Yuma Area Office

Terri Thomas, Area Manager, Yuma Area Office

Terry Thomas

Terri Thomas is the Area Manager for the Bureau of Reclamation’s Yuma Area Office headquartered in Yuma, Arizona. Thomas oversees all aspects of planning, environmental compliance, coordination, and operations and maintenance of the Colorado River water delivery, groundwater and salinity management, resource management, maintenance services, and desalting services.

Terri’s federal career began when she worked in the student program as a temporary Park Aid for the Corps of Engineers while earning her Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Science. Her first permanent government position was as a Park Ranger at the Statue of Liberty in New York City. Since then, she has held technical specialist, supervisory, and management positions with several government agencies in widely differing areas of the country and at job settings as varied as: the largest sea level canal in the world, an urban national park, multipurpose water resource projects in the rural northern plains, the second largest hydropower producing dam in the U.S., the second largest rolled earth dam in the world, the environmentally sensitive Florida Keys, and the varied ecosystems of the Pacific Northwest.

She has over 30 years of experience in Natural Resources and Program/Project Management (registered Project Manager) and possesses a broad technical background and experience in Environmental Compliance, Stewardship and Sustainability. She is thoroughly familiar with laws, regulations, and policies regarding a wide variety of types of projects and programs, and is adept at fusing experience, judgment, ingenuity and initiative in interpreting, applying and adapting policy and regulations where significant departures from established practices and precedents are required. Along the way she honed her skills at communicating program policies and developing effective working relationships with a variety of organizations at the federal, state and local levels, and with the public. She has a natural flair for public speaking, which combined with interpretive training making her a highly effective communicator. She developed her management skills to become a responsive team builder and inspires others to follow a common vision. Terri sees it as her personal responsibility to provide training and guidance to ensure professional and personal development of her team, including creating a workplace atmosphere where creativity and innovation are encouraged.

Previous to joining the Yuma Area Office, Terri was the Regional Supervisor of the Office of Environment for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Gulf of Mexico Region (GOMR). She advised the Regional Director; providing policy guidance, program oversight, direction and management related to development of the nation’s offshore resources in an environmentally and economically responsible way. She oversaw all environmental sections within the Office of Environment: Environmental Operations (post-lease activities); Environmental Assessment (pre-lease activities); Subject Matter Experts in Biology, Marine Science, Oceanography, Physical Sciences, Social Sciences and Air and Water Quality; and Environmental Studies. Additionally, Terri created and facilitated the in-house Leadership Development Programs for employees at all levels of GOMR BOEM, and the concept was adopted by the Senior Management Team of BOEM as a National Program. She is a Certified Diversity Change Agent, has completed OPM Leadership Education and Development (LEAD) Certification and graduated from the Department of Interior Senior Executive Service Candidate Development Program (SESCDP) in March 2017.

Terri grew up near Lake Michigan where she developed a passion for sailing. Her passion these days centers on enjoying the company of her rescued Doberman Pinschers.





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Last Updated: 10/29/19