WASHINGTON, Feb. 6 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday tapped Sally Jewell, the first female nominee for his second term cabinet, to lead the Department of Interior in next four years.
If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Jewell, the chief executive of the outdoor gear company REI and a longtime advocate for conservation, will succeed the outgoing Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.
Speaking at the White House nomination event, Obama praised Jewell as "another strong and capable leader" to lead the Department of Interior, calling for a quick Senate confirmation.
Jewell began her career in oil industry and worked in banking industries for nearly two decades until eight years ago she took over REI, one of the country's leading outdoor gear companies.
"Sally has helped turn a stalling outdoor retailer into one of America's most successful and environmentally conscious companies, " Obama said, adding that REI donated almost 4 million dollars to protect trails and parks last year.
Despite its name, the U.S. Interior Department has a different role from the departments of interior of other countries. The department is responsible for the management and conservation of most federal land and natural resources in the U.S. and carries out big portions of the federal government's energy policy.
"Even as Sally spent the majority of her career outside of Washington, where I might add, the majority of our interior is located, she is an expert on the energy and climate issues that are going to shape our future," Obama said.
Jewell is a founding member of the board of the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust and also participated in Obama's America's Great Outdoor Initiative to promote and support innovative efforts to conserve outdoor spaces.
"She knows the link between conservation and good jobs," he said. "She knows that there is no contradiction between being good stewards of the land and our economic progress, that in fact those two things need to go hand in hand."
While accepting the nomination, Jewell said she looked forward to working with the Interior employees who "work so hard to care for our land and our resources every day."
Before Jewell's nomination, Obama has come under some criticism for not making his second-term Cabinet more diverse with more women and ethnic members.