Date: Thursday, March 3, 2022
WASHINGTON — The Department of the Interior today announced the newest members of agency leadership working to fulfill our mission to steward America’s public lands and waters, pursue environmental justice, and honor our nation-to-nation relationship with Tribes.
“Whether it’s investing in America’s infrastructure through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, tackling the climate crisis, strengthening Indian Country, or championing ambitious clean energy goals, the Department of the Interior is swiftly moving to implement President Biden’s agenda,” said Chief of Staff Rachael Taylor. “Our new colleagues each bring with them unique skills and perspectives that will help deliver results for the American people.”
Interior’s political team proudly reflects the diversity of America, with more than 60 percent identifying as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous or people of color) and 70 percent as women.
The appointees are listed below in alphabetical order:
David Baler, Advance Representative
David Baler most recently served as an advance associate for the White House. Previously, he worked as a political associate for Tom Steyer PAC and as a coordinator for the Biden campaign’s climate coalition. David is a graduate of New York University and started working advance with former New York City First Lady Chirlane McCray. David is originally from Medfield, Massachusetts.
Laura Bloomer, Advisor in the Office of the Solicitor
Laura Bloomer most recently served as staff attorney at the Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development where she helped advance climate change mitigation strategies. Previously, she worked on public lands and air quality issues with Harvard Law School’s Environmental and Energy Law Program. Prior to her legal career, Laura taught English in Indonesia with the Peace Corps and worked on President Obama’s reelection campaign. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas at Austin, a Master of Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and a Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law School.
Michael Brain, Deputy Commissioner, Bureau of Reclamation
Michael Brain is a senior water policy advisor with more than a decade of experience working on water resource development and management issues on Capitol Hill. Most recently, Michael served as professional staff on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development where he drafted and implemented annual funding legislation for the Bureau of Reclamation and Army Corps of Engineers. Michael holds a Bachelor of Arts from the Boston College School of Arts and Sciences and is a graduate of the St. Louis University School of Law, with a concentration on land use, environmental law and urban development.
Katherine Pustay Currie, Deputy Infrastructure Coordinator
Katherine Currie rejoins the Interior Department as deputy coordinator for the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. A graduate of Yale University and the Yale School of Management, she previously served as deputy staff director to the Steering Committee in the U.S. Senate and as policy staff to the Secretary of the Interior in Washington, D.C. Katherine also spent time in Anchorage, Alaska advancing political, legislative, and environmental initiatives through work in the Alaska State Legislature and political campaigns.
Gary Gold, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Water and Science
Gary Gold is an attorney and engineer from Arizona. Since the start of his career, Gary has played an active role on water policy initiatives focused on drought response and resiliency planning. He holds a law degree from Arizona State University, a bachelor's degree in civil engineering and hydrology from the University of Arizona, and a master's degree in environmental and water resources engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.
Catherine Ming, Scheduler
Catherine Ming most recently worked for Senator Kirsten Gillibrand as her deputy scheduler. Previously, she worked for Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s presidential campaign as a surrogate scheduler. Catherine grew up in the Washington, D.C. area. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of Michigan.
Joan Mooney, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management, and Budget
Joan Mooney most recently served as the President and CEO of the Faith & Politics Institute and previously served as Assistant Secretary for the Department of Veterans Affairs in the Obama administration, where she led the Department’s congressional and legislative affairs. In 2014, she retired from federal service receiving the Exceptional Service Award, the highest commendation for senior leader performance. She began her Capitol Hill career in 1987 working for Congressman Terry Bruce and serving as Chief of Staff for Congresswoman Darlene Hooley.