VIDEO: Expanding the Watershed: Certainty and Sustainability in 21st Century Water Resources Management

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VIDEO (50:15):

Welcome: Phil Weiser, Dean, University of Colorado Law School

Introduction of Speaker: Sarah Krakoff, Professor and Wolf-Nichol Fellow, University of Colorado Law School

Speaker: Michael L. Connor, Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior

Michael L. Connor serves as Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior. President Obama nominated Connor for the position in July 2013, and the U.S. Senate confirmed him without opposition in February 2014.

As Deputy Secretary, Connor is the second highest ranking official at the Interior Department with statutory responsibilities as the Chief Operating Officer of an agency of more than 70,000 employees and an annual budget of approximately $12 billion. Connor is a key leader in implementing the Administration's priorities for the Department of the Interior, including water policy and relations in the face of an unprecedented Western drought, as well as serving as the head of the Department's Land Buy-Back Program, the land consolidation component of the Cobell Settlement.

Connor has more than two decades of experience in the public sector, having served as the Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation from 2009 to 2014, where he led efforts to promote the sustainable use of water to effectively address current and future challenges associated with water supply and power generation in the American West. As Commissioner, he forged major Indian water rights settlements and worked to resolve water conflicts in California, New Mexico, Oregon and other western states. Connor led the Department of Interior's efforts and completed two major binational agreements with Mexico on the Colorado River that have received international attention and acclaim. Connor also directed Reclamation's efforts to expand hydropower generation at existing facilities.

Connor received his J.D. from the University of Colorado Law School and is admitted to the bars of Colorado and New Mexico. A native of New Mexico, he previously received a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from New Mexico State University and worked for General Electric.


This lecture was adapted and published as: Michael L. Connor, Expanding the Watershed: Certainty and Sustainability in the Twenty-First Century: Second Annual Getches-Wilkinson Center for Natural Resources, Energy & Environment Distinguished Lecture Series, 26 Colo. Nat. Res. Energy & Envtl. L. Rev. 277 (2015). The Distinguished Lecture Series was designed as a cooperative venture between the Getches-Wilkinson Center and the Colorado Natural Resources, Energy, and Environmental Law Review, to bring to the University of Colorado each year a distinguished figure in the fields of natural resource, energy, and environmental law and policy. The Annual Distinguished Lecture Series provides a forum for thought-leadership, allowing the Distinguished Lecturer to reflect on their experience and provide insights on the current state of natural resources, energy, and the environment. The articles and transcripts resulting from these lectures will be published in the Review.

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