Photo of Michael Black, Regional Director, Great Plains Region

Michael S. Black
Great Plains Regional Director

Michael S. Black is the Regional Director of the Great Plains Region, the largest and most ecologically diverse region in Reclamation. He provides leadership for the management, development and protection of water and related resources. This includes 80 Reclamation reservoirs, 20 power plants and 93 recreational areas that host more than 14 million visitors each year. Reclamation facilities in the Great Plains Region deliver drinking water to a rural and urban population of more than 2.2 million people. Black carries out these responsibilities across all parts of nine western states, with an annual budget of approximately $180 million and a workforce of 650 employees.

Black joined Reclamation in 2017 and served as the Senior Advisor to the Commissioner. Prior to Reclamation, Black served as the Acting Assistant Secretary of 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. From 2008 to 2010, he served as Regional Director of BIA's Great Plains Regional Office in Aberdeen, S.D.

Black began his federal career in 1987 with BIA's Aberdeen Area Office (now BIA's Great Plains Regional Office) as General Engineer in the Branch of Facilities Management. From 1992 to 2001, he worked in the BIA's Billings Area Office (now the Rocky Mountain Regional Office) as Regional Facility Manager. In December 2001, he was named Chief of the Regional Office's Division of Engineering. In January 2004, Black was promoted to the post of Deputy Regional Director - Indian Services for the Rocky Mountain Region.

Black is an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe in South Dakota. He 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.

Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our Web site at

Updated: 1/23/2018

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