Reclamation Deputy Commissioner Rinne Receives Secretary's Executive Leadership Award

Media Contact: LaVona Andrew, 202.513.0578

For Release: June 09, 2005

Reclamation Deputy Commissioner William E. Rinne has been selected as the recipient of the Secretary of the Interior's Gold Executive Leadership Award.

"Bill richly deserves this recognition," Commissioner John Keys said. "As Deputy Commissioner for Operations, he has provided real leadership in furthering Secretary Norton's goals in the Colorado River Basin and throughout Reclamation. And, he has ensured that Reclamation maintains the highest standards of fiscal responsibility."

With Rinne's assistance, the first year of the California 4.4 Plan was implemented, resulting in California reducing its use of Colorado River water by 800,000 acre-feet annually. He was integral in enabling Reclamation to store the maximum water allowable on the Middle Rio Grande under an Emergency Drought Water Agreement with the State of New Mexico. Some of this water was used to stretch water supplies in late summer and early fall, avoiding a water supply crisis on the Middle Rio Grande. He also ensured that supplemental water was used to meet flow requirements for the Biological Opinion for the Rio Grande Silvery Minnow, including maintaining carry over water for 2005.

As Reclamation's Chief Financial Officer, Rinne is committed to maintaining the highest standards of financial and management accountability and integrity. He provided oversight of Reclamation's annual financial audit, receiving an unqualified audit, and continues to emphasize the establishment and implementation of internal controls for financial and program activities. He also championed Reclamation's participation in the development of the Henry Rodriguez Scholarship through the American Indian Science and Engineering Society.

Rinne has more than 27 years of federal service, exclusively in Reclamation. He was named to his current position in September 2002. Previously, he served as deputy regional director of Reclamation's Lower Colorado Region in Boulder City, Nev., where he was actively involved in the agency's Lower Colorado River programs.

An avid outdoorsman, Rinne particularly enjoys hunting, fishing and gardening. He is originally from Burchard, Neb. He received his Bachelor's Degree in Biology from Peru State College in Peru, Neb., and a Master's Degree in Zoology from the University of Nevada in Las Vegas, Nev. He and his wife, Jan, have two children and six grandchildren.

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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.