A rugged, whitewater river flowing northward through deep canyons, the New River is among the oldest rivers on the continent. New River Gorge National River in West Virginia encompasses over 70,000 acres of land along the New River, is rich in cultural and natural history, and offers an abundance of scenic and recreational opportunities.
On April 8, 2014, Neil Kornze was confirmed by the U.S. Congress as the Director of the Bureau of Land Management. From March 1, 2013 until his recent confirmation, Neil Kornze led the BLM as the agency's Principal Deputy Director. Kornze oversees the agency's management of more than 245 million acres of public land nationwide.
Prior to serving in his current role, Kornze was the BLM's Acting Deputy Director for Policy and Programs starting in October 2011. Kornze joined the organization in January 2011 as a Senior Advisor to the Director. In these roles, he worked on a broad range of issues, including renewable and conventional energy development, transmission siting, and conservation policy.
Kornze was a key player in the development of the Western Solar Plan and the agency's successful authorization more than 10,000 megawatts of renewable energy, surpassing a congressionally-established goal three years ahead of schedule. He has also been active in tribal consultation, especially as it relates to oil and gas and renewable energy development.
Before coming to the Bureau of Land Management, Kornze worked as a Senior Advisor to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada. In his work for Senator Reid, which spanned from early 2003 to early 2011, he worked on a variety of public lands issues, including renewable energy development, mining, water, outdoor recreation, rural development, and wildlife. Kornze has also served as an international election observer in Macedonia, the Ukraine, and Georgia and is co-author of an article in The Oxford Companion to American Law.
Raised in Elko, NV, Kornze is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate with a degree in Politics from Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA. He earned a master's degree in International Relations at the London School of Economics.