WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ), the incoming Ranking Member of the House Natural Resources Committee, today announced his hiring of Meghan Conklin as Democratic Staff Director for the 114th Congress. Ms. Conklin is currently a Senior Professional Staff Member on the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources focusing on public lands, forestry and water issues.
Ms. Conklin brings more than fifteen years of experience in natural resources policy and management to the position. Prior to joining the Senate in 2013, she served as Associate Deputy Secretary of the Interior, leading the Department’s efforts to finalize a 20-year withdrawal from new mining claims of 1 million acres of Federal lands surrounding Grand Canyon National Park and serving as Departmental co-lead for the implementation of the $3.4 billion Cobell Settlement, which addressed the historical mismanagement of accounts held in trust for Native Americans. Ms. Conklin also served as Chief of Staff to then-Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Sam Hamilton.
Ms. Conklin worked as a Professional Staff Member on the House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands – renamed the Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation at the beginning of the 113th Congress – from 2004 to 2009, which Rep. Grijalva chaired in the 110th and 111th Congresses and on which he has served as Ranking Member since 2011. She played a key role in passage of the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009, which designated more than 2 million acres of Federal lands as wilderness, and the Federal Land Assistance, Management, and Enhancement (FLAME) Act, which improved the budgeting process for large wildfires.
“Our resources and beautiful natural places – and for that matter our Congress – need people with Meghan’s experience, expertise and dedication,” Grijalva said in announcing the hire. “Few people in Washington match her understanding of the legislative process, knowledge of the executive branch and deep commitment to protecting our environment. Meghan shares my intention to stand firm on behalf of the principles that made us a world pioneer in conservation and my desire to work in a bipartisan manner wherever we can to advance those principles. She’s a natural fit to lead the talented, proactive team we’ll have in the new Congress. I couldn’t be happier to have her lead my staff and I can’t wait to get started in January.”
Ms. Conklin is a native of San Diego, California. She holds Bachelors of Science and Arts from the University of California at Santa Barbara, and a Master of Arts from the George Washington University. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband Thomas McCabe and twin sons Kennedy and Callahan.