The American Presidency Project
John T. Woolley & Gerhard Peters • Santa Barbara, California return to original document
• Ronald Reagan
Nomination of James G. Watt To Be Secretary of the Interior
January 20, 1981

The President today nominated James G. Watt, of Englewood, Colo., to be Secretary of the Interior.

Mr. Watt is president and chief legal officer of the Mountain States Legal Foundation, a public interest law center dedicated to bringing a balance to the courts in the defense of individual liberty and the private enterprise system. He has held that position since July 1977.

Mr. Watt was born on January 31, 1938. He received a B.S. with honors from the University of Wyoming College of Commerce and Industry in 1960 and a J.D. from the University of Wyoming College of Law in 1962.

From July to November 1962, Mr. Watt served as personal assistant to Milward L. Simpson, candidate for the United States Senate. Following Simpson's election, Mr. Watt served as legislative assistant and counsel to the Senator. From September 1966 to January 1969, he served as secretary to the Natural Resources Committee and the Environmental Pollution Advisory Panel, Chamber of Commerce of the United States. Mr. Watt served as special assistant to the Secretary and Under Secretary of the Interior from January to May 1969 and, following that, served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Interior. From July 1972 to November 1975, he served as director of the Bureau of Outdoor Recreation and, from November 1975 to July 1977, served with the Federal Power Commission as Commissioner and as Vice Chairman.

A member of the Wyoming Bar and the Bar of the United States Supreme Court, Mr. Watt was editor of the Wyoming Law Journal and is a member of Phi Kappa Phi, the national scholastic honor society.
He is married and has two children.

Citation: Ronald Reagan: "Nomination of James G. Watt To Be Secretary of the Interior ", January 20, 1981. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=44156.
 
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