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Obama to Tap REI CEO as Interior Secretary

Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama will nominate Sally Jewell to be the next secretary of the interior, a senior White House official told ABC News.

Jewell is the CEO of REI, the outdoor recreational equipment retailer.  She has no political experience, but according to the Denver Post, she did spend five weeks hiking in Antarctica in 2011, climbing some of the continent’s most treacherous peaks.

Jewell will replace Ken Salazar, who has announced he will not stay for Obama’s second term. She is the first woman Obama has announced for his second-term cabinet.

The president will make the announcement Wednesday afternoon.

One senior official said this of the nomination: "It’s a cool idea."

"Sally Jewell is uniquely qualified to be secretary of the interior," another official offered. "With years of experience managing a nearly $2 billion a year company, she will bring to the position integrity, keen management skills, as well as dedication to the department’s mission of managing our nation’s lands. Trained as an engineer, Jewell has broad private sector experience in energy and finance, as well as a commitment to conservation."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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