Interior Department chief of staff departing

Interior Department Chief of Staff Tom Strickland, who is also a top conservation official with the department, is leaving the department in February after about two years on the job.

Strickland is both chief of staff and Interior’s Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks. The Senate confirmed Strickland as assistant secretary in late April 2009.

“Tom has been a driving force in standing up our Interior leadership team, launching a 21st century conservation agenda, leading initiatives such as the Everglades restoration, and helping restore the Gulf after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill,” Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said Monday in a statement.