Following Ryan Zinke’s resignation as Secretary of the Interior in December, President Donald J. Trump formally nominated David Bernhardt to the position on February 4. Bernhardt became the deputy secretary in 2017 and has been serving as acting secretary since Zinke’s departure.
Prior to joining the Trump administration, Bernhardt worked as a lobbyist in Colorado, representing a range of clients, including energy companies and water districts, and worked at the Department of the Interior under previous presidential administrations.
As Secretary of the Interior, Bernhardt will oversee activities of the U.S. Geological Survey and the Bureau of Reclamation, among other responsibilities.
Bernhardt must go before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee for a confirmation hearing, but that has not yet been scheduled. He was confirmed by the Senate in 2017 to serve as deputy secretary by a vote of 53-43.