WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today praised President Obama’s intent to nominate Michael L. Connor to serve as the Deputy Secretary of the Department of the Interior. Since 2009, Connor has served as Commissioner of Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation.
“Mike will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the position after two decades in public service working on energy, conservation and water issues,” Secretary Jewell said. “He has proven himself to be a thoughtful and collaborative leader on some of the toughest challenges at the Department – including finding sustainable solutions to water challenges in the West and resolving Indian water rights claims. Interior will be well served by his commonsense approach in the Deputy position.”
If confirmed by the U. S. Senate, Connor would be the second highest ranking official at Interior, with statutory responsibility as the Chief Operating Officer to help lead a Department of more than 70,000 employees and an annual budget of about $12 billion. Connor will continue to serve in his capacity as Reclamation Commissioner, overseeing the nation’s largest water wholesaler and second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the West with 58 power plants, including Hoover and Grand Coulee Dams, while his nomination is being considered.
As Commissioner, Connor has promoted the sustainable use of water to address current and future challenges facing water supply and power generation. From his work to complete two major agreements with Mexico on the Colorado River, to negotiating and implementing five Indian water rights settlements, to leading negotiations on the California Bay-Delta Conservation Plan, his record at Interior is marked by taking on complex natural resource conflicts and bringing together diverse stakeholders.