Deputy Secretary David J. Hayes to Conclude Successful Tenure at Interior Department

Jewell praises Hayes for his leadership, dedication to public service

Last edited 09/05/2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. – David J. Hayes will conclude his role as Deputy Secretary at the Department of the Interior this year after serving in the position for the Obama Administration for more than four years. Hayes will serve as a Senior Fellow at the Hewlett Foundation and will teach at Stanford Law School in the fall. Hayes expects to leave Interior at the end of June.

“David has been a key architect for nearly every significant initiative undertaken at Interior over the last four years,” said Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell. “From his work on expanding renewable energy production on public lands and waters, to coordinating federal family energy activities in Alaska, to developing a landscape-scale approach to conservation and climate change, David has left an indelible mark. I am grateful for his wisdom and guidance to me throughout this transition and I wish him the best as he heads out to California for this next chapter.”

As Deputy, Hayes has been a key leader in implementing President Obama's priorities, including: promoting conservation initiatives such as the America's Great Outdoors agenda; encouraging thoughtful renewable energy development on public lands and offshore resources through initiatives like the Western Solar Plan and the “Smart from the Start” offshore wind strategy; implementing unprecedented oil and gas safety reforms after Deepwater Horizon and forward-thinking changes to onshore oil and gas leasing; fulfilling the nation's trust responsibilities to American Indians and Alaskan Natives, including unprecedented water rights and legal settlements in Indian Country; managing the nation's water supplies sustainably, including improvements to California's water infrastructure; and implementing Interior's scientific integrity policy.

“It's been an honor and a privilege to serve in President Obama's Administration and to work on some of the most important and challenging issues of our time,” said Hayes. “It was a difficult decision to leave the Department, but I'm looking forward to heading out West to return to Stanford and to partner with the Hewlett Foundation where I will continue to develop progressive solutions to our nation's environmental and natural resources challenges.”

Hayes was confirmed as Deputy Secretary in May 2009 by unanimous vote of the United States Senate.

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. This month, Hayes released a report to the President on Arctic, Managing for the Future in a Rapidly Changing Arctic, recommending that the United States develop an innovative, government-wide “Integrated Arctic Management” strategy for the rapidly changing Arctic.

Hayes played an instrumental role in settling the long-standing Cobell Indian trust litigation and overseeing implementation of the settlement, ending 14 years of litigation regarding the Interior Department's management of trust resources for more than 500,000 American Indians and Alaska Natives.

Hayes also headed up the Interior Department's response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill for the Secretary, managing day-to-day operational issues and helping to implement the significant oil and gas safety and reform agenda. Since 2009, he has served as co-chair of the Secretary's Energy and Climate Change Task Force, guiding Interior's energy programs and its climate change adaptation activities.

Hayes 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.

Hayes 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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