April 20, 2007
April 20, 2007--On Thursday, Agriculture Under Secretary for Natural
Resources and Environment Mark Rey announced the appointment of Melissa M.
Simpson as deputy under secretary for Natural Resources and Environment. As
Deputy Under Secretary, Simpson will be responsible for policy relating to the
programs of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Forest Service.
"Melissa brings to this position extensive experience in public lands
policy including forest management, wildfire, energy, wildlife, water, grazing
and recreation issues," Rey said. "Her understanding and appreciation of these
issues will serve USDA well as we proceed with the development and
implementation of a new Farm Bill."
Simpson most recently served as
counselor to Rey. Prior to her appointment, she was counselor to the assistant
secretary for land and minerals management at the Department of the Interior.
From 2003 to 2005, she served as deputy director for external and
intergovernmental affairs to Interior Secretary Gale Norton, where she worked
with senior policy officials and stakeholders on a wide variety of natural
resources issues involving conservation and management of public lands.
From 2001 to 2003, Simpson served as the senior legislative assistant
for natural resources to Congressman Scott McInnis (Colo., Ret.), where she
played a key role in the passage of the Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003
and other natural resources legislation.
She replaces Dave Tenny.