David J. Hayes is a Senior Fellow at American Progress, where he works on policy issues related to public lands, including energy development, conservation, climate change, and governance.
A national expert on natural resource policy and law, Hayes served as deputy secretary of the interior in the administrations of Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.
Hayes is resident at Stanford University, where he is a distinguished visiting lecturer in law and teaches environmental and energy law and policy courses. Hayes also serves as vice chair of the President’s Advisory Council on Wildlife Trafficking, where he is helping guide the U.S. response to the international wildlife trafficking crisis.
As deputy secretary of the interior, Hayes was the chief operating officer of the 70,000-employee U.S. Department of the Interior. During his tenure from 2009 to 2013, Hayes helped facilitate the approval of more than 13,000 megawatts of renewable energy projects on public lands and offshore waters; spearheaded the department’s first-ever coordinated plan to address the impacts of climate change on the nation’s resources; and served as the point person for Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar in managing the department’s response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill crisis in the Gulf of Mexico, including upgrading and reorganizing the department’s offshore regulatory activities.
Hayes also helped lead some of the Obama administration’s most significant land conservation work in the first term, including the development of new planning approaches for energy and water development, the establishment of new protected areas, and collaborative approaches conserving wildlife habitat and at-risk landscapes, including in the Alaskan Arctic.
Before and between his service in the Clinton and Obama administrations, Hayes worked in the private sector as a partner and global chair of the environment for the land and resources department at Latham and Watkins, an international law firm. He also served on the boards of American Rivers and RESOLVE and was a senior fellow at the World Wildlife Fund.
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.