David J. Hayes - Deputy Secretary
David J. Hayes was confirmed as Deputy Secretary of the Department of the Interior on May 20, 2009 by unanimous vote of the United States Senate. Deputy Secretary Hayes is the second highest ranking official at the Department of the Interior. By statute, he serves as the Department’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) and has authority over all of the Department's bureaus and agencies. He is a key leader in implementing the Secretary's priorities for the Department, including promoting conservation initiatives such as the President's America's Great Outdoors agenda; encouraging renewable energy development on our public lands and offshore resources; developing conventional energy resources safely and responsibly; fulfilling our trust responsibilities to American Indians and Alaskan Natives; managing our nation’s water supplies sustainably; and other matters relating to Interior’s mission to conserve our nation’s natural and cultural resources.
Deputy Secretary Hayes was nominated by the President for the position on February 27, 2009, after serving as a leader in President Obama's Transition Team, heading the agency review process for the Department of Energy, Department of Agriculture, Department of the Interior and Environmental Protection Agency.
In July 2011, the President appointed Hayes as Chair of the Interagency Working Group on Coordination of Domestic Energy Development and Permitting in Alaska, which works to organize the efforts of Federal agencies that oversee the safe and responsible development of onshore and offshore, renewable and conventional energy in Alaska. Additionally, Deputy Secretary Hayes co-chairs the Secretary’s Energy and Climate Change Task Force; he played an instrumental role in settling the long-standing Cobell Indian trust litigation and is overseeing implementation of the settlement; he headed up the Interior Department’s response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill for the Secretary, managing day-to-day operational issues and overseeing the Interior Department team that responded to the disaster; and, in his COO role, he serves on the President's Management Council and is engaged in IT transformation and other management initiatives at the 70,000-employee Department.
Throughout his career, Deputy Secretary Hayes has been involved in developing progressive solutions to environmental and natural resources challenges. He previously served as the Deputy Secretary and counselor to the Secretary of the Interior in the Clinton Administration. He worked for many years in the private sector where he chaired the Environment, Land and Resources Department at Latham and Watkins, an international law firm. He is a former chairman of the Board of the Environmental Law Institute; he was a consulting professor at Stanford University's Woods Institute for the Environment; he served as a Senior Fellow for the World Wildlife Fund, and was the Vice-Chair of the Board of American Rivers. Hayes has written and lectured widely in the environmental and natural resources field.
Hayes is a native of Rochester, New York. He graduated summa cum laude from the University of Notre Dame and received his J.D. from Stanford University, where he was an editor of the Stanford Law Review. He is the former Chairman of the Board of Visitors for Stanford Law School.
Hayes and his wife Elizabeth reside in Arlington, Virginia and he has three children, Katherine, Stephen and Molly.
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