Robert Wallace nominated for leadership position at Interior

By Laura Bies

Robert Wallace has been nominated to oversee fish, wildlife and parks at Interior, while many other key posts remain vacant. ©USFWS

In early May, President Trump nominated Robert Wallace for Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks at the Department of the Interior. The position has been vacant since the start of the administration.

Wallace comes from the private sector, where he has most recently worked on energy issues, primarily in the West. Prior to that, he was the manager of government relations at GE Energy for 17 years. Early in his career, Wallace was a Senate staffer, working on both the Energy and Natural Resources committee and the Environment and Public Works committee. He also served as the assistant director for congressional and legislative affairs at the National Park Service.

Both members of Wyoming’s Senate delegation, Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., and Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., support the selection. Wallace’s nomination must now be confirmed by the Senate, a process which has been markedly slow for many Department of Interior nominees during this administration.

Several other key positions within Interior remain vacant, nearly 2 ½ years into the Trump administration. Susan Combs awaits Senate confirmation for Interior’s Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management and Budget position.

Directors have not been appointed for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, or the Bureau of Land Management. Aurelia Skipwith has been nominated as USFWS Director, but her nomination was not acted on by the previous Congress, and she has not been re-nominated by the president in this Congress. David Vela was nominated as director of the National Park Service in August, but, as with Skipwith, his nomination expired and has not been resubmitted. No action has been taken on a director for the BLM. 

Laura BiesLaura Bies is a government relations contractor and freelance writer for The Wildlife Society. She has a B.S. in Environmental Science and a law degree from George Washington University. Laura has worked with The Wildlife Society since 2005. Read more of Laura's articles.

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