Brent Rhees Named Regional Director for Bureau of Reclamation’s Upper Colorado Region

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Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Estevan López today announced the selection of Brent Rhees, P.E., as Upper Colorado Regional Director.

Brent Rhees

Brent Rhees has extensive knowledge and more than three decades of experience with the complex challenges in this important region.

Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Estevan López today announced the selection of Brent Rhees, P.E., as Upper Colorado Regional Director. Rhees has served as the Salt Lake City-based region’s deputy regional director since October 2007.

“Brent Rhees has extensive knowledge and more than three decades of experience with the complex challenges in this important region,” Commissioner López said today. "Through his strong leadership and his ability to build solid partnerships, Brent is more than prepared to lead the Upper Colorado Region into the future."

In his new role, Rhees will oversee all Reclamation operations in most of Utah, New Mexico and western Colorado, as well as northern Arizona, a portion of west Texas, the southeast corner of Idaho and southwestern Wyoming. The responsibility includes oversight of Reclamation programs, projects, and facilities and encompasses 62 dams with a reservoir capacity of more than 32 million acre feet, 28 hydroelectric powerplants that meet electricity needs of more than 1.3 million people, and multiple recreation opportunities for about 12 million annual visitors.

As deputy regional director, Rhees managed several complex and high profile issues, including the Middle Rio Grande Endangered Species Collaborative Program, dam safety modifications, implementation of the Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project, the Colorado River Salinity Control Program and completion of the Animas La-Plata Project.

Rhees has 35 years of federal service. He started in Reclamation's Denver Office in 1980 as a rotation engineer, moved to the Upper Colorado Regional Office in 1981 to serve as Engineering Services Office supervisor and construction liaison. He transferred to the Provo Area Office in March 1993 to serve in several key management positions including three division manager positions and as the deputy area manager from June 2004 to October 2007.

Rhees is a recipient of the DOI's Superior Service Award in recognition of his significant contributions and leadership in Western water issues. He holds a bachelor's degree in civil and environmental engineering from Utah State University and is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Utah.

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Dan DuBray
Bureau of Reclamation
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