News Release Archive

Statement of Commissioner John Keys on the Death of Former Reclamation Commissioner Robert N. Broadbent

Media Contact: Trudy Harlow, (202) 513-0574,

For Release: August 13, 2003

It is with real sorrow that I note the loss of a devoted public servant and friend to the Bureau of Reclamation and the State of Nevada. Robert N. Broadbent served as Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation between 1981 and 1984. He then served as Assistant Secretary of the Interior - Water and Science before returning to Nevada in 1986.

His contributions to Reclamation and the country are a tribute to his memory, and his death is a great loss to this agency. I extend my condolences to his widow, Sue Broadbent, and his family.

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Robert N. Broadbent was born in Ely, Nev., June 19, 1926. He received a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacology from Idaho State College, then worked as a pharmacist and politician in Clark County, Nev., from 1950 to 1975. Broadbent was elected as the first mayor of Boulder City, Nev., and he also directed the Las Vegas Valley Water District.

He became Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation, in 1981. During his first year as Commissioner, the bureau's name reverted to Bureau of Reclamation from the Water and Power Resources Service. After serving as Commissioner for four years, Broadbent was named Assistant Secretary of the Department of the Interior - Water and Science.

He returned to Nevada in 1986 to become Clark County director of aviation, and worked to modernize McCarran Airport, one of the nation's largest air terminals.

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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.