No fixed term
Washington, D.C., U.S.
The President with Senate advice and consent
The United States Secretary of the Interior is the head of the U.S. Department of the Interior.
The U.S. Department of the Interior 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, the Secretary of the Interior has typically come from a western state; only one of the individuals to hold the office since 1949 is not identified with a state lying west of the Mississippi River.
On December 13, 2016, President-elect Donald Trump picked Ryan Zinke for the position of Interior Secretary.
The line of succession for the Secretary of Interior is as follows:
- Deputy Secretary of the Interior
- Solicitor of the Interior
- Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management and Budget
- Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management
- Assistant Secretary for Water and Science
- Assistant Secretary for Fish, Wildlife and Parks
- Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs
- Director, Security, Safety, and Law Enforcement, Bureau of Reclamation
- Central Region Director, US Geological Survey
- Intermountain Regional Director, National Park Service
- Region 6 (Mountain-Prairie Region) Director, US Fish and Wildlife Service
- Colorado State Director, Bureau of Land Management
- Regional Solicitor, Rocky Mountain Region
Living former Secretaries of the Interior
As of March 2017, nine former Secretaries of the Interior are alive, the oldest being Manuel Lujan, Jr. (served 1989-1993, born 1928). The most recent to die was William P. Clark, Jr. (served 1983-1985, born 1931), on August 10, 2013.