Department of the Interior

DOI News Header
For Immediate Release:
Contact: Joan Moody
Dec. 20, 2005
Phone: (202) 208-6416
Norton Names Brent Wahlquist Acting Director of Office of Surface Mining

WASHINGTON - Interior Secretary Gale Norton today named Brent Wahlquist to serve as acting director of the Office of Surface Mining in place of Jeffrey Jarrett, who was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as assistant secretary for fossil energy at the Department of Energy. Wahlquist will serve until President Bush nominates and the Senate confirms a new OSM director.

Walquist is a career OSM employee with more than 22 years with the agency at the executive level. He currently serves as OSM regional director of the Appalachian region, where he oversees the agency's programs in a seven-state area. Previously he served as regional director of the agency's Mid-Continent and Western regions and as assistant director in Washington D.C.

"Brent Wahlquist has broad experience in all areas of the Office of Surface Mining and will guide the agency ably until a new director is nominated and confirmed," Norton said.

Wahlquist, a native of Idaho, holds a PhD in biology from New Mexico State University, and both a masters and a bachelors degree in botany from Brigham Young University.