Department of the Interior

For Immediate Release:
April 14, 2006
Contact: Shane Wolfe
Kip White

Acting Secretary Lynn Scarlett Names William E. Rinne As Acting Commissioner Of The Bureau Of Reclamation

WASHINGTON, D.C -Acting Secretary Lynn Scarlett today named William E. Rinne as acting Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation. Rinne, who is currently serving as Deputy Commissioner for Operations at Reclamation, will serve as acting Commissioner until the President nominates and the Senate confirms a new commissioner.

"I am pleased to name William Rinne to the position. He is well respected at the Bureau and will bring extraordinary talent and diligence to the performance of his tasks," said Scarlett.

Commissioner John W. Keys, III leaves today for retirement after nearly 40 years with the Bureau. He leaves saying that Reclamation employees are among the best and will be in good hands under the leadership of William Rinne.

Rinne has served as Deputy Commissioner, Director of Operations, since June 2003. He has primary responsibility for operational issues facing Reclamation throughout the 17 western states. He has more than 28 years of federal service and previously served as Deputy Regional Director of Reclamation's Lower Colorado Region in Boulder City, Nevada.

Assistant Secretary Water and Science Mark Limbaugh stated that he had every confidence in Rinne as he assumes the role of Acting Commissioner. "I have worked with Bill for the last five years and find him to have great management experience and outstanding knowledge of the bureau."

Originally from Burchard, Nebraska, Rinne is an avid outdoorsman and angler. He received his Bachelor's Degree in Biology from Peru State College in Peru, Neb. and his Master's in Zoology from the University of Nevada in Las Vegas, Nev. He and his wife Jan have two children and six grandchildren.