New Manager Selected for Upper Columbia Area Office

Media Contact: Diana Cross, (208) 378-5020

For Release: October 12, 2004

Regional Director Bill McDonald announced today that he selected Mr. Jerry Kelso of Billings, Montana, to be the new Area Manager for the Bureau of Reclamation's Upper Columbia Area Office in Yakima, Washington.

"Jerry Kelso has an extensive background with Reclamation issues and has demonstrated his abilities in a variety of positions. I am pleased to welcome him back to the Pacific Northwest, where his abilities will be put to the test," said McDonald.

McDonald also expressed his gratitude to Bill Gray, manager of the Ephrata Field Office, who will continue to serve as Acting Area Manager until Kelso arrives.

Kelso, who is currently Assistant Regional Director of the Great Plains Region, began his career with Reclamation in 1972 as a contract administrator at Grand Coulee, Washington. His career has included a variety of positions in contracting and management, where he has gained experience in managing operations, developing and implementing policy, and working with public and private interest groups and congressional representatives.

Kelso's outstanding management skills and abilities were recognized in 2001 with the Department of the Interior's Superior Service Award.

Kelso will be responsible for the overall management of Reclamation's program and activities in the Columbia and Yakima River basins in Washington as well as most western Montana related issues. He will begin his duties in Yakima no later than the first of the year.

Kelso received a B.S. degree in Engineering from the University of Washington in 1972. His wife, Anna, also worked for Reclamation in the Great Plains Region.

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at and follow us on Twitter @USBR.