Bruce was the United States Secretary of the Interior from 1993 from 2001, Governor of Arizona from 1978-1987, and Attorney General of Arizona from 1975-1978. In 1988 he was a candidate for the Democratic Party nomination for President.

Governor Babbitt brought environmental and resource management to the forefront in Arizona. He personally negotiated and steered to passage the Arizona Groundwater Management Act of 1980, which remains the most comprehensive water regulatory system in the nation. He was also responsible for the creation of the Arizona Department of Water Resources and the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality. 

Appointed Secretary of the Interior by President Clinton in 1993, Babbitt served for eight years, during which he led in the restoration of the Florida Everglades, passage of the California Desert Protection Act, and legislation for the National Wildlife Refuge System. He also pioneered the use of habitat conservation plans under the Endangered Species Act.

Among Babbitt’s greatest achievements while Secretary of the Interior was the creation of the National Conservation Lands which currently conserves 36 million acres of nationally significant landscapes set aside for current and future generations. He worked with President Clinton to create 22 new National Monuments, including the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah. Babbitt is perhaps best remembered by American schoolchildren as the Secretary who brought the wolves back to Yellowstone. 

He is the author of "Cities in the Wilderness" in which he lays out a new vision for land use in America. Bruce was also was national president of the non-partisan, non-profit League of Conservation Voters and served as a member of the Presidential Commission to investigate the nuclear accident at Three Mile Island. He was a founding member of the Democratic Leadership Council and served as chairman of the Democratic Governors Association in 1985.

He has been a member of the Advisory Council on Intergovernmental Relations and was a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Grand Canyon Trust.