Brian Steed, who has been Rep. Chris Stewart's chief of staff since 2013, has been appointed the Bureau of Land Management's deputy director of programs and policy.

E&E News notes Steed's position is a political appointment, and separate from career employees.

It's not clear what Steed's specific duties will be, though he is expected to help the agency carry out Trump administration priorities, including increasing oil and gas drilling and mining activities on federal lands.

 

As a political appointee, Steed likely will be heavily involved in the ongoing effort by the Interior Department to reorganize BLM and other agencies. That reorganization effort has already resulted in the removal of three BLM state directors in Alaska, Colorado and New Mexico.

 

But Steed was introduced to members of BLM's executive leadership team during a conference call this week, and sources said he made a positive first impression on the career employees.

Steed was Stewart's campaign manager during his first run for Congress in 2012. Prior to that, he was a professor at Utah State University and deputy attorney for Iron County.