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Press Release



Secretary Salazar Names Investment and Management Specialist Chris Henderson to Serve as Interior Recovery Czar



03/05/2009


Contact: Frank Quimby
(202) 208-6416 


WASHINGTON, D.C. - Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today named investment expert and government management specialist Chris Henderson to serve as Senior Advisor to the Secretary for Economic Recovery. As the "Recovery Czar" for the Department of the Interior, Henderson will oversee the more than $3 billion in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that Interior will be investing in projects in communities, parks, and public lands across the country.

"President Obama and Vice President Biden have made it clear that we must implement the Recovery Act, swiftly, wisely, and with unprecedented levels of transparency and accountability so that we can create jobs and put our country back on track," said Secretary Salazar. "There is nobody more qualified than Chris Henderson to take on this challenge at the Department of the Interior. Chris brings financial expertise and management experience from his service in both the public and private sectors. He is a first rate leader, a person of integrity, and his many accomplishments speak for themselves. Chris will report directly to me as we work to create jobs, deliver results to taxpayers, and implement the bold vision the President has outlined."

Henderson has served as the chief operating officer for Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper since 2006. In this role, he has focused on improving the city's strategic planning and performance management efforts, as well as carrying out a number of successful organizational initiatives to improve efficiency and service levels.

Henderson joined the Hickenlooper Administration following a 15-year career in investment banking and private equity investing. The last 13 years of that career were spent with Vestar Capital Partners, a leading private equity firm managing more than $7 billion in capital. At Vestar he served as a managing director and member of the firm's investment committee.

Henderson was involved in transactions where more than $500 million was successfully invested in firms such as Prestone Products, Polo Jeans Company, Pyramid Communications, Gold Toe Corporation, and Michael Foods. Prior to joining Vestar, Henderson spent two years with the investment bank Credit Suisse First Boston in the Mergers and Acquisitions Group.

Henderson, 41, graduated summa cum laude from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science. He also holds a Masters of Business Administration degree from Columbia University.