Taos Pueblo Tribe Member Confirmed to Lead US Army Corps of Engineers | Local news

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TAOS – Taos Pueblo member Michael Connor, 58, has a new job – and it’s a big one.

The Denver attorney and a former deputy secretary of the United States Department of the Interior will serve as the new deputy secretary of the military for civil engineering, overseeing the corps of engineers of the United States military. The Biden administration announced on April 27 that Connor had been nominated for the job, and the US Senate upheld the nomination on November 4 with a 92-5 vote.

Connor is the grandson of the late Patricio Romero of Taos Pueblo, a former tribal governor in the 1980s who served on the Taos Pueblo Water Taskforce, a group appointed by the Tribal Council to support the water regulation that has become final in 2017 under President Barack Obama. administration, according to Taos Pueblo Gov. Clyde Romero Sr.

Connor is a lawyer who worked with WilmerHale, a law firm with offices in Washington, DC and Denver. He and his wife, Shari, have a son, Matthew, and a daughter, Gabriela.

US Senator Tom Carper, D-Del., Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works, said ahead of the vote to confirm Connor, “The Corps of Engineers Civil Works Program is the primary supplier of water resources infrastructure, and with the increasing impacts of climate change, it is essential to have someone of Mr. Connor’s caliber within the body. Mr. Connor will lead efforts that will have a huge impact on all corners. of this country, from coastal communities inland to small, disadvantaged, rural and tribal communities.

As Deputy Secretary at the Home Office, he was COO responsible for 70,000 employees and a budget of around $ 13 billion.

Primarily, the position oversees the US Army Corps of Engineers and its programs, such as “maintenance of waterways, flood protection in communities across the country, restoration of aquatic ecosystems, various environmental infrastructure projects. “said Connor. Taos news in July.

“The landscape is changing very quickly under us, as we have seen with all of the extreme events this year, and being able to solve this problem in the work that we do will be the main challenge,” he added.

A version of this story first appeared in Taos news, a sister publication of The New Mexican of Santa Fe.

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