TWDB Executive Administrator J. Kevin Ward retiring; Melanie Callahan named Interim Leader

For immediate release.  Contact: Kimberly Leggett at 512-463-5129

AUSTIN - (January 19, 2011) - In a special meeting today of the Texas Water Development Board, the Board named Melanie Callahan as the interim Executive Administrator. The TWDB’s current Executive Administrator J. Kevin Ward announced his retirement from the agency at the Dec. 16, 2010 Board meeting, effective Feb. 28. He will be joining the Trinity River Authority on March 1.

The interim Executive Administrator, Melanie Callahan, is a Certified Public Accountant with more than 28 years experience in public sector financial management, including accounting, budget and finance. Callahan joined the TWDB in September 2001. She began as the Director of the Fiscal Services Division and the Chief Accounting Officer, and was named Chief Financial Officer in August 2007. In her role as the CFO, Callahan monitored a $3.5 billion debt portfolio, a $5.1 billion loan portfolio, a $1.2 billion investment portfolio and formulated and managed a $70 million annual operating budget.

To ensure an effective transition of responsibilities and authority without compromising the ongoing work of the TWDB, Ward will stay on as Executive Administrator until his departure on Feb. 28. Callahan’s service as the interim Executive Administrator will be effective March 1.

“Kevin Ward has worked hard to lay a solid foundation for this agency. I’m confident that Melanie will continue to build on his work to successfully lead us through the legislative session,” Board chairman Edward G. Vaughan said.

The TWDB is the state agency charged with collecting and disseminating water-related data, assisting with regional planning and preparing the state water plan for the development of the state’s water resources. The TWDB administers cost-effective financial assistance programs for the construction of water supply, wastewater treatment, flood control, and agricultural water conservation projects.