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2018 AWRA Board of Directors

Brenda Bateman


Brenda BatemanDr. Brenda Bateman is the Technical Services Division Administrator for the Oregon Water Resources Department, where she serves a key role in the development of Oregon's Integrated Water Resources Strategy (first adopted in August 2012; updated in 2017).

Dr. Bateman chaired the Policy Committee of the American Water Resources Association (AWRA) from 2005 to 2013. In this role, she led the development of a series of water resource policy statements (adopted and posted on-line by AWRA's Board of Directors), as well as a 2012 set of case studies focused on Integrated Water Resources Management, and a 2013 set of case studies focused on the status of drought and flood policy in the United States . She serves as the General Co-Chair of AWRA's Annual Conference in Portland, Oregon (2013 and 2017) and has served as Vice-Chair of AWRA¹s Oregon Section. In 2008, she received AWRA's Ivan A. Johnson Award for Young Professionals, and in 2013 the Henry P. Caulfield, Jr., Medal for contribution to national water policy.

Our circumstances in water resources are constantly shifting and AWRA needs to be prepared to respond. With an ongoing wave of retirements in the water industry, AWRA must help ensure this institutional knowledge is not lost. With constantly improving technological tools, AWRA must help its members make the most of new technologies. In an ever-changing climate and environment, AWRA must ensure that the professional disciplines are communicating with each other. And, with an active membership in the forefront of water resources management, AWRA must provide the tools to document successes and share lessons learned. AWRA has already demonstrated strengths in these areas. My vision for the Association is to build upon these strengths and ensure that AWRA provides strategic leadership in the water resource arena.

Lisa Beutler (2014-2017)


Lisa BeutlerLisa Beutler has dedicated the last 13 years of her career to water resources. As the Associate Director of the Center for Collaborative Policy, Sacramento State and during the last three years as a Principal and Executive Facilitator at MWH, my duties have included service on the multidisciplinary leadership teams for the three California Water Plan updates, federal-state-regional-local planning to integrate land use and water quality goals at Lake Tahoe, and the Central Valley Flood Protection Plan. I have been fortunate to work with the executive teams of regional sanitation and water agencies, supported development of Integrated Regional Water Management Plans, and assisted state and regional water boards in creating a better regulatory alignment and strategic plans and approaches for water quality goals. My projects often tackle wicked, complex problems at massive scales.

While the tasks vary, the focus is creating sustainable water management and policy. We do this through application of good science, solid decision making processes, technology, and collaboration. I am particularly passionate about making technical information accessible to decision makers and those impacted by their decisions. As an AWRA Board member, I would hope to leverage my career in the public sector, the university and private industry along with experience working across disciplines, to support the AWRA goals for a National Water Vision and to promote IWRM.

While I am relatively new to AWRA, becoming a member in 2008, I immediately jumped in. I have spoken at conferences and took on special tasks such as assisting with the Collaborative Modeling Symposium at the 2011 AWRA Summer Specialty Conference. I am now supporting the IWRM webinar series.

My passion for resources began as a child growing up outside of Yosemite National Park with a soil scientist father. I became a State Park Ranger, then a manager at the State Lands Commission. I oversaw management of 1/2 million acres of grazing, forestry, and mineral lands, and supported negotiations for issues ranging from dredging policy to restoration of the Bolsa Chica wetlands, to off-shore oil leasing. Over my years in state government I had the opportunity to work in special offices of two Governors, and one Lt. Governor, and as an Agency Undersecretary. In my personal life I have volunteered to mediate religious disputes. A highlight was co-leading a special track at the 2004 World Parliament of Religions, where we asked 400 of the world¹s religious leaders to articulate their role in ensuring the provision of safe, clean water to all people.

Rafael Frias


Rafael FriasRafael Frias is a Client Director with the global water business of Black & Veatch Corporation, responsible for the Company's operations in Florida and the Caribbean. In this role, he specializes in the management of water resources projects in the United States and internationally, including water supply, water quality, water treatment, and stormwater planning and design. In 2010, he established Black & Veatch's South Florida operations and is currently delivering multiple infrastructure projects in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Monroe Counties, as well as in Puerto Rico.

Rafael has been an active member and a strong advocate of AWRA since shortly after joining Black & Veatch in 1999. In 2006, he received AWRA's "A. Ivan Johnson Outstanding Young Professional Award." He also served on AWRA's Board as a Director in 2010 and during the period of 2013-2015, and as President-Elect in 2016.

