joking aside, Jewell could face some tough confirmation questions, especially from the GOP side.
Ranking Senate Energy Republican Lisa Murkowski says she looks forward to hearing about “the qualifications Jewell has that make her a suitable candidate to run such an important agency” as Interior.