Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Michael L. Connor has announced that Lorri Gray-Lee will succeed Karl Wirkus as director of the Bureau’s Pacific Northwest Region when he retires at the end of December.
In January, Gray-Lee will move to the Pacific Northwest Region after serving the last four years as the Lower Colorado Region director.
"Lorri brings a history of developing partnerships through collaboration with regional, local and international parties on a variety of issues that will benefit Reclamation and the numerous stakeholders in the northwest," said Connor. "I would like to thank Deputy Commissioner David Murillo and Lorri for developing a solution that will allow for the seamless transition of the Pacific Northwest Regional director position."
Gray-Lee has more than 28 years of federal service, all with Reclamation's Lower Colorado Region. She was named regional director in 2007 where she oversaw all Reclamation operations in southern Nevada, southern California, most of Arizona and small portions of Utah and New Mexico.
The region serves as the Water Master of the 700 miles of lower Colorado River below Lees Ferry in northern Arizona to the Mexican border on behalf of the Secretary of the Interior. The region also oversees the operation and management of Hoover, Davis and Parker dams and numerous other facilities.
Prior to being named as regional director, Gray-Lee was the program manager for the Lower Colorado River Multi-Species Program where she was responsible for implementing the program on the lower Colorado River. She has also served as a deputy regional director for five years and spent two years working in the Commissioner's Office in Washington, D.C.
Gray-Lee has received numerous awards during her career, including the Superior Service Award and Meritorious Service Award, two of the Department of the Interior's highest for career employees. In 2007, she was recognized by the Arizona Department of Game and Fish as Conservationist of the Year for her work in building partnerships and collaboration. She has a bachelor of science degree in business administration from the University of Phoenix.