Jewell is chief executive officer of outdoor retailer Recreational Equipment Inc. and worked as a petroleum engineer for Mobil before it merged with Exxon.
American Petroleum Institute CEO Jack Gerard said opening federal land to oil and natural gas drillers would provide a vital stimulus to the U.S. economy.
"We look forward to learning how Sally Jewell's business background and experience in the oil and natural gas industry will shape her approach to the game-changing prospects before us in energy development," he said in a statement.
Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune said Jewell's record in conservation suggests she'll be a steward for the environment.
"In Jewell, President Obama chose a leader with a demonstrated commitment to preserving the higher purposes public lands hold for all Americans -- recreation, adventure and enjoyment," he said in a statement.