Rebecca C. Watson, former Assistant Secretary for Lands and Minerals Management of the U.S. Department of the Interior from 2001-2006, has joined the Denver and Casper, Wyoming-based firm of Welborn Sullivan Meck & Tooley, P.C. as a partner. She will work in the Denver office.
Ms. Watson, who has bachelor's, master's, and JD degrees from the University of Denver, is one of the most esteemed graduates of the Sturm College of Law. She has more than 30 years of legal and policy experience in the fields of conventional and renewable energy, natural resources (grazing, mining and timber) and federal environmental law. She has worked in private law practice and in high level federal government positions.
As Assistant Secretary of the Interior Department she had oversight of three organizations: the Bureau of Land Management (BLM); Minerals Management Service (MMS); and the Office of Surface Mining (OSM). These organizations were responsible for management of federal energy resources. In that role, she led 12,000 employees and managed a $1 billion budget.
Ms. Watson was honored by the Boone and Crockett Club, the oldest U.S. organization dedicated to the conservation of wildlife, for her work in conservation while at the Department of Interior.
Prior to her service in the Interior Department, she served as the Assistant General Counsel for Energy Policy at the U.S. Department of Energy in the George H.W. Bush administration.
In her practice Ms. Watson focuses on public land access and energy development for solar, wind, geothermal, wood biomass, and oil and gas with an emphasis on federal environmental law.
Ms. Watson is a member of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation and the National Petroleum Council. She serves on the boards of the Independent Petroleum Association of the Mountain States and the Jefferson County (Colorado) Open Space Commission.
Students studying environmental, natural resources, and energy law at the Sturm College of Law are likely to hear Ms. Watson speak in the fall 2010 semester about her career as well as the key environmental and energy issues of the day. Graduates such as Rebecca Watson are one reason the Sturm College of Law environmental and natural resources program is one of the strongest of its kind in the U.S. and the western hemisphere.