Date: Thursday, October 27, 2022
WASHINGTON — The Department of the Interior today announced new Biden-Harris administration appointees who will work to fulfill the agency’s mission to steward America’s public lands and waters, pursue environmental justice and honor nation-to-nation relationships with Tribes.
“The Department of the Interior is making rapid progress on President Biden’s ambitious goals of creating good-paying jobs and lowering costs for working families by developing a robust and sustainable clean energy economy and implementing the historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act,” said Chief of Staff Rachael Taylor. “We look forward to continuing this work alongside our new colleagues who each bring with them unique and valuable backgrounds, skills and talents.”
The appointees are listed below in alphabetical order:
Michelle Gullett, Speechwriter
Michelle Gullett most recently served in the office of U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich, first as legislative correspondent and later as legislative aide, where she focused on natural resources, public lands, climate, historic preservation and wildlife issues. She previously served in Representative Melanie Stansbury and Representative Deb Haaland’s congressional offices. Born and raised in New Mexico, Michelle has dedicated her career in public service to addressing the climate crisis and protecting America’s public lands and waters. She is a proud graduate of the University of New Mexico.
Roque Sánchez, Senior Advisor, Bureau of Reclamation
Roque Sánchez joins Interior after serving as policy advisor for the White House Office of Domestic Climate Policy and startup facilitator for the Office of Clean Energy Innovation and Implementation. Prior to joining the Biden-Harris administration, Roque worked in several roles to advance climate resilience and clean energy, including at High Water Mark, a Native American, woman-owned environmental consulting firm; the Rice University School of Engineering; and President Obama’s White House Office of Energy and Climate Change. He holds degrees in civil and environmental engineering from Rice University and was raised in the Rio Grande valley of New Mexico.
Siva Sundaresan, Deputy Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Siva Sundaresan most recently served as program officer at the Wilburforce Foundation. He joined the Foundation after having served as director of conservation at the Greater Yellowstone Coalition where he oversaw their conservation efforts working in partnership with agencies, landowners and other non-profits. Siva's background is in wildlife biology and behavioral ecology, and he has carried out research on ungulates and carnivores in Kenya and India. He earned his Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology from Princeton University and a Master in Biological Sciences from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science.
Jayne Wixtead, Special Assistant, Office of Assistant Secretary - Land and Minerals Management
Jayne Wixtead joins the Interior Department from the Office of Presidential Personnel where she served as staff assistant, initially supporting the climate and science team and later the national security and foreign policy team. Prior to joining the White House, she was a regional organizing director for the Biden-Harris campaign in North Carolina and a field organizer in various states during the primary. Originally from Connecticut, Jayne is a graduate of Occidental College, where she studied diplomacy and world affairs.