Nomination of Cynthia Weiner Stachelberg to be Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Policy, Management, and Budget.
Cynthia Weiner Stachelberg
Nominee for the Position of
Policy, Management and Budget
U.S. Department of the Interior
Energy and Natural Resources Committee
United States Senate
August 3, 2021
Chairman Manchin, Ranking Member Barrasso, Members of the Committee, it is a privilege to be here today and to be considered as the President’s nominee to be the Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management and Budget at the United States Department of the Interior.
I want to take a moment to recognize my partner, Vicki, who is here today and my sons, Will and Charlie. They could not be here today, but they make me all the more driven to play a small part in making a brighter future.
President Biden and Secretary Haaland have given me a great honor by nominating me for this role. It is a post at one of the most important departments at one of the most challenging of times –– and the prospect of taking on this position is more than a job to me.
Like many of you, and many Americans, I have always loved the outdoors – and, in particular, the sheer beauty of what this country has to offer. I have been a lifelong angler and boater and I credit my parents for instilling in me a love for nature, and of our place in it.
Henry David Thoreau, the great writer and naturalist, once wrote, “heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads,” and I think that just about sums up the feeling of being in one of our national parks or incredible monuments, and taking in the marvel of what is around you.
I remember being a nine-year-old kid from the city, wide-eyed with my jaw to the floor at the sight of the Grand Canyon; as a young adult, I went diving and took in the sheer wonder of the Buck Island Reef National Monument. And more recently, I took my kids to visit the Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge to see the white pelicans making their trek from East of the Rockies to Florida.
I am also very aware of what public lands mean to Western states, where large percentages of their area are managed by the Department of the Interior. This includes millions of acres of multiple use lands, where it is imperative for the Department to work with States, Tribes, communities, and a diverse group of stakeholders to strike the right balance.
As we do so, it is imperative that we take action to address the threat that climate change poses to communities across the United States, and in the West in particular, which is in the throes of unprecedented drought and devastating wildfires, our public lands and our outdoor spaces. We also face important questions when it comes to clean energy and wildlife conservation, fishing and hunting, and access to our public lands and heritage.
How we address these challenges will have far reaching ramifications.
I sit here mindful of that and, if I have the privilege of being confirmed as Assistant Secretary, I will dedicate myself fully to working with this committee to meet those challenges.
The role of Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management and Budget requires me to be a leader. It will require me to guide programs with national and international concern across bureaus and offices; to lead an inclusive workforce to optimize the mission of the Administration, and to spearhead budget formulation, to make key decisions when it comes to priorities and goals, and to ensure that the Department complies with statutory and regulatory requirements. For more than two decades, I have helped lead organizations and developed the skills necessary to fulfill these functions.
As a senior leader at several large organizations, I have been key in developing and driving strategy. I have also had the honor of managing a large number of driven, dynamic staff tackling a whole range of issues, and I have exhibited steady leadership when it has come to personnel and human resource challenges –– challenges that include addressing diversity and equity issues to ensure that, wherever I serve, there is a workplace culture where employees can grow and thrive.
At both these organizations, I have also executed cross-cutting personnel and policy efforts, managed complex budget and financial projects, and collaborated with key stakeholders often with differing perspectives.
I take pride in the fact that I have worked with Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle to achieve results and make progress. I have worked with organizations like the American Enterprise Institute, the Chamber of Commerce, the Bipartisan Policy Center, and the McCain Institute, to name a few.
I also have a strong track record of success when it comes to personnel and human resource issues, including addressing diversity and equity and creating a workplace culture where employees can grow and thrive.
All of this is to say that I believe I have the experience and the acumen to take on this role, and I am ready to get to work.
Thank you for inviting me to be in front of this Committee today. Thank you for the opportunity to discuss my nomination, and I look forward to your questions.