Hi, I’m Secretary Ryan Zinke.
Two months ago, I went to the Grand Canyon to
speak to our employees of the National Park
Service, after we released a survey on
harassment in the workplace. Now today, we are taking the next step and releasing the
results of a Department-wide survey on the same
It’s time to acknowledge that we have a problem.
Unfortunately the survey shows that harassment, intimidation, and
discrimination have been a common practice at
Interior. A culture that tolerates such behavior tarnishes our
noble mission of stewardship and breaches public
I’m speaking today to make it clear that the culture of harassment and intimidation
– which this administration inherited – has come to an end.
I have already removed four senior leaders that
were guilty of inappropriate behavior, and I will
remove four hundred more if necessary.
Intimidation, harassment, and discrimination is a cancer to any organization.
However deep it goes, we will remove it from Interior.
No one at Interior should have to suffer silently –
afraid of retaliation or isolation – when they’re just
trying to do their job. We have an important mission,
and inappropriate actions prevent us from achieving
In the past, the words “zero tolerance” have been an
empty promise. While past leaders at Interior have said the right things,
there was very little if any action. To be clear, Interior
will no longer protect predators or accept inappropriate behavior.
Deputy Secretary Bernhardt and I have directed that
each bureau head develop an action plan for
stopping harassment, and ensure that the right
resources are available for every
If you have experienced harassment or
discrimination please go
to DOI.gov/employees where there’s a variety of resources,
as well as full survey results, available.
Please...if you see something that’s not right don’t ignore it.
It’s everyone’s responsibility to take a stand and lead
from the front.
I’m committed to ending harassment
and the Deputy Secretary and I will continue to keep
you updated on actions taken in the
weeks and months to come.
This is the start of a cultural change at the
Department of the Interior, and we need your help.
My goal is simple: I want Interior to be the best possible place
to work in the government. We have a noble mission, we
have great, and passionate people, and we – as a team – can
end harassment and intimidation.
Thank you, and God bless.
Secretary Zinke calls for "culture change" at Interior.