WASHINGTON, D.C. –Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne announced today that Kameran L. Onley will assume responsibilities of the Assistant Secretary for Water and Science, effective immediately. She takes over the duties of assistant secretary from Mark Limbaugh, who left for the private sector.
Onley has been Assistant Deputy Secretary of the Interior since January 2006, serving as the principal advisor to the Secretary and Deputy Secretary on environmental policy issues. Before coming to the Interior Department, Onley served as the Associate Director for Environmental Policy at the White House Council on Environmental Quality.
Onley currently serves as the Chair of the South Florida Restoration Task Force, Co-Chair of the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force, and the principal DOI member of the Interagency Committee on Ocean Science and Resource Management Integration. She has lead responsibility at Interior in the President’s recent creation of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument in Hawaii.
"Kameran is a Westerner with considerable expertise in complex water issues—both freshwater and saltwater--most recently including those associated with Everglades restoration and ocean conservation,” Secretary Kempthorne said in announcing the assignment. “We are fortunate to have someone with her background in economics, regulatory policy and water issues onboard.”
At the President’s Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), she advised the CEQ Chairman, the White House and members of the Executive Office of the President on environmental policy issues, particularly those involving ocean, coastal, and fisheries policies. Most notably she was responsible for leading the interagency ocean policy group in the development of the President’s “U.S. Ocean Action Plan.”
Onley formerly served as the associate director for the Regulatory Studies Program at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University in Arlington, Va. In the past Onley worked as an economic research assistant at the Texas Institute for Applied Environmental Research at Tarleton State University on water issues associated with the dairy industry.
Born and raised in Seattle, Wash., she received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Seattle University in Economics with a minor in Biology and an M.S. in Agricultural Economics from Clemson University.