The Bureau of Reclamation announces the selection of Levi Brekke, Ph.D. as the senior advisor for research and development. The newly established position provides executive oversight of all aspects of the research and development office and data management activities for Reclamation’s workforce of nearly 6,000 federal employees.
Brekke’s responsibilities will include developing and leading three cross functional communities of practice to incorporate the best available science and technology to continue Reclamation’s history of providing reliable water and power across the West, currently stricken by unprecedented drought. The new communities of practice (climate change, hydrology and hydraulics, and peer review) will be aligned with Reclamation's mission and the Biden-Harris administration’s priorities.
“The depth of knowledge Dr. Brekke brings to this critical new role will be an invaluable asset as we continuously synchronize our efforts across Reclamation and work with our valued partners to address the impacts of climate change,” said Reclamation Deputy Commissioner Camille Calimlim Touton.
Brekke joined Reclamation in 2003 and has extensive experience in reservoir systems analysis and conducting research on climate information applications. He has served in various engineering and scientific positions and has led Reclamation’s research and development office since 2015. His new role as a senior advisor for research and development is based in Denver and reports directly to Reclamation’s chief engineer.
“Dr. Brekke has proven for decades that he has the ability to develop and communicate scientific information in a way that supports Reclamation’s mission. He is the right person to take on this new role in leading Reclamation into a new generation of professional excellence of incorporating climate, forecasting, and modeling information in a transparent and robust manner into our activities,” said Reclamation Chief Engineer Dr. David Raff.
Brekke obtained a doctorate in water resources engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, a master's degree in environmental science and engineering from Stanford University, and a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from The University of Iowa.
“Reclamation faces many technical challenges in carrying out its core mission of delivering water and generating hydropower,” said Brekke on the importance of his selection. “I look forward to providing leadership to address these challenges and helping Reclamation deliver its mission in more efficient ways.”