Date: Tuesday, January 10, 2023
WASHINGTON — The Department of the Interior today announced that Elizabeth (Liz) Klein has been named Director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM). BOEM is the Interior Department’s lead bureau responsible for the management of America’s offshore energy and mineral resources. Liz succeeds Amanda Lefton, who served as the first BOEM Director in the Biden-Harris administration and announced her resignation, effective January 19, 2023.
“Liz has been an invaluable asset at the Department since Day One, and we are thrilled she is taking on this new role,” said Chief of Staff Rachael S. Taylor. “The Interior Department is leading the effort to foster a clean energy future, and Liz will be critical to our efforts to meet the President’s ambitious goals to deploy affordable clean energy to power homes across America and create good-paying jobs in the growing offshore wind industry.”
BOEM works to promote energy development, environmental protection and economic sustainability through responsible, science-based management of energy and mineral resources on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf. It also facilitates world-class research by talented scientists and technical experts across a range of relevant disciplines that provide the foundation to make sound decisions on the management of resources.
Among its top priorities, BOEM is responsible for offshore renewable energy development in federal waters. President Biden has set ambitious goals to deploy 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy capacity by 2030 and 15 gigawatts of floating offshore wind capacity by 2035.
Under Director Lefton’s leadership, the Department approved the nation's first two commercial scale offshore wind projects and evolved its approach to offshore wind to drive towards union-built projects and a domestic-based supply chain. Since the start of the Biden-Harris administration, BOEM has held three offshore wind lease auctions – including a record-breaking sale offshore New York and the first-ever sale offshore the U.S. West Coast in California; initiated environmental review of 10 offshore wind projects; and advanced the process to explore additional Wind Energy Areas in the Gulf of Mexico, Oregon, Gulf of Maine and Central Atlantic.
“BOEM is at the epicenter of the Department’s work to create good-paying union jobs in the offshore energy sector, support a reliable domestic supply chain, and meet the moment for a clean energy economy. Amanda has been a driving force of this effort, and we are grateful for her vision, commitment, and service to this country,” added Chief of Staff Taylor.
Liz is an experienced attorney and leader in clean energy, climate change, and environmental law and policy. A member of the Biden-Harris administration since January 20, 2021, Liz has served as Senior Counselor to Secretary Haaland with an emphasis on water policy and climate change resilience. In this role, Liz also served as Chair of the Indian Water Rights Working Group, which manages, negotiates and implements settlements of water rights claims.
Prior to joining the Administration, Liz was Deputy Director of the non-partisan State Energy & Environmental Impact Center at NYU School of Law, which supports state Attorneys General addressing clean energy, climate, and environmental initiatives of regional and national importance. President Biden is the third President under which Liz has served at Interior, having worked for both the Clinton and Obama administrations. Under Secretaries Ken Salazar and Sally Jewell, Liz served as Interior’s Associate Deputy Secretary as well as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Office of Policy, Management and Budget. She was a key architect of the Obama Administration's work to create a new offshore wind industry and leasing program.