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RELEASE: CAP Names Matt Lee-Ashley, former deputy chief of staff at the Department of the Interior, Senior Fellow

Washington, D.C.  — The Center for American Progress announced today that Matt Lee-Ashley, former deputy chief of staff at the Department of the Interior, will join the organization as a Senior Fellow for Energy and Environmental Policy. At American Progress, Lee-Ashley will work closely with the Energy and Environment team on public lands issues, including land conservation and energy development.

“We are happy to welcome Matt Lee-Ashley as a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress,” said Darryl Banks, Vice President for Energy Policy at CAP. “His experience with both energy development and land conservation on public lands will help us achieve the balance we need to responsibly develop our resources today while ensuring this unparalleled treasure will be enjoyed by our children and grandchildren.”

In his role as as deputy chief of staff at the Department of the Interior, or DOI, Lee-Ashley oversaw policy, external, communications, and legislative matters on behalf of Secretary Ken Salazar. Prior to that, he was named DOI’s communications director during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, leading the department’s communications response to the crisis and helping undertake the aggressive offshore oil and gas reform agenda that the administration undertook. Lee-Ashley also led an update to the Department of the Interior’s communications policy to provide the first-ever protections of scientific integrity, helped formulate and implement the administration’s America’s Great Outdoors initiative, and advised the secretary on a wide range of land-management issues.

Prior to his service at the Department of the Interior, Lee-Ashley worked for four years in the U.S. Senate for then-Sen. Salazar. Lee-Ashley worked on military, veterans affairs, and energy and environment policy.  In 2008 he was promoted to serve as the senator’s communications director and chief speechwriter.

A native of Colorado Springs, Colorado, Lee-Ashley graduated summa cum laude from Pomona College in Claremont, California, in 2004.