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Arizonan Tapped To Lead Bureau Of Reclamation

Hoover Dam
Will Stone/KJZZ
Hoover Dam.

President Donald Trump’s administration tapped an Arizonan to lead the agency whose water projects shaped the western United States.

If confirmed, Brenda Burman will serve as commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation, a division of the Department of the Interior.

The more than 100-year-old agency is responsible for projects such as the Hoover Dam, power plants, water conservation and managing partnerships with Native American tribes.

Burman is presently the director of Water Strategy at the Salt River Project, which delivers water and power to more than 1 million Arizonans.

SRP was one of the bureau’s first major projects in 1903.

This would be Burman’s second stint at the bureau. She previously served as deputy commissioner in the George W. Bush administration.

Arizona Sen. John McCain said in a statement that he supports her nomination.

“Brenda Burman is highly qualified to be the commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation and I am proud to support her nomination. Brenda brings a wealth of knowledge on federal water policy and drought conditions in the West forged through years of service at the Department of Interior and as legislative counsel to former U.S. Senator Jon Kyl, one of the nation’s foremost experts on federal and tribal water law. I encourage my colleagues in the Senate to swiftly confirm her nomination.”

Mariana Dale rustles up stories as a senior field correspondent based out of KJZZ’s East Valley Bureau in Tempe. She’s followed a microphone onto cattle ranches, to the Dominican Republic and many places in between. Dale believes in a story’s strength to introduce us to diverse perspectives, inspire curiosity and hold public leaders accountable for their actions. She started at KJZZ on the digital team in 2016 and still spends a lot of time thinking about how to engage with our community online. Dale has learned from stints at Arizona Public Media, The Arizona Daily Star, The Arizona Republic and as an intern at NPR’s Morning Edition in Culver City. She graduated from the University of Arizona with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Dale is grateful for the mentoring of the New York Times Student Journalism Institute, the Chips Quinn Scholars program and AIR’s New Voices Scholars. A desert native, she loves spending time outside hiking, tending to her cactus and reading.