The U.S. Senate today confirmed the nomination of David Bernhardt of Virginia to serve as Deputy Secretary of the Department of the Interior (DOI), joining Secretary Ryan Zinke at the top of the 70,000-person agency. He was nominated by President Trump for the position of Deputy Secretary on April 28th. On July 24, 2017, the Senate voted 53-43 to confirm the nomination.
In 2006, the Senate unanimously confirmed Mr. Bernhardt to serve as the Solicitor of the Department of Interior. As solicitor, he was the chief legal officer and third ranking official for the Department. Prior to serving as Solicitor, Bernhardt held several other positions at DOI including Deputy Solicitor, Deputy Chief of Staff, Counselor to the Secretary of the Interior and Director of the Office of Congressional and Legislative Affairs.
In June, SCI joined with 27 other wildlife conservation, recreational shooting, and hunting groups to support Bernhardt’s confirmation based on his demonstrated ability to find solutions to the many complex problems involved with managing our Nation’s abundant resources. Bernhardt has devoted his career to resource management related positions in and out of government. He helped write President George W. Bush’s Executive Order 13443 to enhance hunting opportunities and the management of game species and their habitat. He is also an avid hunter, angler, and shooter.
Safari Club International’s President Paul Babaz issued the following statement reacting to Berhnardt’s confirmation:
“David Bernhardt is a dedicated public servant and I have great confidence he will help President Trump and Secretary Zinke wisely manage the Interior Department’s resources and personnel as Deputy Secretary. Hunters, anglers, and sportsmen across America strongly supported David’s nomination and we are pleased to see his confirmation by the Senate to this critical post. I know I speak for all SCI members in wishing him and his wife Gena great success in the months and years ahead.”