Reclamation’s Lower Colorado Regional Director Names New Branch Chief for Resources Management Office

Media Contact: Rose Davis, 702-293-8421

For Release: October 21, 2011

The Bureau of Reclamation's Lower Colorado Regional Director Lorri Gray-Lee is announcing the selection of Valerie Thomas as the new Office Chief for the Region's Resources Management Office (RMO). Thomas began her new position on October 9, 2011. The RMO provides services related to Reclamation's environmental planning and compliance activities, land-use management, recreation development, Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping, water and soil analysis laboratory, and long-term water resource development and conservation planning programs.

"Valerie has a strong technical expertise in environmental compliance field, and contributes to Reclamation?s mission by providing grounded leadership and management skills, common sense, a fact based approach to problem solving, and a good sense of humor," said Director Gray-Lee.

Val Thomas began her civil service career in October of 1995 as an environmental protection specialist with the Department of Defense. She joined the Bureau of Reclamation, Lower Colorado Region in July 2009, and recently served as the Environmental Compliance Group Manager for an 11-member team of professionals. This group is critical to meeting the Region's environmental compliance mandates including Environmental Management System (EMS) implemented to reduce environmental impacts from the Region?s activities and facility operations; the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) which guides the production of environmental analysis documents for Regional projects; Cultural Resources Management; and Hazardous Material/Waste Management. Thomas also led her team in providing technical assistance in these areas to partner agencies, water users and Tribes and other stakeholders throughout the Region.

Valerie is a combat veteran, retiring as a Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel in 2003 after assignments that took her from Alaska to Iraq. Thomas has a B.S. degree from the Archeological Division of the Social Science Department at Michigan Technological University.

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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.