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Obama's Unconventional Pick to Lead Interior Department

On Wednesday, President Obama introduced REI CEO Sally Jewell as his nominee to become the new head of the Interior Department. Philip Bump examines how her unconventional background makes her the perfect pick.

Lifelong outdoors enthusiast, recognized envrionmentalist, corporate executive, banker, petroleum engineer - these are all apt descriptions of Sally Jewell throughout her career. "In some ways, Jewell’s background makes her the perfect pick to run the Interior Department." says Bump. "Not only can she empathize with both sides in the struggle between developing and protecting public land, but her career has been an evolution from the former to the latter. Jewell’s career reflects the transition the country itself is making, away from raw exploration at all costs, toward sensible stewardship."

"But my first reaction to the news was still that it was jarring: the head of an outdoors company being chosen to determine the fate of the outdoors? Despite how ridiculous it is to suggest that something untoward could result (what, Jewell will force government employees to wear REI’s Patagonia Synchilla Snap-T Fleece Top, now on sale?), it feels strange."

Reflecting her diverse background and widespread appeal, Juliet Eilperin notes that, "[m]any environmentalists and oil and gas industry officials greeted her nomination with cautious optimism Wednesday, saying she could reconnect Americans to their outdoors heritage without stifling drilling and mining operations on land and off shore."

Full Story: Obama taps Sally Jewell, CEO of REI, for Interior post

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