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Obama Taps Environmental Lawyer for Interior Post

President Obama Wednesday announced his intent to nominate a prominent Washington, DC, attorney with extensive experience in environmental law to a high-level position in the Department of Interior.

Obama tapped Janice Schneider to be Interior's assistant secretary for land and minerals management. If confirmed by the Senate, she would succeed Tommy Boudreau, who has led the office since January. He would remain director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), where he has guided offshore energy reform and development since September 2011.

In her new position, Schneider  would oversee the BOEM, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, Bureau of Land Management, and Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement.

Schneider currently is a partner in the environment, land and resources department of the law firm of Latham & Watkins LLP, a position she has held since 2005. She is co-chair of Latham & Watkins' energy and infrastructure project siting and defense practice as well as local department chair of the environment, land and resources department.

During her career in the federal government she served as counselor and deputy secretary of Interior (2000), trial attorney in the Department of Justice's Environment and Natural Resources Division (1998-1999 and 2001), and attorney-advisor in Interior's Office of the Solicitor (1993-1998).

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell welcomed Schneider's nomination. "Janice's expertise in natural resource, energy development and environmental law and policy will enable us to continue to safely and responsibly expand America's conventional and renewable energy exploration and development under President Obama's ‘all of the above’ energy strategy."

Schneider received a Juris Doctor degree from Northwestern School of Law of Lewis and Clark College in Portland, OR, in 1992 with a certificate of environmental and natural resources law. She earned a bachelor of science degree in biology and marine science from the University of Miami in 1983.

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