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Obama Taps REI CEO, Renton High School Grad for Interior Secretary

Sally Jewell is the first female nominee to President Obama's second-term cabinet.

President Obama plans to nominate REI CEO and Renton High School alumna Sally Jewell as Secretary of the Interior on Wednesday, according to several media reports.

Jewell has served as chief executive of Kent-based REI, a thriving $2-billion-a-year company, since 2005 and previously spent 20 years in the banking industry. She studied mechanical engineering at the University of Washington and is currently on the UW's board of regents

Jewell is the first woman to be nominated to the president's second-term cabinet. If confirmed, she will replace outgoing Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, a former U.S. senator from Colorado.

Jewell is a dedicated outdoors enthusiast who hikes, bikes, skis and climbs. In 2010, she traveled to Antartica to scale Mt. Vinson, the continent's highest peak. 

The Department of the Interior oversees such agencies as the Bureau of Land Management, the United States Geological Survey, and the National Park Service.

At Renton High School, Jewell served as student body secretary—her only elected office.

What should be the first priority of the new interior secretary? Tell us in the comments section.

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