Senate confirms Sally Jewell as Interior Secretary

WASHINGTON - FEBRUARY 16 2011: Sally Jewell, the former CEO of REI, speaks at America's Great Outdoors Initiative. The US Senate confirmed Jewell as the new secretary of the interior on Wednesday.</p>

WASHINGTON - FEBRUARY 16 2011: Sally Jewell, the former CEO of REI, speaks at America's Great Outdoors Initiative. The US Senate confirmed Jewell as the new secretary of the interior on Wednesday.

The US Senate on Wednesday confirmed outdoorsy Sally Jewell, former head of Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI), as secretary of the interior, according to the Associated Press

Jewell will be responsible for over 500 million acres of national parks and public land, said AP, as well as overseeing 566 Indian tribes registered with the government. 

She passed the Senate vote with flying colors -- 87 votes in favor, 11 against, said AP

Oregon's Senator Ron Wyden, a Democrat who heads the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said Jewell showed “the kind of leadership” needed for managing the nation's sometimes conflicting environmental and energy interests, reported The Washington Post

AP described the 57-year-old engineer as a "lifelong outdoors enthusiast." Prior to being with REI, Jewell worked in the oil industry.