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Biography of
Lower Colorado Deputy Regional Director
David Palumbo

photo of Dave Palumbo

David Palumbo became the Deputy Director for the Bureau of Reclamation’s Lower Colorado Region in October 2012.  He previously served the Region as Assistant Regional Director after being promoted from Regional Engineer in August 2011.

As Deputy Regional Director, David Palumbo oversees a variety of programs and projects in the Region’s Area Offices, located in Phoenix and Southern California. In this role, he guides the efficient management of Hoover, Davis, and Parker dams, which are critical national infrastructure and mission-critical facilities that provide clean and renewable hydropower.  He is also responsible for efforts related to Native American affairs, power operations, natural and cultural resources management, engineering services, and security.

David is committed to promoting teamwork within Reclamation and among its many stakeholders and partners, including Tribal Nations and the Republic of Mexico, and he believes cooperation is fundamental to any accomplishments.  As project manager and, ultimately, as project sponsor, he led the successful completion of the $172 million Brock Reservoir Project in southern California’s Imperial Valley, a project that involved a diverse set of multiple stakeholders, and was completed ahead of schedule and under budget.  This reservoir now provides enhanced storage capacity and operational efficiency to improve management and delivery of Colorado River water.

David is a strong advocate for inclusive and collaborative relationships at all levels of the organization. One example of this is his leadership role in the multi-state and bi-national Desert Landscape Conservation Cooperative. This highly successful partnership coordinates scientific and technical support to study and communicate climate change issues and other landscape-scale ecosystem stressors, for use by resource managers in local, state, federal and Tribal agencies.

Another major contribution David Palumbo provides as Deputy Regional Director is leadership in creating a sustainable work environment and a reduced carbon footprint in Reclamation facilities.  As project manager and sponsor, he developed and implemented a master plan and building program to construct an office building in Boulder City, Nevada, that received the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum rating.  Officially dedicated in 2011, this innovative building consumes zero net energy, and was the first building for the Bureau of Reclamation and only the third for the Department of the Interior to reach the LEED Platinum standard.

Continuing his efforts to improve efficiencies and reduce the Region’s impact on the environment, David led a major effort to significantly rehabilitate and reconstruct two buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places, both of which achieved a LEED Gold rating.  All three of these buildings included added design and construction considerations because they are located within the viewshed of Boulder City’s historic district.

David Palumbo brings to government service extensive experience and a unique perspective from working for the Kerr-McGee Corporation for nearly 10 years. For four of those years, he effectively partnered with Canada’s Hydro-Quebec in performing engineering design, analysis and management tasks for production, water, and energy/stored power projects.

David holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature with a concentration in Peace Studies from the University of Notre Dame. He also earned master’s degrees in Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics from Columbia University, and in English Literature from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He is a member of several professional organizations including the American Society of Civil Engineers, and is a licensed civil engineer and certified project manager.

Deputy Director David Palumbo’s outstanding contributions have been recognized by numerous awards during his career, including the Superior Service Award and the Meritorious Service Award, two of the Department of the Interior’s highest honors for career employees. He was also recognized in 2008 as Reclamation’s Engineer of the Year.

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Updated: June, 2014