Mike Black appointed Regional Director for the Bureau of Reclamation’s Great Plains Region

Media Contact: Peter Soeth, 303-445-3615

For Release: January 08, 2018

Michael Black
Michael Black
WASHINGTON – Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman announced that Michael S. Black will succeed Michael J. Ryan as Reclamation’s Great Plains Regional Director on January 21. An experienced engineer and an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe in South Dakota, Black has a strong background in infrastructure and is Reclamation’s first Native American regional director.

"Mike brings a history of developing partnerships through collaboration with regional, local, tribal and international parties on a variety of issues that will benefit Reclamation and the numerous stakeholders in the Great Plains Region," said Commissioner Burman. “Mike is a great asset to our leadership team.”

“I am honored to take on this assignment,” said Black. “This region is my home and I look forward to working with our many water and power customers in the Great Plains Region.”

Most recently, Black has served as a Senior Advisor to the Commissioner. Prior to his appointment in October 2017, he served as the Acting Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs for the Department of the Interior. From 2016 to 2017, he was the Senior Advisor to the Director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. In 2010, he was appointed Director of BIA and held that position until 2016. From 2008 to 2010, he served as Regional Director of BIA’s Great Plains Regional Office. Black began his federal career in 1987 with BIA.

Black graduated from Aberdeen Central High School and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.

Ryan served with distinction as the Great Plains Regional Director for more than 12 years and will now provide his leadership and management skills to Reclamation as a Senior Advisor to the Commissioner. Commissioner Burman said, “We value all of the service Mike Ryan has provided and I look forward to working with him in his new capacity.”

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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 https://www.usbr.gov and follow us on Twitter @USBR.