Brenda Burman Confirmed As Reclamation Commissioner

Brenda Burman Confirmed As Reclamation Commissioner

On November 16, Brenda Burman of Arizona was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner. She makes history as the first-ever woman to lead the Bureau.

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke said, “Finally! After more than 142 days, I'm excited to welcome Brenda Burman to lead the Bureau of Reclamation. Brenda is a veteran of the Bureau and her extensive experience on water projects across the country will be an incredible asset for the Department. After senseless and unprecedented hold-ups in the Senate, we can finally move forward with key water projects across the country.”

Bringing decades of water policy expertise, Burman is highly qualified to lead the federal government’s top water agency. As Zinke mentioned, she is not new to the Bureau, as she previously served in multiple capacities within the Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) during the George W. Bush administration, as Reclamation’s Deputy Commissioner for External and Intergovernmental Affairs and as the Deputy Assistant Secretary. Most recently, Burman has been serving as the Director of Water Policy for Arizona’s Salt River Project. Prior to that, she worked for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, The Nature Conservancy, and U.S. Senator Jon Kyl.

“I am deeply honored for the opportunity to lead this organization,” said Brenda Burman after being confirmed. “The employees of Reclamation are dedicated to working through the most difficult water issues and managing water in the West. I look forward to working with Secretary Zinke, the Administration, and our many partners, contractors and customers to solve our most pressing water issues.”

The League supported Burman’s confirmation shortly after her nomination and is looking forward to seeing where her vision takes the Bureau. As Project infrastructure is aging, an aquifer is depleting, and full development still on the horizon, it is a critical time for water policy and Burman’s energy and expertise – especially on the West’s water issues – is encouraging.

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