Gale Norton
Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior, 2001 to 2006

Gale Norton served as the 48th Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior from 2001 until 2006. The first woman to head the 153-year-old department, Norton made what she calls the Four C's the cornerstone of her tenure: Consultation, Communication, and Cooperation, all in the service of Conservation. To implement the Four C's approach, Norton reached out to states, tribes, local communities, businesses, conservation organizations, and private citizens in a variety of ways. Her initiatives included cost-share grants to empower states and local landowners to engage in conservation projects on public and private lands; improvement of forest management practices; and support for environmentally sensitive energy production on public lands, including renewable sources such as geothermal, wind, biomass, and solar. Norton was senior counsel at Brownstein, Hyatt & Farber, P.C., before becoming Interior Secretary. From 1991 to 1999, Norton served as Attorney General of Colorado. Norton graduated magna cum laude from the University of Denver in 1975 and earned her law degree with honors from the same university in 1978. She and her husband, John Hughes, are avid hikers, skiers, and outdoor enthusiasts.