Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne today announced the selection of Melinda J. Loftin as the new Designated Agency Ethics Official for the U.S. Department of the Interior.
Before her selection for this Senior Executive Service position at Interior, Loftin worked at the Department of the Air Force as an Associate General Counsel, a Deputy Designated Agency Ethics Official and Director of the Ethics Office.
“I am committed to promoting an ethical culture at the Department of the Interior,” Kempthorne said. “Ms. Loftin brings extensive expertise and a fresh perspective to our ethics office.”
Secretary Kempthorne has asked the government-wide Office of Government Ethics for the best ethical practices and procedures at other government agencies. The Secretary has directed Loftin to make sure Interior incorporates these best practices into its decision-making process.
Loftin’s previous experience included an assignment in 2001 to the Office of Counsel to the President at the White House, where she worked on nominations and ethics documents for White House appointees. Before coming to the Air Force in 1996, Loftin worked for the Department of the Army for 16 years in a broad range of legal disciplines.
She also served as a congressional fellow on the United States Senate Oversight of Government Management Subcommittee from 1989-1990.
Loftin was a Senior Executive Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government and is a graduate of the Federal Executive Institute. She received a B.A. in Business Administration and Political Science from Adrian College and a law degree from Michigan State University College of Law, which selected her for its 2005 Distinguished Alumni Award.
Loftin replaces Shayla Simmons, who was recently tapped to serve as Interior’s first Senior Counsel for Collaborative Action and Dispute Resolution. Before serving as Designated Agency Ethics Official beginning in Oct. 2001, Simmons served as Deputy Director of Congressional Affairs. She has been at Interior since 1994.