Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks and Chief of Staff for the Department of the Interior Tom Strickland will wrap-up his service to the Department in February, 2011 to pursue other opportunities.
"Tom has been a driving force in standing up our Interior leadership team, launching a 21st century conservation agenda, leading initiatives such as the Everglades restoration, and helping restore the Gulf after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill," Secretary Salazar said. "He is a dynamic leader, a nationally-recognized champion for conservation, and a close friend of more than 30 years. Time and again, he has delivered results for the Administration and the American people. I wish him the best for the many chapters he has yet to write in his future."
As Assistant Secretary, Strickland: helped develop the America's Great Outdoors Initiative, which the President launched in April, 2009; led efforts to protect national parks, wildlife refuges and coastlines during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill; led the U.S. delegation to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wildlife Fauna and Flora (CITES) in Doha, Qatar; oversaw Interior's responsibilities to protect and recover threatened and endangered species, including the polar bear; led the Administration's efforts to advance the restoration of Florida's Everglades; and oversaw important decisions on our national parks, including the Statue of Liberty, The National Mall, and Yellowstone.
"It has been an honor to be part of President Obama's Administration and to help Secretary Salazar reform and reinvigorate the Department, whose missions are critical to our energy security, the conservation of our land, water, and wildlife, and our nation's economic health," Strickland said. "It was a pleasure to serve with the top-flight policy and management team here at Interior and I leave with the deepest respect for the Department's dedicated and talented public servants."
Laura Daniel Davis, who has been serving as Deputy Chief of Staff and Associate Deputy Secretary, will become the new Chief of Staff. Before joining Salazar's Interior team in January 2009, Davis worked as Deputy Chief of Staff for then-Representative Mark Udall. She also served in the Interior Department under Bruce Babbitt. Will Shafroth, the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish, Wildlife and Parks, will serve as Acting Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks until a new Assistant Secretary is confirmed. Matt Lee-Ashley, the Director of Communications for the Office of the Secretary will assume the duties of Deputy Chief of Staff.
Strickland was confirmed Assistant Secretary on April 30, 2009. Before joining Interior, he was executive vice president and chief legal officer of UnitedHealth Group. Previous to that he was a partner of the Hogan & Hartson law firm, serving as Managing Partner for the firm's Colorado offices and as a member of the firm's executive committee. From 1999 through 2001, Strickland was the U.S. Attorney for the District of Colorado. He has also chaired the Colorado State Transportation Commission, was Chief Policy Advisor for Colorado Governor Richard Lamm, and was a law clerk to U.S. District Court Judge Carl O. Bue Jr.
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