Texas Water Development Board members appointed by governor

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

Austin – (August 22, 2013) – Governor Rick Perry has appointed three full-time Board members to oversee the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB).  Carlos Rubinstein, Bech Bruun, and Mary Ann Williamson were named on August 16.

Carlos Rubinstein has been appointed to serve as chairman of the Board. He is currently a commissioner of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and has held that appointment since August 2009.  He is a member of the Texas Environmental Flows Advisory Group and is the Texas representative to the Western States Water Council; the Border Governors' Conference Sustainable Development worktable; the Environmental Council of the States; the Good Neighbor Environmental Board, an independent federal advisory committee that assists the president and Congress on environmental infrastructure needs along the U.S. border with Mexico; and the Governmental Advisory Committee, which advises the EPA Administrator on environmental concerns regarding NAFTA, the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation, and the Commission for Environmental Cooperation.  Rubinstein has also served as deputy executive director of TCEQ and as Rio Grande Watermaster.  He is also the past Texas representative to the Border Governors' Conference Water worktable and a former city manager for the City of Brownsville.  Rubinstein received a bachelor's degree in biology from Pan American University.  His term will expire Feb. 1, 2017, and he will serve as chair of the board for a term to expire at the pleasure of the governor.

"I would like to thank Governor Perry for his trust in appointing me as Chairman of the Texas Water Development Board," said Commissioner Rubinstein.  "I would also like to commend the legislature for the forward thinking they have demonstrated in making these sweeping changes for the future of Texas, and I look forward to implementing them.

"I also look forward to working with my fellow board members; the staff at the Water Development Board; other state agencies; and other organizations and individuals in moving the State Water Plan forward.

"As the population of Texas grows, it becomes more necessary than ever to conserve, manage and protect the water that will guarantee our state's healthy economic growth and the benefits that it will bring to all Texans."

Bech Bruun is serving as director of governmental appointments for the Office of the Governor and previously served as the government and customer relations manager for the Brazos River Authority.  A native of Corpus Christi, he also served as chief of staff to State Representative Todd Hunter (District 32).  Bruun is former general counsel to the House Committee on Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence, past executive director of Texas Victory 2008, and is a member of the State Bar of Texas, Knights of the Austin Symphony, and the Onion Creek Club Board of Governors.  He received a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Texas at Austin and a law degree from the University of Texas School of Law.  His term will expire Feb. 1, 2015.

Mary Ann Williamson is owner of MKS Natural Gas Company.  She is a board member and current chair of the Texas Lottery Commission, a board member of the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers, and a member of the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants.  She is also a member of the Austin Colony Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and past president of the Weatherford Independent School District Community Education Advisory Council.  Williamson received a bachelor's degree in accounting from the University of Texas at Austin and a master of business administration from Texas Christian University.  Her term will expire Feb. 1, 2019.

"We are excited the new Board has been named and are looking forward to working with them," said Interim Executive Administrator Dr. Robert Mace.  "With widespread interest in the state's water issues, we believe there is momentum to address the state’s water needs."

As part of changes to the TWDB from the last legislative session, the new Board members will assume their positions on September 1.  By October 1, they will select a new Executive Administrator for the agency.

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.

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