President of 'American Rivers' Nominated to Be Assistant Interior Secretary For Fish, Wildlife and Parks

Rebecca Wodder, who has led the American Rivers organization since 1995, and worked for The Wilderness Society before that, will be nominated by President Obama to serve as assistant Interior secretary for Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar praised the president's choice for a successor to Tom Strickland, who in February returned to the private sector from the job.

“Rebecca’s extensive experience and notable accomplishments in natural resource management make her an outstanding choice for this key position on our departmental leadership team,” Secretary Salazar said. “Her lifelong work to conserve and restore America’s lands and waters will be invaluable in carrying out Interior’s strategic vision for our wildlife and park conservation programs and initiatives.”

Currently, Interior’s principal deputy solicitor, Rachel Jacobson, is serving as acting assistant secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.

Since 1995, Ms. Wodder has been president and chief executive officer of American Rivers, directing strategic, programmatic and financial operations. During her tenure there, she led efforts to help communities restore the health of their rivers through such innovative conservation measures as the creation of river trails, the removal of obsolete and dangerous dams, and the implementation of green infrastructure solutions to safeguard clean water.

At American Rivers, Ms. Wodder led collaborations with federal, state, tribal, and local governments, business and industry, and grassroots groups to achieve consensus solutions to competing interests in rivers and freshwater resources. In 2010, she was recognized as one of the Top 25 Outstanding Conservationists by Outdoor Life Magazine, and was named Woman of the Year by the American Sportfishing Association in 1998.

From 1981 to 1994, Ms. Wodder served at The Wilderness Society in several capacities, including as vice president for organizational development, and vice president for membership, marketing and development.

Prior to joining The Wilderness Society, Ms. Wodder was legislative assistant to U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson (Wisconsin) on environmental and energy issues, from 1978-1980, participating in negotiations on water and energy resource development programs and projects, and the Alaska Lands Act.

A native Nebraska, Ms. Wodder holds a B.A. in Biology and a B.A. in Environmental Studies from the University of Kansas, graduating With Highest Distinction. She also holds an M.S. in Landscape Architecture and an M.S. in Water Resources Management from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.