Reclamation’s Lower Colorado Regional Director Names New Power Office Chief

Media Contact: Rose Davis , 702-293-8421

For Release: December 15, 2011

BOULDER CITY, NV – The Bureau of Reclamation's Lower Colorado Regional Director Lorri Gray-Lee today announced the selection of Chau Nguyen as the new Power Office Chief. The LCR Power Office administers programs and operations related to the generation and management of Reclamation's power resources throughout the Southwest, including those at Hoover, Davis and Parker dams.

“Chau is a terrific example of perseverance and dedication. She brings solid leadership skills to a very complex area of Reclamation’s mission,” said Director Gray-Lee. “Chau’s work in Reclamation offices in Boulder City, Hoover Dam and the Denver office gave her a wide array of problem-solving skills and working relationships to continue the Region’s excellence in delivery of clean hydropower,” Gray-Lee added.

Chau has over 20 years experience in hydropower engineering. She has received numerous awards including twice as a recipient of the Superior Service Award, one of the Department of the Interior’s highest for career employees; and she was given the Heart of Hydro Award. Chau Nguyen is a registered Professional Engineer (PE) in Electrical Engineering in the State of Nevada, and holds a Project Management Professional (PMP) credential from the Project Management Institute.

Chau was born is Vietnam and, as the oldest of seven children, stayed behind to care for her ailing paternal grandparents when her family escaped Vietnamese Communists in 1975. After her grandfather died, her grandmother obtained permission to leave the country and convinced the Communists to allow Chau to travel with her due to her poor health and because Chau’s family was already living in the United States.

Chau reunited with her family in 1980 in Tucson, Arizona and began the difficult adjustment to a new life, new culture, new environment, democracy, and most importantly getting to know her family again. Chau did not speak English so her biggest challenge was mastering the language before she could attend the University of Arizona. In May 1981, Chau passed her English exam and was accepted to the University of Arizona. She graduated 1985 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and in November 1985 was sworn in as a U.S. citizen.

In 1986, Chau obtained a position in Reclamation’s Lower Colorado Region as a Rotation Engineer with the Power Division, Engineering and Communication Branch. In 1988, she transferred to Hoover Dam’s Engineering Division, Electrical Engineering Branch; and became Hoover’s Engineering Group Manager in 2000. Chau was promoted to the Chief of Engineering for the Lower Colorado Dams Area Office in 2010.

Chau lives in Boulder City, Nevada and enjoys cooking, reading, hiking and traveling. She has traveled to all seven continents included Antarctica. She begins her new position on January 1, 2012 in the 1400/Green Building in Boulder City, Nevada.

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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.