President Barack Obama will seek to add another woman to his cabinet Wednesday by picking business executive Sally Jewell to head the vast Interior Department, a White House official said.
Obama has been criticized for naming middle aged white men to the top jobs in his second term team, but has pledged to promote diversity in his other picks, and has now settled on several prominent females.
If confirmed by the Senate, Jewell -- who heads Recreational Equipment Inc., an outdoors retail chain -- will succeed Ken Salazar at Interior, which manages US national resources, wildlife, tribal issues and national parks.
"With years of experience managing a nearly $2 billion a year company, she will bring to the position integrity, keen management skills, as well as dedication to the Department's mission of managing our nation's lands," a White House official said.
"She believes deeply in the American tradition of preserving our nation's wild places, while also understanding firsthand the inextricable link between conservation and the economy.
"She also believes we must be good stewards of our nation's natural resources, underscoring the administration's ongoing priority of expanding safe and responsible energy production," the official said, noting that Jewell began her career as an engineer for Mobil Oil Corporation.
Obama had been under pressure to add more diversity to his new cabinet after picking Chuck Hagel, John Kerry and Jack Lew, to serve as the secretaries of Defense, State and Treasury.
In January, Obama nominated high powered New York prosecutor and organized crime buster Mary Jo White to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission to implement his Wall Street reforms.