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Salazar Names Strickland Chief of Staff

By Ed O'Keefe

Sec. Ken Salazar was greeted by Interior Secretary staffers this morning in the lobby of the department's headquarters. (Photo by AP)

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced this morning that former U.S. attorney and Colorado Senate candidate Tom Strickland will serve as his chief of staff. The newly-confirmed secretary made the announcement during a formal welcoming ceremony with a couple hundred employees at the department's headquarters.

Tom Strickland
Tom Strickland, Sec. Ken Salazar's pick to serve as Interior Department's chief of staff. (Photo by AP)

The secretary told the crowd he "didn't want to sugar coat some of the problems at Interior, but was going to work with them to solve them," according to department spokesman Frank Quimby. Salazar acknowledged the work of several acting managers and told the crowd that he feels 99 percent of Interior employees are hard-working, dedicated civil servants.

Salazar's former Senate spokesman, Matt Lee-Ashley, had been previously announced as the department's new director of communications.

The secretary will address all employees tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. from the Yates Auditorium at Interior headquarters. Employees stationed nationwide can watch the event via videoconference, Quimby said. Expect similar welcoming ceremonies at other federal departments and agencies in the coming days and weeks as the new bosses arrive.

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 21, 2009; 1:25 PM ET
Categories:  Agencies and Departments  
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