Connor has served as Commissioner for the Bureau of Reclamation since 2009. He has worked on negotiating and implementing several tribal water rights settlements.
“Mike will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the position after two decades in public service working on energy, conservation and water issues,” Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said in a press release.
“He has proven himself to be a thoughtful and collaborative leader on some of the toughest challenges at the Department – including finding sustainable solutions to water challenges in the West and resolving Indian water rights claims. Interior will be well served by his commonsense approach in the Deputy position.”
If confirmed by the Senate, Connor would be the first Native American descendant in the second-highest ranking post at DOI. He would succeed David Hayes, who left the Obama administration in June.