Deb Haaland was sworn in and has become the 54th Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior.
Haaland, an enrolled member of the Laguna Pueblo, is the first Native American to serve in this position. She was chair of the New Mexico Democratic Party from 2015 to 2017 and the U.S. representative for New Mexico’s 1st congressional district from 2019 to 2021.
Haaland issued the following statement:
“At my confirmation hearing, I said that we all have a stake in the future of our country. No matter your political party or Zip code, your ancestral heritage or income level, we all must take the formidable challenges that lie ahead seriously, and we will take them head-on, together.
“I am proud and humbled to lead the dedicated team at Interior as we seek to leave a livable planet for future generations. Together, we will work to advance President Biden’s vision to honor our nation-to-nation relationship with Tribes, address the climate and nature crises, advance environmental justice, and build a clean energy future that creates good-paying jobs and powers our nation.
“The change we need will take hard work and perseverance, but I know that together there is nothing we cannot accomplish.”
DOI conserves and manages the natural resources and cultural heritage of the U.S. for the benefit and enjoyment of the American people; provides scientific and other information about natural resources and natural hazards to address societal challenges and create opportunities for the American people; and honors the Nation’s trust responsibilities or special commitments to American Indians, Alaska Natives, and affiliated island communities to help them prosper.