Date: December 7, 2017
WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Senate confirmed President Donald J. Trump's nominee, Joe Balash, to serve as the Department of the Interior’s Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management. A native of North Pole, Alaska, living in Washington D.C., Balash brings more than 19 years of experience in land and natural resource management.
"I am so glad we finally have an Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals! It's been a while," said U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. “Joe has waited a very long time, and we look forward to his experience being brought to the table at our next meeting. Joe has worked with the Department on a number of projects in Alaska, and his experience will be greatly welcomed. Thank you to the Senate for finally getting Joe to Interior. I'd also like to thank Acting Assistant Secretary Kate MacGregor for doing an amazing job leading the portfolio and making President Trump's first year a banner year for energy dominance and public access."
“I am deeply honored to be able to serve at the Department of the Interior,” said Joe Balash. “As a nation, we are blessed with tremendous public lands and resources that give our people unparalleled opportunities for recreation and job creation for generations to come. I look forward to working with Secretary Zinke and his incredible team to seize on those opportunities and deliver on President Trump's America First Energy Plan.”
Joe Balash most recently served as the Chief of Staff to Senator Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) before his confirmation. He is the former Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources, which has management responsibility for one of the largest single portfolios of land and water resources in the world, containing more than 100 million acres of uplands, 40-60 million acres of submerged lands and tidelands, and more than 500,000 barrels of oil produced daily.
The Assistant Secretary heads the Department of the Interior’s management of all federal lands and waters, and their associated mineral and non-mineral resources, as well as the appropriate regulation of surface coal mining. The Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management is committed to managing, protecting, and improving lands and waters to serve the needs of the American people at all times.