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Former Interior Deputy Secretary Lynn Scarlett to Join RFF as a Visiting Scholar

FOR RELEASE: March 12, 2010

WASHINGTON – P. Lynn Scarlett, deputy secretary and chief operating officer of the U.S. Department of the Interior from 2005 to 2009, has been appointed a Visiting Scholar at Resources for the Future.

“Lynn Scarlett will be an important asset to our research program, bringing a perspective derived from years of experience at the highest levels of federal policymaking,” said Mark Cohen, vice president for research at RFF. “We are delighted that she is joining our ranks.”

Her work at RFF will focus on climate change and its effects on land, water, and wildlife; conservation policies; and ecosystem adaptation strategies.

“I propose to examine the nexus of science and policy, the challenges of large landscape conservation, and the opportunities of using natural landscapes to benefit communities,” she said in accepting the appointment.

Scarlett served as deputy secretary and chief operating officer of the Interior Department from 2005 to 2009, a post she took on after four years as the department's assistant secretary for policy, management, and budget. She was named acting Secretary of the Interior for two months in 2006, and chaired the department’s Climate Change Task Force.

From 1982 through 2001, she held a variety of positions at the Los Angeles-based Reason Foundation, a nonpartisan public policy organization that advances values of individual choice, competition, and limited government. She served briefly as president of the organization in 2001 before being appointed to the Interior Department.

After leaving government, she was named the Zurich Financial Services Distinguished Visiting Lecturer on Climate Change at the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She also has been an independent consultant with the Environmental Defense Fund on issues pertaining to climate, ecosystem services, and stewardship of open lands.

She is a member of the national Commission on Climate and Tropical Forests, and from 2003 to 2004 she chaired the federal Wildland Fire Leadership Council, an interagency, intergovernmental forum for implementing the National Fire Plan. She serves on the boards of the American Hiking Society, the Continental Divide Trail Alliance, and RESOLVE, and is a trustee emeritus of the Udall Foundation.

Scarlett is author of numerous publications on incentive-based environmental policies. She received her BA and MA in political science from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she also completed her doctoral coursework and exams in political science. She is an avid hiker, canoe enthusiast, and birder.

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