"Sally Jewell's first political test as President Obama's nominee for Interior secretary comes Thursday before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, where she will be grilled on how she plans to run the $12 billion agency that controls one-fifth of the U.S. landmass and nearly all of its oceans."
"Jewell, 56, has had less than a month to cram for what could be a grueling and lengthy confirmation hearing, her first step toward replacing outgoing Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. There's no shortage of questions senators may ask about balancing conservation and development on federal lands -- including a pending decision on whether to allow a road through an Alaska wildlife refuge, an issue over which Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) has threatened to block Jewell's confirmation.
Having begun her career as an engineer for Mobil Oil Corp. in southern Oklahoma before spending two decades as a corporate banker, Jewell is currently CEO of outdoor retailer REI, a $1.8 billion cooperative that has more than 100 stores. Obama picked her Feb. 6, calling her an expert on energy and climate issues who understands the link between conservation and the economy."