Washington, D.C., attorney William Perry Pendley, a native of Cheyenne, Wyo., and a long-time U.S. Department of the Interior official, has been appointed president and chief legal officer of the Mountain States Legal Foundation, Denver.

Foundation chairman H.A. True Jr., who made the announcement, said his organization is a non-profit, public-interest legal center dedicated to the values and concepts of individual liberty, the right to own property and the private enterprise system.Sen. Jake Garn, R-Utah, said, "Perry's record of distinguished service speaks for itself. He has served selflessly and well while in Washington. His return to the Mountain West is most welcomed for the commitment to the free enterprise system that he brings the Mountain States Legal Foundation."

A graduate of George Washington University with both undergraduate and graduate degrees in economics and political science, Pendley holds a J.D. degree from the University of Wyoming Law School. He was a captain in the U.S. Marine Corps where he was the navigator on RF-4B aircraft.

Pendley served as acting assistant secretary of the Interior and deputy assistant secretary of energy and minerals and assisted former secretaries James Watt and William Clark in formulating energy and minerals policy.