BLM announces establishment of two critical headquarters leadership positions

Veteran land managers to hold key career Deputy Director positions overseeing Bureau administration, key projects and state operations


Bureau of Land Management

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In order to enhance operational efficiency and address the growing demands on public lands, Bureau of Land Management Director Tracy Stone-Manning announced today the establishment of two career Deputy Director positions at the BLM Headquarters Office in Washington, D.C. by splitting into two the career Deputy Director position.

Michael Nedd, the current Deputy Director of Operations, will transition to the role of Deputy Director for Administration and Programs, and Karen Kelleher, the current BLM Idaho State Director, will assume the position of Deputy Director for State Operations.

"As we continue to fortify the Bureau’s capabilities, I am so pleased that the Bureau, which is responsible for managing one in ten acres in this country, will be supported by two career deputy directors,” said Director Stone-Manning. “The appointments of Mike Nedd and Karen Kelleher underscore the Bureau’s commitment to advancing our vision, ensuring operational excellence, and leading initiatives that will sustain our nation’s public lands into the future."

As Deputy Director for Administration and Programs, Nedd will oversee Headquarters offices, including the Bureau’s budget formulation, law enforcement and fire as well as oversight of national policy and programs.

With a 30-year career in public lands, Nedd has served in various senior leadership positions and demonstrated expertise in leading large, complex organizations and providing guidance in policy implementation, budget execution and resource management. Having served as Deputy Director of Operations since March 2019, Nedd brings a wealth of knowledge and a diverse background, including over eight years on active duty in the U.S. military. He holds a master’s degree in information and systems management from Strayer University, along with undergraduate degrees in information and systems management and business administration.

Michael Nedd
Current BLM Deputy Director, Michael Nedd, will transition to Deputy Director for Administration and Programs on March 25, 2024.

In her role as Deputy Director for State Operations, Kelleher will lead 12 State Directors and be responsible for managing and directing state operations, encompassing conservation, recreation and commercial uses on both the surface and subsurface estate. Her role will be integral to formulating and implementing Bureau objectives, policies and programs at the state and regional levels.

Kelleher, who has been Idaho State Director since March 2022, has more than 20-years of experience in public lands management, conservation, renewable energy and cultural preservation. She has served in leadership roles within the Department of the Interior and the BLM, including Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management, Deputy Assistant Director for Resources and Planning in Washington, D.C., and as the Associate State Director for BLM’s Arizona State Office. Kelleher earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Union College in Schenectady, N.Y., and a master’s degree in environmental management from Duke University in Durham, N.C.

Headshot of BLM-Idaho State Director Karen Kelleher
Karen Kelleher, current BLM Idaho State Director, will assume the role of Deputy Director for State Operations, March 25, 2024.

Prior to the establishment of a second career Deputy Director position, the BLM Deputy Director for Operations had been responsible for overseeing 27 direct reports, including 24 Senior Executive Service staff. The creation of the new positions aligns the BLM’s leadership structure with that of other bureaus in the Department of the Interior, including the National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, both of which have two career Deputy Director positions.

Both Deputy Directors will report to the BLM Director at the Washington, D.C. headquarters and will assume their roles on March 25, 2024.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.