Director, Policy and Programs
Chris Beardsley was named as director, policy and programs on May 18, 2020. He is responsible specifically for the planning and execution of the following divisions: Security, Safety and Emergency Management, Environmental Compliance, Reclamation Law Administration, and Design, Estimating and Construction Oversight.
Beardsley began his federal career in 1992 as an international affairs specialist for Reclamation in Washington, D.C., where he focused on overseas technical assistance programs. In 2002, he joined the Program and Budget Group to coordinate the Budget Review Committee process and continued his career as a branch chief and then, as assistant director. In 2008, he joined the Columbia-Pacific Northwest Region in Boise, Idaho, as deputy area manager for the Snake River Area Office and oversaw all activities in the Middle Snake Field Office, including 17 dams and three powerplants.
In 2015, Beardsley moved to Billings, Montana, to serve as deputy regional director for the Missouri Basin and Arkansas-Rio Grande-Texas Gulf Regions overseeing six area offices across nine western states, including 80 dams, 20 powerplants and over 100 recreational areas. In this role, he also served as a member of the Platte River Recovery Implementation Program’s Governance Committee which supports and protects four threatened and endangered species in Nebraska while allowing for continued water and hydropower project operations in the Platte River basin. Throughout his career, Beardsley has actively worked with water users and other affected stakeholders to balance competing demands and resolve resource conflicts.
Beardsley earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from James Madison University, and is a graduate of both the Department of the Interior’s Senior Executive Services Candidate Development Program (Class #19) and Reclamation’s Leadership Development Program. He was awarded the Department of the Interior Superior Service Award in 2014. Chris and his wife, Jen, have one child, Chase.
Updated: May 18, 2020
Click on image for high resolution image.