Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force
Rachel Jacobson, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish, Wildlife and Parks
Rachel Jacobson is currently serving as the Department of the Interior's Acting Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks, where she oversees policy, planning, and regulatory actions for the National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, including the 150 million acre Wildlife Refuge system and over 400 units of the Park Service. As acting Assistant Secretary, Ms. Jacobson is also responsible for historic and cultural preservation and management of protected species.
Prior to being named as Acting Assistant Secretary, Ms. Jacobson served as Interior's Principal Deputy Solicitor where she was in a leadership role working with the Solicitor to oversee all legal matters within the authority of the Department of the Interior and manage an office of over 400 professionals. Notably, Ms. Jacobson was the lead negotiator for the recent $1 billion "early restoration" settlement with British Petroleum arising out of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Before joining Interior in 2009, Ms. Jacobson served as Director of the Impact-Directed Environmental Accounts Program at the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, managing a $100 million portfolio for environmental restoration and habitat conservation.
The majority of Ms. Jacobson's career was spent as a senior trial attorney and supervisor with the U.S. Department of Justice, Environment and Natural Resources Division. In that capacity, Ms. Jacobson represented the United States in nationally-significant civil litigation under federal environmental statutes, and became a recognized expert in natural resource damages and environmental issues affecting tribes. Ms. Jacobson started her legal career as an Honors Attorney in the Justice Department's Civil Division where she prosecuted cases of fraud against the United States, and she worked as an economic analyst for the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis before receiving her law degree. Ms. Jacobson has received numerous academic, professional and government achievement awards and honors. She received her Juris Doctor degree from Boston University School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Washington University (St. Louis, Missouri).