BOULDER, CO (BRAIN) — President Obama on Wednesday nominated REI's chief executive, Sally Jewell, to become U.S. Secretary of the Interior. Jewell, who has been at REI for eight years, also has experience in the banking and oil industries. The nomination must be approved by the Senate.
"In high school, Sally’s aptitude test showed she had a knack for mechanical reasoning and spatial ability," Obama said in nominating Jewell in the White House state dining room Wednesday. " Of course, her recommended professions after she took these tests were to be a nurse or a teacher -- just like all the other girls in her class. And it wasn’t until she was an undergraduate at the University of Washington studying to be a dentist when Sally realized her boyfriend’s homework was more interesting than hers, and she decided to become an engineer."
The Outdoor Industry Association has already applauded the nomination in a statement released Wednesday morning.
"Sally Jewell is uniquely qualified to serve as the next secretary of the Interior,” said Frank Hugelmeyer, president and CEO of the OIA. "Ms. Jewell recognizes that our nation’s natural resources support the economy, local communities and the people whose lives depend on having access to quality places in the great outdoors. Treasury secretaries are chosen from the investment world, so it is appropriate that a secretary for the Interior would be nominated from the outdoor recreation business world.”
Jewell also spoke at the White House Wednesday.
"I have a great job at REI today, but there's no role that compares than the call to serve my country as Secretary of the Department of Interior," he said. "I’m humbled and I’m energized by this opportunity, and I look forward to getting to know members of the Senate as they consider my nomination in the coming weeks."