There’s not even an “Acting” Director of the Bureau of Land Management: Brian Steed is just “Exercising Authority of the Director”

The Bureau of Land Management doesn’t have a Director or an Acting Director.  Brian Steed is the Deputy Director, Policy & Programs, but he is Exercising Authority of the Director.”  There are 8 “Acting” Directors under him.

Source:  BLM

Brian Steed   Brian Steed

Deputy Director, Policy and Programs, Bureau of Land Management

Exercising Authority of the Director

Brian Steed is the BLM’s Deputy Director for Policy and Programs, exercising authority of the director. Before joining the BLM in October 2017, Steed served as Chief of Staff for Representative Chris Stewart of Utah. Before that, he taught economics at Utah State University and was once a deputy county attorney in Iron County, Utah. He is a native of Logan, Utah, and attended Utah State University, earning both a B.A. and M.A. in political science. He also earned his law degree at the University of Utah, with a Certificate in Natural Resources and Environmental Law.  Steed then earned his doctorate in Public Policy from Indiana University in 2010. Read the full biography

Richard Cardinale   Richard Cardinale

Acting Deputy Director, Operations

Richard T. Cardinale is detailed to the position of Deputy Director – Operations, Bureau of Land Management since June 11, 2018.  Rich has been serving as the Director of Business Operations in the Office of the Chief Information Officer since December 1, 2017.   Read the full biography.

Official photo of BLM Alaska Acting State Director Karen Mouritsen   Karen Mouritsen

BLM Alaska Acting State Director

Karen Mouritsen was an attorney practicing law for DOI, but she was motivated to make a career change to the BLM after serving on detail as an Associate District Manager and learning how challenging and rewarding it is to work together as a team with many talented BLM employees.  Read the full biography

Photo of BLM Arizona State Director Raymond Suazo  Raymond Suazo

BLM Arizona State Director

Ray Suazo is the BLM Arizona State Director, responsible for leading a staff of nearly 500 employees and the management of more than 12 million surface and 17 million subsurface acres of public lands in Arizona. Ray joined the BLM Arizona State Office in 2006. He served as Chief Information Officer, Deputy State Director for Business and Support Services, and Associate State Director before his appointment as the Arizona State Director in 2011.   Read the full biography

BLM California State Directory Jerry Perez   Jerome E. Perez

BLM California State Director

Jerome E. Perez is the California State Director for the Bureau of Land Management. He previously served as the State Director for BLM Oregon/Washington and as the Deputy Regional Forester of the U.S. Forest Service’s Intermountain Region. Read the full biography

Shoop_Acting CO SD  Greg Shoop

Acting BLM Colorado State Director

Greg Shoop has worked for the BLM on and off since 1977. He has been BLM Colorado’s Associate State Director since 2014 and is currently serving as its Acting State Director. Read the full biography.

Acting State Director Mitch Leverette   Mitch Leverette

BLM Eastern States Acting State Director

Mitch Leverette started his BLM career 30 years ago as a staff geologist in the BLM California State Office.  He worked in the California State Office for over 17 years working across several mineral programs and positions.  Mitch started working in the Washington Headquarters in 2004 as Deputy Division Chief for Solid Minerals and was promoted to Division Chief in 2008.  Read the full biography

Acting BLM Idaho State Director Peter Ditton   Peter Ditton

Acting BLM Idaho State Director

A native of New York, Peter Ditton attended Montana College of Mineral Science and Technology where he graduated with a degree in geological engineering.  Shortly thereafter, he began a career with the Bureau of Land Management in the cooperative education program out of Great Falls, Montana working as a petroleum engineer.  Since conversion to a full-time employee, Peter has worked in DC and a number of states including Alaska, California, Idaho and Arizona.  Ditton has also held a number of detail and full-time positions including: petroleum engineer, planning coordinator, field and district manager, Associate State Director for Alaska and Idaho, California State Director, National Interagency Fire Center Director and the National Training Center Director. Read the full biography

