Daniel Jorjani

Position: 
Principal Deputy Solicitor of the Department of the Interior
Biography: 

In May 2017, Dan Jorjani was appointed the Principal Deputy Solicitor of the Office of the Solicitor in the Department of the Interior. The Principal Deputy Solicitor in the 2nd highest position in the Office of the Solicitor, with six deputy solicitors reporting directly to him on the issues of Energy & Mineral Resources, Public Lands, Parks & Wildlife, General Law, and Indiana Affairs and Water Resources. The Office of the Solicitor describes its role as “perform[ing] the legal work for the United States Department of the Interior.”

Daniel Jorjani received his undergraduate degree at Vanderbilt University, went on to get a Master’s degree from Columbia and his Juris Doctor from Cornell Law School.

In 1999, Mr. Jorjani was an corporate associate at Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, L.L.P., a law and lobbying firm. In 1999, the firm received $810,000 from oil and gas companies, $320,000 from mining companies, $560,000 from steel production companies and $500,000 from electric utilities companies in the following payments: $780,000 (Exxon Mobil), $40,000 (Tyumen Oil), $220,000 (Barrick Gold Corp), $80,000 (Poongsan Corp), $20,000 (Banro American Resources), $560,000 (Pohang Iron & Steel) and $500,000 (PG&E).

In 2001, Dan Jorjani was hired by the Department of the Interior (DOI) to be the Counselor to the Assistant Secretary of Policy Management and Budget, Lynn Scarlett.

Evidence: 

Jorjani’s rose to power during major corruption scandals at the Department of the Interior during the George W Bush administration.

In 2004, the Deputy Secretary of the Department of the Interior, J. Steven Griles, resigned amidst ethics/sex scandals and a corruption scandal that resulted in him being sentenced to prison for 10 months. The then Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management and Budget, Lynn Scarlett, was promoted to the Deputy Secretary of the Interior. Ms. Scarlett took Dan Jorjani with her in her promotion and Mr. Jorjani became the Counselor to the Deputy Secretary. Through April and May 2006, Ms. Scarlett became the acting Secretary of the DOI, following the resignation of  Secretary of the DOI, Gale Norton, amidst corruption scandals involving Royal Dutch Shell, an oil company Ms. Norton would go on to work for after her time at the DOI. In 2008, Mr. Jorjani was among the highest-paid 10% in the Office of the Secretary of the Interior. Dan Jorjani left the DOI with the end of the Bush Administration.

Role in Climate Denial Taskforce at DOI

In 2007, a Climate Change Task Force was created “to study climate change and its effects on the responsibilities of the Department [DOI].” The task-force was led by Deputy Secretary Lynn Scarlett, during which time Mr. Jorjani was working as her Counselor so he likely played some role in its activities.

Key Strategist for Koch Brothers Foundations

In 2010 and 2011, Dan Jorjani was a “PGM Officer Research” at the Charles Koch Foundation, where he was paid $100,500 (Calendar Year of 2011) and $127,045 (Calendar Year of 2010) for forty hour work weeks and was one of the five highest paid employees at the Charles Koch Foundation. The position he held and the responsibilities he had are difficult to say, it is likely PGM is “Program Management” or a similar title.

In 2011, Dan Jorjani was the Director of Policy at the Charles Koch Institute. He was paid $44,414 for his 20-hour work week. In addition, it was reported that related organizations compensated him $99,320, with an additional estimated amount of $16,272 from related/other organizations (Calendar Year of 2011) The combined compensation from other organizations ($115,592) is not equal to his 2011 calendar year Charles Koch Foundation earnings, which total $108,820 when benefits and compensation are included. The Charles Koch Institute was founded in 2011, making Dan Jorjani one of the first hires and a crucial architect of the organization. He served as the first Director of Policy.

From late 2012 to 2015, Dan Jorjani was the General Counsel for Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, in addition he is listed as an “officer”. Mr. Jorjani, starting at the age of 65, will receive an annual $45,000/year until death from the Freedom Partners as well as his Freedom Partner (401k) Principal Group. The Freedom Partners was founded in 2012, making it likely that Mr. Jorjani was a first-round hire of the organization. He was paid as the “Secretary” $150,984 with additional organization(s) compensating him $7,232 (late 2012-2013),  the next year his pay rose to $197,144 with additional organization(s) compensating him $20,208 (2013-2014), the next year his title changes to “Dep Gen Counsel/VP Compliance” and his wage rose to $214,553 with additional organization(s) compensating him $28,752 (2014-2015).

In 2015, there were large increases in wages so it is possible that he was employed at Freedom Partners during this time but he was not accounted for in Freedom Partners’ 990 form. It seems unlikely he was fully employed. This is because in 2014 his coworkers: JOSH FISHER made within $500 of Mr. Jorjani’s salary and received an additional $15,000 in 2015 , JULIE STRAUSS made $113,000 in 2014 and without changing her job title made $363,000 plus $41,000 in additional compensation in 2015 and MICHAEL LANZARA made $487,000 in 2014 and without changing title made $757,000  in 2015. It seems unlikely that during a time of significant wage hikes that the individual who helped build policy at the Freedom Partners and who also received a $17,409 pay increase between 2013-2014 would not then receive an equal or greater pay increase to his colleagues in 2015 which would have forced his name on the 2015 990 form.  

Freedom Partners’ American Energy advocacy aims to remove “roadblocks” for the “most abundant, affordable and reliable energy sources [Fossil Fuels].” They publicly support the building of the Keystone XL Pipeline,  removal of biodiesel tax credits, removal of solar tax credits, stopping energy taxes, and the stopping of a carbon tax. Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce is a 501(c)(6) which allows them to keep their donors secret. While little is known about their donors, they operate “as something of a bank for the Koch network”. In 2012, they gave out $236 million in grants to groups for ad buys, and to motivate activism around small-government and free-market issues.

There is a strong link between Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce and Freedom Partners Action Fund, with leadership overlap between the two.

The Koch Brothers, between 2014 and 2016, gave a combined $13,000,000 to the Freedom Partner’s Action Fund.

Mr. Charles Koch privately donated $3,000,000 to Freedom Partners through the following payment: $3,000,000 (2016).

Charles G Koch 1997 Trust donated $8,000,000  to Freedom Partners through the following payments: $3,000,000 (2016), $3,000,000 (2014), and $2,000,000 (2014).

David H Koch 2003 Trust donated $2,000,000 to Freedom Partners through the following payment: $2,000,000 (2014)

The Charles Koch and Koch Foundation Polluterwatch profile explain in great deal their pollution and anti-climate change science financial backing.