WASHINGTON D.C. — President Donald Trump has nominated an Idaho Falls man to serve as Solicitor of the U.S. Department of the Interior.
“Mr. Nelson is a seasoned attorney with broad experience advising government and corporate executives in the public and private sector,” according to a press release from the White House.
The Solicitor for the Department of the Interior is the principal legal adviser to the Secretary of the Interior. A press release from the department stated if approved by the Senate, Nelson will oversee 400 employees, including 300 attorneys.
“I am honored to have been chosen by Secretary Zinke and nominated by President Trump to serve, and I look forward to the next steps in the Senate confirmation process,” Ryan Nelson said.
U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke applauded the appointment, saying Nelson’s strong background which includes involvement in natural resources policy and law, make him a well-qualified candidate.
“Having a seasoned legal expert like Ryan, who is also a son of the West, will benefit the entire Department,” U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke said. “I look forward to his speedy confirmation by the Senate.”
Idaho U.S. Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch congratulated Nelson on his nomination and called on their Senate colleagues to swiftly advance his confirmation.
— Senator Mike Crapo (@MikeCrapo) August 1, 2017
U.S. Congressmen Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) also congratulated Nelson on the appointment, saying they’re eager to see an Idahoan nominated to such an important position.
Nelson currently serves as General Counsel at Melaleuca, Inc., a billion-dollar consumer goods company based in Idaho Falls.
“As a senior corporate management team member, Nelson oversees the Legal and Policy Departments and manages all corporate compliance, litigation, and regulatory issues,” according to a press release by the Department of the Interior.
Melaleuca’s CEO, Frank VanderSloot, praised Nelson’s work for the company over the past eight years, adding, “President Trump and Secretary Zinke have chosen the best possible candidate to lead the Department of the Interior’s legal team. Ryan is a true patriot and I fully support his personal sacrifice in serving this country that he loves so much.”
Nelson must be confirmed by the Senate before he can begin work for the department.