Reuters

Sally Jewell, Obama's pick for Secretary of Interior, is a former CEO of REI.

Today, President Obama appointed Sally Jewell, the CEO of outdoor equipment mega co-op REI, as his new Secretary of the Interior Department. And from what we can tell she's going to be the fittest person hanging around the White House — easily. Forget Ken Salazar; watch out, Michelle.

The First Lady carved a lane for herself promoting healthy living and regular exercise, and became one of the most popular names in politics along the way. If not in day-by-day policy, she'll at least have a kindred spirit in Jewell, who said she starts every day with a workout in a March interview with the Seattle Business Magazine. And sometimes, on weekends, she'll hike mountains for the fun of it. "On [a recent] Saturday, with my husband and dog, I climbed Grand Prospect [on Rattlesnake Mountain]. It feels so nice to get a little mud on your feet, a little mist in your face," she said

Or, alternatively, sometimes in interviews she'll mention in passing that she's returning from a four week "sabbatical/climbing trip in Antarctica," like she did when speaking to Forbes in May 2011. But what else would you expect from someone who has spent the last decade working at REI, the constantly growing outdoor equipment giant that competes with Northface and Colombia. If Jewell can handle spending four weeks climbing in Antarctica, Washington should be a cake walk. Right? Well, Salazar faced his fair share of problems, but if she passes confirmation she'll be one of the least boring interior secretaries, well, ever.

Of course, she's got the business bonafides to justify the hiring. She joined REI in 2000 as COO, the same year the company suffered its first losses — like, ever. She later assumed the roll of CEO, and navigated the company through the recession while maintaining profitability. Before that, she was the head of Washington Mutual's commercial banking division. And before that, she spent a few years working as an engineer for Mobil Oil.

Top image: President Barack Obama announces the nomination of Sally Jewell, CEO of Recreational Equipment Inc., to Interior Secretary at the White House in Washington. (Yuri Gripas/Reuters)

This post originally appeared on The Atlantic Wire.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Transportation

    If You Drive Less Than 10,000 Miles a Year, You Probably Shouldn't Own a Car

    Up to one-quarter of all U.S. drivers might be better off using ride-sharing services instead.

  2. Transportation

    How Seattle Bucked a National Trend and Got More People to Ride the Bus

    Three experts in three very different positions weigh in on their city’s ridership success.

  3. Equity

    Big Tech Ought to Step Up for Cities

    Leading high-tech firms have increasingly gone from heroes to villains in the eyes of their neighbors. It’s in their own interest to help make cities more affordable and inclusive.

  4. A homeless man sits along a sidewalk on East 42nd Street in the Manhattan borough of New York.
    POV

    America Can't Fix Poverty Until It Stops Hating Poor People

    A bipartisan plea to stop “othering” those living on the economic margins.

  5. Maggie Gyllenhaal walks the mean streets of 1971 New York City in HBO's "The Deuce," created by David Simon.
    Life

    David Simon Does Not Miss the Sleaziness

    The creator of HBO’s “The Deuce” talks about the rebirth of Times Square, other cities he loves, and why bureaucrats can be TV heroes, too.