For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Larkin Corrigan, larkin@westernvaluesproject.org, 971-506-1174

Western Values Project

Former Monsanto Executive Tapped for Top Wildlife Manager Position at Interior

Aurelia Skipwith’s nomination exposes culture of corruption at Interior, possible conflicts of interest

WASHINGTON - Last night, The Hill reported that former Monsanto executive Aurelia Skipwith would be nominated to lead the Interior Department’s Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). As FWS Director, she would be responsible for overseeing decisions affecting the nation’s fish and wildlife, as well as managing the National Wildlife Refuge System.

From 2006 to 2012, Ms. Skipwith worked at international GMO corporation Monsanto, most recently in their Corporate Affairs Department. Until her nomination, she had been working at Secretary Ryan Zinke’s Interior Department as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

“If appointing a darling of corporate special interests to become the country’s top wildlife manager is what Secretary Zinke meant by ‘grand pivot to conservation,’ then it’s clear he was never serious to begin with,” said Chris Saeger, Executive Director of Western Values Project. “Ms. Skipwith’s nomination is business as usual for an administration that has sought to reward its allies at the expense of public lands and wildlife.”

Ms. Skipwith’s nomination as FWS Director also raises possible conflict of interest issues, given that FWS recently rescinded a ban on the use of genetically modified crops in national wildlife refuges, a decision that environmental groups are currently suing Interior over. According to her financial disclosure, Ms. Skipwith, after starting her work at the Interior Department, has “between $1,001 and $15,000” in shares in GMO corporate giant Monsanto, and also “between $50,001 and $100,000 in stocks” in AVC Global, the agricultural consulting firm she founded, and as such stands to benefit from the increased use of GMOs.

Ms. Skipwith will have to be confirmed by the Senate for the Fish and Wildlife Service Director position. As of yet, there is no date set for her hearing.

For more information, view Aurelia’s Skipwith’s complete profile on the Department of Influence.  

###

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do.

Share This Article

More in:
,