Sally Jewell - a good choice for Interior Department

  • Article by: EDITORIAL , Los Angeles Times
  • Updated: February 16, 2013 - 6:09 PM

She's been chief executive of outdoor retailer REI since 2005 and is reportedly a devoted outdoorswoman.


2010 photo: Sally Jewell (center), then CEO of the REI outdoors gear company, pauses after climbing the Emmons Glacier with friends.

Photo: Janet Jensen, MCT

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

U.S. secretaries of the Interior have seldom been renowned for being ... well, renowned. Typically affable former members of Congress who reliably see things according to the president's point of view, they are nearly always Western conservationists, though their agreement on the extent to which natural resources should be exploited can wary widely.

Sally Jewell, President Obama's recent nominee for the post, fits that description pretty well, while bringing additional attributes that suit the president's agenda beautifully.

She's been chief executive of outdoor retailer REI since 2005 and is reportedly a devoted outdoorswoman, which for conservationists takes some of the sting out of the fact that she started her career with the oil industry and spent most of it as a banker.

That, on the other hand, will help mollify critics on the right who fear that Obama's tenure has been a sellout to the environmental lobby. And there's the convenient truth that Jewell is a woman, which serves as a balm to analysts irked by the fact that, to date, Obama's cabinet picks have been made up exclusively of white men.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


  • about opinion

  • The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.

  • Submit a letter or commentary
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters