Department Of Interior

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Office of the Secretary
Contact: Tina Kreisher
For Immediate Release: June 1, 2004

Norton Applauds President Bush's Recess
Appointment of Sue Ellen Wooldridge as Solicitor

Washington - Interior Secretary Gale Norton today applauded President Bush's recess-appointment of Sue Ellen Wooldridge to be solicitor for the U.S. Department of the Interior.

"I am excited to have Sue Ellen Wooldridge's dedication and expertise in our legal department as we continue to manage our national treasures," said Norton. "Sue Ellen's unique talents and extensive legal experience are a great asset for Interior and will serve her well as solicitor."

President Bush nominated Wooldridge in January. Under a recess appointment, Wooldridge immediately assumes the position of solicitor. She will serve while the U.S. Senate considers her nomination when it reconvenes.

"I am honored to accept this position and serve as solicitor," Wooldridge said. "I will carry out my responsibilities with dedication and integrity, and uphold our commitment to be wise stewards of the public's land and resources."

The solicitor is the general counsel for the Department of the Interior and represents the department in administrative and judicial litigation, and in meetings, negotiations and other contracts with Congress, federal agencies, states, tribes and the public.

Wooldridge most recently served as the deputy chief of staff and counselor to Secretary Norton, a position she held since January 31, 2001. Prior to coming to Interior, Wooldridge was in private practice in Sacramento, California (1987 - 1994 and 1999 - 2001), served as general counsel to the non-partisan California Fair Political Practices Committee (2000), and was a special assistant attorney general in the California Department of Justice (1994 - 1998).

Wooldridge earned a bachelor's degree from the University of California, Davis in 1983, and a J.D. from the Harvard University Law School in 1987. She's admitted to practice in the U. S. Supreme Court and in the state and federal courts in California. She is currently a resident of Virginia.


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