Update on current leadership of the BLM (after Brian Steed, BLM has another leader just “exercising authority of the Director”)
Here’s a quick update on who’s running the Bureau of Land Management at national and state levels. Besides once again having a leader only “exercising authority of the Director,” the BLM has shuffled around state directors: Jamie Connell, who is the current Colorado State Director, was the Oregon-Washington State Director. Karen Mouritsen, who is the current Eastern States Director, was the Alaska Acting State Director. John Ruhs, who is the current Idaho State Director, was the Nevada State Director. Jon Raby, who is the current Nevada State Director, was the Montana-Dakotas Acting State Director.
Exercising Authority of the Director
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Land and Minerals Management
Casey Hammond serves as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Land and Minerals Management exercising the authority of the Director of the Bureau of Land Management. In addition to his direct responsibility for the BLM, Casey’s post as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary gives him a policy-making role for three other key agencies within the Department of the Interior – the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, and the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement. Read the full biography.
Michael D. Nedd
Deputy Director, Operations, Bureau of Land Management
Michael D. Nedd is the BLM’s Deputy Director for Operations. Prior to joining BLM, Nedd worked for the National Park Service, the State of South Carolina, and several private organizations. He also spent more than eight years on active duty in the U.S. military as an officer and enlisted soldier, in several highly specialized units. Nedd holds a Master’s Degree in Information and Systems Management from Strayer University. He has also earned undergraduate degrees in Information and Systems Management and Business Administration. Read the full biography.
BLM Alaska State Director
Chad Padgett was appointed as the BLM’s State Director for Alaska in February, 2019. Padgett, a longtime staff member for U.S. Representative Don Young of Alaska, brings a broad range of knowledge on Alaskan issues, both on the policy side as well as addressing constituent needs.
Prior to joining the BLM, Padgett served as the Alaska State Director for Rep. Don Young of Alaska for more than 10 years. From 2001 to 2009, Padgett served as a Presidential Appointee to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency. He also served for two years as a dual appointee as acting State Director for USDA Rural Development, where he was responsible for rural housing programs, community facilities, business and cooperative programs, and rural utilities programs throughout the state. As Alaska State Executive Director for the Farm Service Agency, he provided support for small family farms and fishers throughout the State of Alaska. Read the full biography
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 Acting State Director
Joe Stout is the Acting State Director for the Bureau of Land Management in California, where he oversees the management of 15 million acres of public lands – nearly 15 percent of the state’s land area – as well as 1.6 million acres in northwestern Nevada. Read the full biography
BLM Colorado State Director
Jamie Connell is BLM’s Colorado State Director. She received her B.S. in Petroleum Engineering from Montana Tech, and began her BLM career as a petroleum engineer in Miles City, Montana. Her managerial experience includes stints for the BLM and the U.S. Forest Service in locations across the West, including Great Falls and Malta, Montana; Boise, Idaho; and the cities of Montrose, Silverthorne, Glenwood Springs, and Grand Junction, all in Colorado. Connell most recently served as the State Director for BLM-Oregon/Washington, previously she served as the State Director for Montana/Dakotas.. Read the full biography
BLM Eastern States 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 when she learned how challenging and rewarding it is to work together as a team with many talented BLM employees. Read the full biography
BLM Idaho State Director
John F. Ruhs began his job as the BLM-Idaho State Director in March 2019. John was previously the BLM Assistant Director of Fire and Aviation at the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) in Boise, Idaho.
He has also served as the Director of BLM in Nevada from 2015 until 2018 and the acting BLM Deputy Director of Operations for the BLM National headquarters from April 2017 until December 2017. Prior to coming to Nevada, he served as BLM’s Eastern States Director. He has extensive experience in land management in the west, including previous assignments as the Ely District Manager and Winnemucca Fire Management Officer in Nevada, District Manager of the High Desert District in Wyoming and other work for the BLM in Colorado, Idaho and Oregon. Read the full biography
BLM Montana – Dakotas State Director
John Mehlhoff is the Bureau of Land Management‘s State Director for Montana and the Dakotas. He was named State Director in May, 2019, after serving in the Senior Executive Service as Program Director for Coordination, Enforcement, Valuation, and Appeals since 2014. Read the full biography
BLM Nevada State Director
Jon Raby is the 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.
Jon’s career in federal service began in 1990 and includes over 20 years with the BLM in Oregon, Montana and Washington D.C. In addition to the BLM, Jon has also worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Forest Service. Read the full
BLM New Mexico State Director
Tim Spisak is the State Director for the Bureau of Land Management in New Mexico, where he oversees the management of public lands and minerals in New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas.
Tim has more than 34 years of government service, including time as a Petroleum Engineer, Supervisory Petroleum Engineer, Program Analysis Officer, and Administrative Officer. His career with the Bureau of Land Management includes five years as the Amarillo Field Office Manager overseeing the Federal Helium Program in Amarillo Texas, five years as Fluid Minerals Division Chief in the BLM Washington Office, five years as the Deputy Assistant Director for Energy, Minerals and Realty Management, and three years as Senior Advisor – Conventional Energy. He most recently served for one year as the Deputy Assistant Director for Energy, Minerals and Realty Management. Read the full biography.
Acting BLM Oregon-Washington State Director
Theresa Hanley is the BLM Associate State Director for Oregon and Washington. She has served in the position since February of 2014, helping to oversee operations across several programs of great importance to communities in the two state area including timber harvesting livestock grazing, fire suppression, and recreation. Theresa’s career with BLM spans more than 30 years. She has served in key leadership roles and positions in New Mexico, Idaho, Montana, and Oregon. Her experience will be of great value to providing continuity for the organization, and accomplishment of the BLM mission for the public land users of Oregon and Washington. Read the full biography
BLM Utah State Director
As BLM Utah State Director, Ed Roberson, who has had a 37-year career with the BLM. He was most recently Director of the BLM National Operations Center in Denver. Roberson also served in top BLM roles in New Mexico, and held senior level positions in Washington, D.C., including a seven year tenure as the BLM Assistant Director for Renewable Resources and Planning. Read the full biography
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