Interior Secretary Sally Jewell Wednesday named former Vice Admiral Brian Salerno to direct the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), which oversees oil and gas operations on the federal Outer Continental Shelf. Salerno, who retired from the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) last year as its Deputy Commandant for Operations, will assume his new post on Aug. 26, replacing James Watson.

At the USCG, Salerno worked predominantly in maritime safety, security, environmental protection and emergency response, and managed a workforce of 750 people, with a $1.2 billion budget.

He played a key role in the USCG's response to the 2010 Macondo well blowout and explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon rig, and he has served as incident commander for responses to several large-scale transportation accidents, oil spills and hurricanes, according to Jewell.

Salerno also was a member of the National Academy of Sciences' Ocean Studies Board that explored industry and government readiness to respond to oil spills in the Arctic Ocean and part of a team that examined interagency relationships among the BSEE, the Coast Guard, other government agencies and the regulated industry.

 Salerno would be the third director in BSEE's history. The position does not require confirmation by the Senate.