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.
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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.
She spoke at a Friends of Renton Schools fundraiser in 2011 and told attendees her experience at Renton High School helped her develop confidence and leadership skills.
At RHS, Jewell served as student body secretary—her only elected office.