David Bernhardt (2019-2021)
David Bernhardt was born on August 17, 1969, and was raised in Rifle, Colorado. He attended the University of Northern Colorado, graduating in 1990 with a Bachelor of Arts in political science. In 1994, he graduated from the George Washington University’s School of Law.
He began his career working for US Representative Scott McInnis of Colorado from 1993 to 1998. That year, he joined the law and lobbying firm of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP. He focused his work in natural resources law, specifically in water rights and the oil and mining industries.
Bernhardt first joined the Department of the Interior during the administration of George W. Bush, serving as deputy chief of staff for then-Secretary Gale Norton. From 2006 to 2009, he was solicitor for the Department. When Barack Obama took office in 2009, Bernhardt returned to Brownstein as a lawyer and lobbyist.
When Donald Trump became president in 2017, Bernhardt rejoined the Department of the Interior as Deputy Secretary of the Interior. On April 11, 2019, the US Senate confirmed Bernhardt as Secretary of the Interior. He pledged to continue President Trump’s policies of deregulation and lessening environmental standards.