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Aurelia Skipwith Confirmed as New USFWS Director

Gabriella Hoffman
by Gabriella Hoffman Read Profile arrow_right_alt

Yesterday afternoon, the U.S. Senate confirmed Aurelia Skipwith as the next U.S. Fish and Wildlife Director.

With three Democrats joining with Republicans—Senators Doug Jones, Kirsten Sinema, and Joe Manchin—she was confirmed by a 52-39 vote.

Nine lawmakers—Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), Richard Shelby (R-AL), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Rand Paul (R-KY), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Amy Kloubacher (D-MN), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Richard Burr (R-NC)—weren’t present for the vote.

In a press release, Interior Secretary Bernhardt applauded the Senate for confirming Ms. Skipwith.

“Aurelia Skipwith’s leadership at the Department of the Interior has been vital in helping us advance the President’s priorities for the American people,” said Bernhardt “I look forward to working with her in her new capacity.”

“I am truly honored to serve the American people under the leadership of President Trump and Secretary Bernhardt,” added USFWS Director Skipwith. “I am grateful for the confidence that the Senate has placed in me, and I look forward to helping the Secretary advance this Administration’s priorities for the Department, for the Service and for American conservation.”

Ms. Skipwith will oversee 8,500 department employees and work in concert with Secretary Bernhardt to “conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.”

There hasn’t been a formal director since Dan Ashe last administration, who served from June 30, 2011 – Jan 19, 2017. There were three acting USFWS Directors since then: Jim Kurth, Greg Sheehan, and most recently, Margaret Everson.

Ms. Skipwith previously served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Fish, Wildlife and Parks—a post she’s held since 2017. With her confirmation yesterday, she becomes the first African American woman to hold this post. A very historical moment indeed.

Her confirmation was also applauded by various agencies, conservation, and wildlife groups.

During her nomination hearing over the summer, Senate Democrats pressed Ms. Skipwith for her ties to Monsanto and asked why she donated $5,600 to President Trump’s re-election bid in 2020.

Not surprisingly, groups like the Center for Biological Diversity accused her of being an “unqualified industry shill” while Sierra Club called her a “crony.” Good news for true conservation then.

The Resurgent will continue to follow the latest updates from Department of Interior.

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