President nominates REI chief executive as interior secretary

Thursday, February 7, 2013

President Obama’s pick to lead the Interior Department — Sally Jewel, a former oil engineer and commercial banker who heads the consumer co-op Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI) — represents an effort by the administration to defuse the partisan fight over conservation and energy.

Jewel's friends and colleagues describe her as a pragmatic business leader who could work with both parties and interest groups on all sides.

“She knows the link between conservation and good jobs,” Obama said. “She knows that there’s no contradiction between being good stewards of the land and our economic progress; that, in fact, those two things need to go hand in hand.”