WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne today applauded President Bush’s intention to nominate Kameran L. Onley for the position of Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Water and Science. Onley has performed the responsibilities of the position since July 2007 in addition to serving as Assistant Deputy Secretary of the Interior since January 2006. The nomination is subject to Senate confirmation.
"We are fortunate to have someone with Kameran Onley’s background in water issues, economics and regulatory policy onboard,” Kempthorne said. “She has considerable expertise in complex water issues and serves as a leader on issues throughout the nation ranging from Everglades restoration to protection of a new national monument in the northwestern Hawaiian islands.”
As Assistant Deputy Secretary, she has served 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 (CEQ).
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 management of the President’s recently created Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument in Hawaii.
At 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.