The Biden administration named water policy expert Camille Calimlim-Touton Deputy Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation on Wednesday, making her the first Filipino American to serve in a leadership position at that agency.
According to Asian Journal, the Bureau of Reclamation is a water management agency under the U.S. Department of the Interior, which is responsible for overseeing dams, canals, and hydroelectric plants across the Western United States. It is the largest wholesaler of water in the U.S., as well as the second-largest producer of hydroelectric power in the Western United States.
Representative Grace Napolitano (CA-32) congratulated President Biden and Secretary-designate Deb Haaland on Calimlim-Touton’s appointment. Calimlim-Touton served as an advisor on water policy for Napolitano for decades, reports Inquirer.net.
“Ms. Touton is a master of the complicated issues of Western water policy, who fully understands the grave threats posed by climate change and unpredictable drought cycles. She is well respected by the wide spectrum of water leaders, including Democrats and Republicans, federal, state, and local water officials, and non-governmental groups,” Rep. Napolitano said, reports Inquirer.net.
According to Rappler, Calimlim-Touton was born in Quezon City to Pangasinense parents. She grew up in Pangasinan, living in Dagupan and Calasiao, and immigrated with her parents to the U.S. in her pre-teen years.
According to Inquirer.net, Calimlim-Touton had counseled U.S. senators and members of Congress in the past. Prior to her recent appointment Calimlim-Touton worked in the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, reports Rappler. She had worked in the White House as counselor to the Assistant Secretary for Water and Science under the Obama administration before moving to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
“Although I am losing Ms. Touton for a second time to the Administration, I couldn’t be happier for her, and I am glad the Department is again, getting her great leadership, competency, and expertise,” Rep. Napolitano said, according to Inquirer.net.
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