Ruth Welch Joins the Bureau of Reclamation as Director, Policy and Administration

Media Contact: Peter Soeth, 303-445-3615,

For Release: July 19, 2017

Ruth Welch, Director of Policy and Administration
Ruth Welch, Director of Policy and Administration
WASHINGTON - Bureau of Reclamation Acting Commissioner Alan Mikkelsen announced that Ruth Welch has joined Reclamation as its director, Policy and Administration. As director, Welch oversees the development, formulation, evaluation and implementation of Reclamation's programmatic, human resources, and civil rights laws, regulations, policy and related matters affecting its mission objectives including programmatic internal controls. This also includes the WaterSMART Program.

"Reclamation is reducing conflict in the effective management of the West’s water and power resources," Mikkelsen said. "Ruth's experience within Interior will be a great asset to Reclamation as it continues its mission of delivering water and generating power. We welcome her to the Reclamation family."

She began her federal career with the Office of Surface Mining in 1989 and joined the Bureau of Land Management in 1993. She has served in a variety of positions throughout her tenure, including Department of the Interior assignments in Colorado, Wisconsin, Virginia, Wyoming, and Washington, DC, where she served as Chief of the BLM’s Division of Business Resources. Welch previously served as Deputy State Director for BLM Eastern States, BLM Wyoming’s Associate State Director, Director of the BLM National Operations Center, and most recently as the BLM Colorado State Director.

Welch, a Colorado native, earned a master’s degree in public administration at the University of Colorado-Denver and holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology and English literature from Western State Colorado University in Gunnison, Colorado.

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