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  • New BOR director appointed
    Director to work with Family Farm Alliance

The Nov. 16 appointment by President Donald Trump of a new director of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has drawn exclamations from the U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke and praise from Family Farm Alliance Executive Director Dan Keppen.

Brenda Burman is the first woman to be appointed to the top BOR post, which oversees the delivery of more than 31 million gallons of water across the United States.

“Finally! After more than 142 days, I’m excited to welcome Brenda Burman to lead the Bureau of Reclamation,” said U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, in a news release. “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.”

Keppen, a Klamath Falls resident and friend of Burman’s, praised the appointment.

“Brenda is a proven leader and problem-solver in managing and protecting our scarce water resources for the benefit of irrigated agriculture, as well as for urban and environmental uses,” said Dan Keppen, executive director of the Family Farm Alliance. “She will bring a balanced and collaborative approach to the conservation and management of our Western water resources.”

Burman responded to the appointment in a news release.

“I am deeply honored for the opportunity to lead this organization,” Burman said. “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.

“I’m looking forward to working constructively to solve Western water challenges, as we’ve done in the past, with my friends at the Family Farm Alliance,” Burman added.

Burman served as BOR’s deputy commissioner for external and intergovernmental affairs and the deputy assistant secretary during the second term of George W. Bush’s presidency from 2006 to 2008.

She served as the director of water policy for Arizona’s Salt River Project as well as the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

Burman also worked for The Nature Conservancy and former U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl, an Arizona Republican.

She earned her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Arizona College of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Kenyon College.



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