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David J. Hayes
Lecturer in Law


David J. Hayes is a distinguished visiting lecturer at the Stanford Law School and is serving as a Senior Fellow at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. From 2009 until July 2013, Hayes served as the Deputy Secretary of the Department of the Interior where he was the Chief Operating Officer and second in command to the Secretary, with line authority over Interior’s 70,000 employees, $12 billion dollar budget, and the Department's ten major bureaus and agencies. President Obama nominated Hayes as Deputy Secretary in February, 2009, and the U.S. Senate confirmed him by unanimous vote in May, 2009.

During his tenure as Deputy Secretary, Hayes was a key leader in implementing the Administration’s priorities for the Department, including promoting conservation initiatives such as the President's America's Great Outdoors agenda; encouraging renewable energy development on our public lands and offshore resources; developing conventional energy resources safely and responsibly; fulfilling our trust responsibilities to American Indians and Alaska Natives; managing our nation’s water supplies sustainably; and other matters relating to Interior’s mission to conserve our nation’s natural and cultural resources.

More specifically, Hayes played a major role in: developing a network of Climate Science Centers and Landscape Conservation Cooperatives to evaluate and address climate change impacts on water, wildlife and coastal resources; protecting U.S. and globally-important wildlife resources, including the U.S. response to the African elephant and rhinoceros poaching crisis; identifying and conserving important landscapes and promoting new, landscape-level planning and mitigation approaches, from the Arctic to the American southwest, the Gulf, and the eastern seaboard; facilitating the approval of more than 13,000 megawatts of renewable energy projects on public lands; settling the long-standing Cobell Indian trust litigation; forging major Indian water rights settlements and actively addressing water conflicts in California and other western states; managing the Interior Department’s response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill; and actively overseeing and participating in key Administration management initiatives through his service on the President's Management Council.

Throughout his career, Deputy Secretary Hayes has been involved in developing progressive solutions to environmental and natural resources challenges. Prior to serving as the Deputy Secretary of the Interior, Hayes was a leader in the President's Transition Team, heading the energy and environmental agency review process, with responsibility for the Departments of Energy, Agriculture, and Interior and the Environmental Protection Agency. He previously served as the Deputy Secretary and counselor to the Secretary of the Interior from 1997 to 2001 in the Clinton Administration. Hayes worked for many years in the private sector where he chaired the Environment, Land and Resources Department at Latham and Watkins, an international law firm. He is a former chairman of the Board of the Environmental Law Institute; he was a consulting professor at Stanford University's Woods Institute for the Environment; he served as a Senior Fellow for the World Wildlife Fund, and was the Vice-Chair of the Board of American Rivers.

Hayes graduated summa cum laude from the University of Notre Dame and received his J.D. from Stanford University, where he was an editor of the Stanford Law Review. He is the former Chairman of the Board of Visitors for Stanford Law School.