New Interior Secretary: Sally Jewell Senate confirms CEO of company specializing in outdoor gear By John Johnson, Newser Staff Posted Apr 10, 2013 5:09 PM CDT 5 comments Comments Sally Jewell testifies on Capitol Hill last month. She will be the new interior secretary. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File) (Newser) – President Obama's choice to be the next interior secretary sailed through her Senate confirmation today by a vote of 87 to 11, reports the Washington Post. Sally Jewell, 57, will replace Ken Salazar as head of the department that overseas 500 million acres of parks and public lands, reports AP. Jewell has an interesting resume, notes Bloomberg and the Hill: She is currently CEO of the huge outdoor gear company REI, though she will resign immediately. Previously, she worked as a petroleum engineer and a commercial banker. “Outdoor recreation is now a major economic generator for our country,” Democrat Ron Wyden of Oregon said before the vote. “You can’t run a multi-billion dollar company like REI without being able to bring people together and anticipating some of the trends that lie ahead."