WASHINGTON, D.C. – Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne today praised the Senate’s confirmation by unanimous consent of four members of his policy team. They are David Longly Bernhardt, Solicitor; C. Stephen Allred, Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management; Mary A. Bomar, Director of the National Park Service; and Robert W. Johnson, Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation. The Senate completed action on these confirmations early Saturday morning, Sept. 30, 2006.
“I am pleased and gratified by the Senate’s unanimous confirmation of key members of our leadership team at Interior,” Kempthorne said. “These outstanding individuals will provide the experience, commitment and energy needed to carry out our diverse missions, from conserving our national parks, to carrying out environmentally responsible energy initiatives on public lands, to developing sustainable solutions to the West’s water supply needs. I have every confidence they will do an outstanding job and am delighted to welcome them aboard.”
The nominees confirmed by the Senate are:
David Longly Bernhardt, Solicitor, has held several influential positions at Interior, including Deputy Solicitor, Deputy Chief of Staff and Counselor to the Secretary and Counselor to the Secretary and Director of the Office of Congressional and Legislative Affairs. Bernhardt will enter the job with more experience in the Department than any individual who has been nominated for the position of Interior Solicitor in more than 30 years.
The Solicitor is the third ranking official in the Department and its chief legal officer. The Solicitor provides legal advice to the Secretary and members of his staff, the Assistant Secretaries of the Department, the heads of the offices and bureaus and all other officers and employees of Interior.
Before joining Interior, Bernhardt was with a private law firm and held a variety of positions for Representative Scott McInnis. Bernhardt earned a bachelor’s degree in political science with a minor in business administration from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley. He is a graduate of George Washington University National Law Center. A native of Rifle, Colo., Bernhardt is married to Gena Rae Bernhardt and has two children, William and Katherine.
C. Stephen Allred, Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management, has more than 40 years experience in engineering, management and leadership positions, half in private industry and half in public service. He also has a civil engineering background that will enable him to meet the technical challenges of overseeing Interior's Minerals Management Service, Bureau of Land Management and Office of Surface Mining.
Allred most recently served as a member of then-Governor Kempthorne’s cabinet. In 2000, as Administrator of the Division of Environmental Quality, Allred successfully won legislative authorization for the formation of a Department of Environmental Quality, becoming its first Director. Previously, Allred served as Director of the Idaho State Department of Water Resources and as a senior vice-president and group president for Morrison-Knudson Corp.
Allred is a board member of the Department of Energy Environmental Advisory Board; board member of the University of Idaho Research Foundation; and Managing Member of the Allred Consultants, LLC. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Idaho. Married for more than 40 years, he has two grown children.
Mary A. Bomar, Director of National Park Service, is a career NPS employee, who has served as director of the NPS Northeast Region since July 2005. The region covers 13 states and is responsible for a third of all NPS museum collections, a quarter of all historic structures, almost half of the country’s National Historic Landmarks and more than half of the National Heritage Areas. Prior to that, Bomar served as acting regional director.
From 2003 to 2005, she was superintendent of Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia. During her tenure, both the Liberty Bell Center and the National Constitution Center opened in the park on Independence Mall as part of the largest urban revitalization project in the nation. Also during her tenure, the NPS reopened the park’s Second Bank of the United States after a two-year utilities project and installed a new exhibit, “The People of Independence.” Concurrently, the park managed a $5.2 million rehabilitation of Independence Square, the site of Independence Hall. Spurred by the new construction, park visitation surged by 35 percent.
Previously, Bomar served as the first superintendent at the Oklahoma City National Memorial, the first NPS Oklahoma State Coordinator, acting superintendent at Rocky Mountain National Park and assistant superintendent at the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park. Prior to joining the National Park Service, Bomar worked in a managerial capacity at the Department of Defense. Raised in Leicester, England, Bomar became a U.S. citizen in 1977.
Robert W. Johnson, Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation, is a veteran Reclamation manager who was serving as Regional Director of the bureau’s Lower Colorado Region. Among his major accomplishments, Johnson oversaw the negotiation and implementation of the California Quantification Settlement Agreement, which provided quantified entitlements for Colorado River water users in California and facilitated the reduction of Colorado River water use by California to its basic apportionment of 4.4 million acre-feet. This agreement provided certainty to all seven Colorado River Basin States by reducing long-term uses of the river by about 800,000 acre-feet.
Johnson also developed and began implementation of the $600 million Lower Colorado River Multispecies Conservation Plan, which provides 50 years of Endangered Species Act compliance for Reclamation, the Lower Basin States, and water and power customers on the Lower Colorado River. The plan is the first of its kind and is being used as a model in other river basins.
A Reclamation employee since 1975, Johnson began his public service career in the Mid-Pacific Region in Sacramento, Calif., and has held several leadership positions, including Regional Director, Deputy Regional Director, Chief of the Water, Land, and Power Operations Division in the Lower Colorado Region, and in a management position in the Commissioner’s Office in Washington, D.C. Johnson was reared in the West and graduated from the University of Nevada – Reno with a master’s degree in agriculture and resource economics. A native Nevadan, Johnson is married and has two grown children.