Interior Secretary Zinke Applauds Senate Confirmation of Doug Domenech as Assistant Secretary for Insular Areas

9/14/2017

Date: September 14, 2017
Contact: Interior_Press@ios.doi.gov

WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke today applauded the Senate’s confirmation of Interior Department veteran Douglas William Domenech as Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Insular Areas. Domenech was confirmed by the U.S. Senate yesterday and will be sworn-in in the coming days. President Trump nominated him in June.

"I am excited to officially welcome Doug back to the Department to lead the Administration’s initiatives in the insular areas," said Secretary Zinke. "Doug’s confirmation could not come soon enough for the people of the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico who are rebuilding in the wake of Hurricane Irma. I’m excited to put him to work for them and all our brothers and sisters across the insular areas."

“It is a great responsibility and honor to accept this important position which helps bridge the distance and raise awareness about the insular areas to decision makers in Washington, D.C.” said Domenech. “Islands governments face the basic challenge of higher costs and limited resources as they serve the people. Recent catastrophic events surrounding Hurricane Irma only heighten these challenges. It is critically important that our neighbors and fellow Americans feel confident that we in the federal government can help address these challenges. I look forward to working with leadership from each of these islands to find innovative solutions to the challenges we all face together.”

The Office of the Assistant Secretary Insular Areas coordinates federal policy for the U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI).  In addition, the Office is responsible for administering and overseeing U.S. Compact grant assistance to the freely associated states of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of Palau.

Domenech, whose family is from Puerto Rico, holds a BS in Forestry and Wildlife Management from Virginia Tech University and currently serves as Senior Advisor to Interior Secretary Zinke. Previously, he served as the Secretary of Natural Resources for the Commonwealth of Virginia overseeing six state environmental, recreation, and historic resource agencies. During the George W. Bush Administration, Domenech served as White House Liaison and Deputy Chief of Staff to Secretaries Norton and Kempthorne. In addition, he served as the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Insular Areas. Domenech currently serves as the Secretary’s appointee to the Advisory Council of the Conservation Trust of Puerto Rico.

Domenech’s nomination was endorsed by four Governors of the U.S. territories; U.S. Virgin Islands Governor Kenneth Mapp, American Samoa Governor Lolo Moliga, Guam Governor Eddie Calvo, and CNMI Governor Ralph Torres.