Secretary Zinke Applauds President Trump's Nomination Of James F. Reilly For Interior Department

​Geologist and former astronaut nominated to lead the U.S. Geological Survey

Last edited 9/29/2021

Date: January 29, 2018

WASHINGTON – On Friday, President Donald J. Trump announced the appointment of Dr. James F. Reilly to be the Director of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) for the U.S. Department of Interior. U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke applauded President Trump’s nomination.

As a former astronaut, Dr. Reilly completed three shuttle missions and five spacewalks during his 13 year career with NASA. He has logged over 856 hours in space. He also served on multiple geological expeditions in locations around the world, including the Antarctic Peninsula and the continental shelf of the Gulf of Mexico.

“Dr. Reilly has proven himself as an explorer, accomplished scientist, and public servant,” said Secretary Zinke. “He will be a strong leader for the USGS as it addresses the natural resource opportunities and challenges we face as a nation. I look forward to working with him.”

“I am honored to be nominated to serve at the Department of the Interior under the Trump Administration,” said Dr. Reilly. “The USGS is finding solutions to the natural resource issues that impact local communities and our nation, and I’m excited to lead its future endeavors.”

“Dr. Reilly is uniquely-qualified candidate to become the next U.S. Geological Survey Director,” said Senator Cory Gardner. “As a former astronaut who has immense experience in geological research, Dr. Reilly has a deep understanding of the issues at hand. He also has the management experience necessary to run USGS. It’s also always good to have someone with some Colorado common sense in positions like this one. I look forward to Congress getting to know Dr. Reilly during the confirmation process.”

“James Reilly will make an excellent head of the USGS. He brings years of experience and knowledge to the table," said Congressman Doug Lamborn. "Without a doubt, the Department of the Interior will flourish under his leadership. It’s always great to see a fellow Coloradan representing us.”

Dr. Reilly currently serves as a subject matter expert and curriculum developer for the U.S. Air Force National Security Space Institute. He has extensive leadership experience in the private sector, military, and academic organizations. He received his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees in Geosciences from the University of Texas at Dallas.

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