Michael L. Connor, a top Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee staffer, is President Obama's choice to lead the Interior Dept.'s Bureau of Reclamation, the White House announced on March 18.

Connor has been counsel to the energy committee since May 2001 and worked on water, Indian lands and energy issues. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar served on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee during his term in the Senate.

Connor worked at Interior from 1993 to 2001 as deputy director and director of the secretary's Indian water rights office. Connor's nomination as Commissioner of Reclamation is subject to Senate confirmation.