Making Science a Priority

Last edited 09/29/2021

Dear colleagues,

I’m pleased to announce two personnel changes within the Immediate Office of the Secretary.

First, I have appointed Bill Werkheiser to be Science Advisor to the Acting Secretary. Bill has dedicated his life to public service, having worked for 30 years in the Federal Government, most recently as Deputy Director of U.S. Geological Survey. Prior to this position, he was USGS’s Associate Director for Water, overseeing all aspects of the bureau’s programs in water science.

Second, Senior Advisor to the Secretary for Water and Western Resource Issues Alan Mikkelsen has agreed to continue with an expanded portfolio, where he will oversee all Departmental water issues. Alan has decades of experience handling this subject, and recently he served as Deputy Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation. He knows water as well as anyone and will continue coordinating with the Assistant Secretary for Water and Science and the Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation on priority water matters.

As Acting Secretary, I am committed to using the best science in our policy making process. I will depend on Bill and Alan to help meet this objective.

Please join me in congratulating these two exceptional public servants on their new roles.


David L. Bernhardt
Acting Secretary of the Interior

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