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Ryan Zinke

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Ryan Zinke
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from Montana
Assumed office
January 3, 2023
Preceded byConstituency re-established
Constituency1st district
In office
January 3, 2015 – March 1, 2017
Preceded bySteve Daines
Succeeded byGreg Gianforte
ConstituencyAt-large district
52nd United States Secretary of the Interior
In office
March 1, 2017 – January 2, 2019
PresidentDonald Trump
DeputyDavid Bernhardt
Preceded bySally Jewell
Succeeded byDavid Bernhardt
Member of the Montana Senate
from the 2nd district
In office
January 3, 2009 – January 3, 2013
Preceded byDan Weinberg
Succeeded byDee L. Brown
Personal details
Ryan Keith Zinke

(1961-11-01) November 1, 1961 (age 62)
Bozeman, Montana, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Lolita Hand
(m. 1992)
EducationUniversity of Oregon (BS)
National University (MBA)
University of San Diego (MS)
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Navy
Years of service1986–2008
Rank Commander
Unit SEAL Team Six
SEAL Team One
Naval Special Warfare Center
Awards Bronze Star (2)
Defense Meritorious Service Medal (2)
Meritorious Service Medal (4)
Joint Service Commendation Medal (2)
Army Commendation Medal

Ryan Keith Zinke (born November 1, 1961) is an American politician. He is member of the Republican Party. He is the member of the United States House of Representatives for Montana's 1st congressional district since 2023. He was the 52nd United States Secretary of the Interior from 2017 to 2019.

Zinke served as a member of the Montana State Senate, representing Senate District 2 from 2009 to 2011.[1] He was the Republican congressman for Montana's at-large congressional district having won in the 2014 election. He resigned as a U.S. representative on March 1, 2017.

On December 15, 2018, President Donald Trump announced that Zinke would leave the position as Interior Secretary by the end of 2018. He left the office on January 2, 2019.

Early life[change | change source]

Zinke was born in Bozeman, Montana and raised in Whitefish. He is the son of Jean Montana (Harlow) Petersen and Ray Dale Zinke, a plumber.[2]

Zinke earned a B.S. in geology in 1984 at the University of Oregon.[3] Zinke later earned an M.B.A. from National University in 1993 and an M.S. in global leadership from the University of San Diego in 2003.[3]

United States representative (2015–2017)[change | change source]

In Congress, Zinke has supported the deployment of U.S. ground troops to combat ISIL, "abandoning" the Affordable Care Act, and cutting regulations.[4] He supported a Republican effort to repeal the estate tax.[4]

Zinke "frequently votes against environmentalists on issues ranging from coal extraction to oil and gas drilling" and received a 3 percent rating from the League of Conservation Voters.[5]

United States Secretary of the Interior (2017–2019)[change | change source]

On December 13, 2016, President-elect Donald Trump picked Zinke for the position of United States Secretary of the Interior.[6] Zinke was confirmed on March 1, 2017, becoming the first Navy SEAL to occupy a Cabinet position.[7][8]

As Secretary, Zinke opened more federal lands for oil, gas and mineral exploration and extraction.[9] Zinke's spendings as Secretary of the Interior, which included expensive flights, raised ethical questions and controversy, and were investigated by the Interior Department’s Office of Inspector General.[10] On October 30, 2018, the investigation into Zinke was referred to the Justice Department by Interior's Inspector General.[11][12]

Trump announced on December 15, 2018, that Zinke would leave his post by the end of 2018.[13] He was replaced by his deputy David Bernhardt.[14]

United States representative (since 2023)[change | change source]

On April 29, 2021 it was reported that Zinke had filed to run for Montana's newly reformed 2nd congressional district.[15][16][17] He was elected to the U.S. House in November 2022.

Personal life[change | change source]

Zinke has been married to Lolita Hand. They have three children. Zinke is Lutheran.[18]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Ryan Zinke Announces Statewide Bus Tour". 30 April 2014. Archived from the original on 18 May 2014. Retrieved 18 May 2014.
  2. Zinke, Ryan (2016). American Commander: Serving a Country Worth Fighting For and Training the Brave Soldiers Who Lead the Way. Thomas Nelson. p. 64. ISBN 978-0-7180-8167-6.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Smita Nordwall (December 15, 2016). "Who is Ryan Zinke?". Voice of America.
  4. 4.0 4.1
  5. Juliet Eilperin, Trump taps Montana congressman Ryan Zinke as interior secretary, Washington Post (December 13, 2016).
  6. Vogel, Kenneth; Severns, Maggie (December 13, 2016). "Trump selects Zinke as interior secretary". Politico. Washington, DC. Retrieved December 13, 2016.
  7. Steele, Jeanette. "Zinke marks 1st Navy SEAL for Cabinet slot". sandiegouniontribune.com. Retrieved 2017-02-14.
  8. Killough, Ashley; Barrett, Ted (March 1, 2017). "Senate approves Trump's nominee for Interior". CNN. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
  9. Turkewitz, Julie (April 16, 2018). "Ryan Zinke Is Opening Up Public Lands. Just Not at Home". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 17, 2018.
  10. "Ryan Zinke's use of charter flights under investigation by interior department". TheGuardian.com. Associated Press. October 2, 2017.
  11. washingtonpost.com 1 November 2018: White House concerned Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke violated federal rules
  12. politico.com 30 October 2018: Zinke’s heir apparent ready to step in
  13. Cama, Timothy; Green, Miranda (December 15, 2018). "Interior chief Zinke to leave administration". The Hill. Washington, D.C. Retrieved December 15, 2018.
  14. Emily Holden Oliver Milman (December 15, 2018). "Embattled interior secretary Ryan Zinke steps down after series of scandals". Theguardian.com. Retrieved December 15, 2018.
  15. News, A. B. C. "Former Trump official Ryan Zinke files paperwork for congressional seat in Montana". ABC News. Retrieved 2021-04-29. {{cite web}}: |last= has generic name (help)
  16. Markay, Lachlan. "Former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke signals Montana House bid". Axios. Retrieved 2021-04-29.
  17. Zilbermints, Regina (2021-04-29). "Trump Interior Secretary Zinke files to run for Congress, again". TheHill. Retrieved 2021-04-29.
  18. "The Voter's Self Defense System".

Other websites[change | change source]