Jon Raby, BLM Montana-Dakotas   Jon Raby

BLM Montana-Dakotas Acting State Director

In Montana-Dakotas, Raby will oversee more than 8 million acres of public land and over 47 million acres of federal mineral estate in Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota. These BLM-managed lands support diverse uses, resources, and values, including recreation, wilderness, wildlife, timber harvesting, livestock grazing, wild horses and burros, and mineral extraction. Read the full biography

BLM Nevada Acting State Director Mike Courtney, BLM photo.   Michael Courtney

BLM Nevada Acting State Director

Mike Courtney is currently the acting State Director for the Bureau of Land Management in Nevada. He oversees the management of 48 million surface acres of public land in Nevada, 59 million subsurface acres, six district offices and 14 field offices. Headquartered in Reno, NV.  Read the full biography

Aden Seidlitz   Aden Seidlitz

Acting BLM New Mexico State Director

Aden Seidlitz began his Bureau of Land Management (BLM) career in 1983 as a Petroleum Engineer in Wyoming and then in Alaska from 1985-1988.  In 1988, he became the Petroleum Engineer/Program Leader at the Alaska State Office until 1992, and moved to Montana from 1992 to 2002, serving as Supervisory Petroleum Engineer.  In 1997 and 1998, he served as Acting Area Manager in Montana, and from 1998 until 2002, he served as Associate Field Manager and then as Acting Field Manager.  In 2002, he worked as a Field Manager in Utah until September 2004, and then became BLM’s Chief for the Fire Planning and Fuels Management Division at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho.  On March 31, 2008, he was named as the BLM Boise District Manager.  Aden was selected as the New Mexico Associate State Director on July 2, 2012, and is now Acting State Director.  Aden and his wife C.J. have three children. His outside interests include camping, hiking, running, and various other outdoor activities with his family.  Read the full biography.

Jamie Connell, BLM Oregon-Washington State Director   Jamie Connell

BLM Oregon-Washington State Director

In Oregon-Washington, Connell oversees more than 16 million acres of public land in Oregon and Washington that comprise a mix of heavily forested lands west of the Cascades and the dry, sagebrush ecosystems of the Great Basin.  These BLM-managed lands support diverse uses, resources, and values, including recreation, wilderness, wildlife, timber harvesting, livestock grazing, wild horses and burros, and mineral extraction.  Read the full biography

BLM Utah State Director Ed Roberson. BLM photo   Ed Roberson

BLM Utah State Director

As BLM Utah State Director, Ed Roberson leads a team that administers 23 million acres of public lands and 32 million acres of mineral and energy resources in Utah.  Read the full biography

Official photo of Wyoming State Director Mary Jo Rugwell.   Mary Jo Rugwell

BLM Wyoming State Director

Mary Jo Rugwell was selected as the state director for the Bureau of Land Management in Wyoming. She had been acting state director for about a year and a half prior to being chosen. Mary Jo served as the Associate State Director in Wyoming for over two years. She  is a native of Cheyenne, WY.  Read the full biography

5 replies »

  1. I hope someone can make the difference simple and clear for me, between “acting director” and “director” of these positions in a governmental agency.
    Here is what I did find online:
    In law, when someone is said to be acting in a position it can mean one of three things: The position has not yet been formally created. The person is only occupying the position temporarily to ensure continuity. The person does not have a mandate (authority).


  2. Didnt read every biography but just skimming thru sounds like their job descriptions all mention some kind of surface/subsurface minerals! Which I guess should be no surprise. Would an actual director of the BLM need to go thru any kind of vetting process? If so, not choosing one probably keeps any oversight out of the issue. No questions asked.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The first “aha” was the bio of the Deputy Director so he is acting up Rep. Chris Stewart’s for all BLM lands and the second was the majority have an extraction bio or determining where extraction could take place. Shouldn’t their be a balance of people who have a background in environmental science, wildlife, ecosystems, species interactions etc….???????? It really is the Bureau of Land Mining.


    • Agree – the bios show strong ties to private livestock and extraction – especially the strong ties to the known ANTI-wild horse and burro Chris Stewart (Utah Rep).


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