BLM Logo
Release Date: 03/21/12
Contacts: Tom Gorey, (202) 912-7420    

BLM Announces Appointment of Ruth Welch to Lead National Operations Center in Denver (03-21-12)

Bureau of Land Management Director Bob Abbey announced today that Ruth Welch, currently the BLM’s Associate State Director in Wyoming, has been selected to be the agency’s new Director of the National Operations Center (NOC) in Denver.  “I am delighted that Ruth has accepted her appointment to this key position,” Abbey said, noting that the NOC’s mission is to provide effective and internal and technical support to BLM offices and the general public.  The Center’s 350 employees and 100 contractors contribute the overall Bureau mission by providing operational and technical support in several key areas, including human resources, information technology, geospatial services, finance, and acquisition.  

Welch, who began her Federal career with the Office of Surface Mining in 1989 and joined the BLM in 1993, has served in a variety of positions throughout her tenure, including Department of Interior assignments in Colorado, Wisconsin, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., where she served as Chief of the BLM’s Division of Business Resources.

Welch succeeds former NOC Director Lynda Stelzer and Acting NOC Director Deb Rawhouser.  She brings to her new position a wealth of talent and experience, including her current work as BLM-Wyoming’s Associate State Director since August 2009, and her service from August 2003 to November 2006 as the BLM’s Deputy State Director for the Eastern States Office in Springfield, Virginia.  Welch also helped lead the BLM’s effort to prepare a new wild horse and burro management strategy, which will be rolled out in the near future. 

Welch, a Colorado native, earned her Master of Public Administration at the University of Colorado at Denver in 2000; she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology and English literature in 1986 from Western State College in Gunnison, Colorado.  She and her husband of 29 years, Mark Welch, have two grown children and two grandchildren. 

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

  2850 Youngfield Street      Lakewood, CO 80215  

Last updated: 03-21-2012