David Bernhardt serves as Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior. President Trump nominated Bernhardt for the position in April 2017 and the U.S. Senate confirmed him in July 2017. He was sworn-in by Secretary Zinke on August 1, 2017.
As Deputy Secretary, Bernhardt is the second-highest-ranking official at the Interior Department with statutory responsibilities as the Chief Operating Officer of an agency of more than 70,000 employees and an annual budget of approximately $12 billion.
“David’s extensive experience serving under previous Interior secretaries, his esteemed legal career, and down-right love of our land and resources is exactly what is needed to help streamline government and make the Interior and our public lands work for the American economy,” said Secretary Ryan Zinke.
Bernhardt is an avid hunter and angler and recently served on the Board of Game and Inland Fisheries for the Commonwealth of Virginia. He has in-depth experience in legal matters concerning active regulations and rule-makings, with years of legal experience in both the government and the private sector. His expertise ranges from the Endangered Species Act to Outer-Continental leases, from mining royalties to Indian Affairs.