Biden Selects Rep. Deb Haaland for Secretary of the Interior >>

December 17th, 2020

Biden Selects Rep. Deb Haaland for Secretary of the Interior

Today, President-elect Joe Biden indicated he will nominate Congresswoman Deb Haaland (D-NM) for Secretary of the Interior. Her selection is historic. If confirmed, she will become the first-ever Native American Cabinet secretary.

Haaland is a member of the Laguna Pueblo. Elected in 2016, Haaland was one of the first two Native American women elected to Congress. Congresswoman Haaland grew up in a military family; her father was a 30-year combat Marine who was awarded the Silver Star Medal for saving six lives during Vietnam, and her mother is a Navy veteran who was a federal employee for 25 years in Indian education. She began her career in politics as a volunteer, working to increase voter turnout among Native Americans in her spare time. That work led to a job with the Obama campaign in 2012 and taking the step to run for Lieutenant Governor of New Mexico in 2014. After an unsuccessful campaign, she took over as Chair of the New Mexico Democratic Party. Haaland was also the first Chairwoman elected to the Laguna Development Corporation.

Rep. Haaland has served in key leadership positions during her time in Congress. She is the Vice-Chair of the Committee on Natural Resources (HNR) and serves as Chair of the HNR Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands. She is also Co-chair of the Native American Caucus and was elected the Freshman Class Representative to the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee.

In a statement, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Haaland, one of the first two Native American women elected to Congress, is “one of the most respected and one of the best members of Congress” and would be an “excellent choice” to lead Interior.

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