DOI: Interior Department Announces New Biden-Harris Appointees

Thursday, June 1, 2023

Executive Summary:

  • The Department of the Interior has announced additional appointees to join agency leadership under the Biden-Harris administration.
  • New team members include:
    • Phil Burton (Senior Advisor for Infrastructure Equity)
    • Sara Moffat (Senior Advisor, Bureau of Land Management)
    • Jacek Pruski (Deputy Solicitor for General Law)
    • Zaheer Tajani (Senior Advisor for Oversight).
  • These appointees bring expertise from various fields including public policy, government relations, legal counsel, and environmental management.
  • The team will advance the administration’s Investing in America agenda, focusing on climate resiliency, clean energy, and strengthening Indigenous communities.

Unedited Press Release Text:

WASHINGTON — The Department of the Interior today announced additional Biden-Harris administration appointees who will join agency leadership to help advance the clean energy economy, steward America’s public lands and waters, pursue environmental justice and honor our nation-to-nation relationship with Tribes. 

“President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is making historic investments to advance climate resiliency, build a clean energy economy and strengthen Indigenous communities,” said Chief of Staff Rachael Taylor. “Our new team members will play an important role in achieving Interior’s mission and delivering results for the American people.”

The new appointees are listed below in alphabetical order: 

  • Phil Burton, Senior Advisor for Infrastructure Equity 
  • Sara Moffat, Senior Advisor, Bureau of Land Management
  • Jacek Pruski, Deputy Solicitor for General Law 
  • Zaheer Tajani, Senior Advisor for Oversight

Phil Burton, Senior Advisor for Infrastructure Equity 

Phil Burton rejoins Interior after previously serving as a management analyst in the National Park Service, supporting staffing and employee management efforts across the National Park System. Phil holds a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Maryland and a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the California State University of Fullerton.

Sara Moffat, Senior Advisor, Bureau of Land Management

Sara Moffat most recently served as director of government relations at the Western Conservation Foundation and was previously policy advisor to U.S. Senator Harry Reid focusing on public lands and natural resources. Previously, she worked in the Nevada State Legislature and on various political campaigns in the state. Sara holds a master’s degree in comparative politics from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Nevada, Reno. She grew up in Southern Nevada and currently lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband Don.

Jacek Pruski, Deputy Solicitor for General Law 

Jacek Pruski most recently served as counsel with Protect Democracy, where he used integrated advocacy to promote free and fair elections. Previously, Jacek was managing director and general counsel for We The Action and served as associate general counsel at the U.S. Department of Education, principal deputy associate counsel at the White House, and trial attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Division’s Federal Programs Branch. He holds a J.D. and Master of Public Policy from Stanford University and a Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts from the University of Iowa.  

Zaheer Tajani, Senior Advisor for Oversight

Zaheer Tajani most recently served as associate deputy general counsel specializing in environmental and administrative law and appellate litigation at the U.S. Department of the Army. He has previously worked at the Environmental Protection Agency, Council on Environmental Quality and the Biden for President campaign. Prior to his legal career, he worked as a water resources scientist. Zaheer graduated valedictorian with a J.D. from Pace Law School, has a Master of Environmental Management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and holds a Bachelor of Science in civil and environmental engineering from Cornell University.



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