Rafael puts a priority on young AWRA members - the building blocks of the organization- and on the organization's influence not only in the U. S., but also internationally. AWRA is an organization with a vast reach, and as we develop the future leaders of the organization, we also need to exhibit our organizational thought leadership in the international forum.

As President, he will lead with integrity, perspective, innovation and trust to develop the talent and potential of young members for the future, while raising the status of AWRA as a domestic organization with strong international ties. AWRA is about its members and how they can leverage the organization for their professional development and growth. AWRA is not the voice of the water resources Industry; instead, it's the means for its members to have a voice and lead the Industry.

Noel Gollehon


Noel GollehonNoel Gollehon is a Senior Economist, Natural Resources Conservation Service, USDA, and looks forward to the opportunity to serve as a representative on the AWRA Board of Directors.

He will bring a nationalview of water resources to AWRA, just as he has done in his 25-years with USDA’s Economic Research Service and Natural Resource and Conservation Service.

Noel has been an active member in the National Capitol AWRA Section (DC, Maryland, and Virginia) and a participant in national AWRA conferences. At both the national conferences and the local meetings, he has appreciated the nonjudgmental environment for the exchange of information about all aspects of water resources within and across the many disciplines involved.

In the era of limited travel budgets and too much email, how AWRA will maintain and enhance the positive, multidisciplinary perspective to information exchange is a critical issue. Noel believes that AWRA will need to expand the use of effective electronic media delivery to both entice professionals to face-to-face meetings and serve as an important mechanism to inform the membership.

Laurel E. Stadjuhar (2016-2018)


Laurel StadjuharLaurel E. Stadjuhar, P.E., is Principal and Water Resources Engineer with West Sage Water Consultants, a consulting firm located in Denver, Colorado. Laurel has over tweenty years engineering and project management experience including many facets of western water including water rights evaluations, hydrological and watershed analyses, surface water and ground water hydrology and modeling, augmentation plan preparations, historical use investigations, long-range planning and reservoir optimization modeling, statistical analyses, hydraulic and structural analyses, model and database development and analysis, project management, and field investigations. She has served as an expert witness in hearings before the State Engineer and in water court proceedings. Laurel is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Colorado.

Laurel currently serves as Director on the National Board of Directors for AWRA and served from 2011-2013. Laurel has served in various capacities on the Board of Directors of the Colorado Section of AWRA since 2002. Laurel was the committee chair for AWRA’s Annual Conference in Denver in November 2015. Through her past involvement, Laurel has fostered the development of water resource education and cooperation within the water resources fields in Colorado and nationally. She initiated the Colorado Section’s Finance Committee and annual budget, and helped to increase the section membership through membership drives, improved marketing, and cooperation among organizations, and continues work to as Scholarship Chair to increase awards from the Section’s Scholarship Fund to university students studying in the water resources field. The Colorado Section was awarded the Outstanding State Section Award from National AWRA immediately following her tenure as President.

Betsy Cody (2016-2018)


Betsy CodyCody is a specialist in natural resources policy at the Congressional Research Service (CRS), U.S. Library of Congress, where she specializes in western water resource policy issues and national water resources policy generally. In her 25 years with CRS, she has worked on multiple water resources issues and engaged with numerous professionals from federal, state, tribal, and local agencies and entities in conducting research for Congress.

Cody has been an active participant in AWRA activities throughout her career at CRS. She first served for four years on the National Capital Region Section (NCRS) Board in mid-1990s, including President of the chapter, and next served for two years as Finance Chair for the national AWRA board of directors. When the local NCRS chapter was reconstituted several years ago, she again joined the local board, serving another three-year term, including President. Her involvement with AWRA over the years has helped her grow as an analyst and widen her sphere of knowledgeable colleagues from academia as well as from multiple governmental agencies and the private sector. The opportunities afforded to professionals who are part of the AWRA network are invaluable. Being able to contact experts in multiple scientific fields, as well as policy specialists and key policy decision-makers at every level of government makes working in a fast-paced high-pressure environment possible.

Jerad Bales (2017-2019)


Jerad BalesDr. Jerad Bales is Executive Director of the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc. (CUAHSI). Founded in 2001, the CUAHSI is a 501(c)3 research organization representing more than 130 U.S. universities and international water science-related organizations. CUAHSI develops infrastructure and services for the advancement of water science in the United States. In 2016, he was named to EPA's Board of Scientific Counselors for EPAs Safe and Sustainable Water Resources program. Prior to his position with CUAHSI, Dr. Bales was the U.S. Geological Survey's Chief Scientist for Water. In this position, he was the Senior Executive responsible for $100M of activities related to the planning and development of national hydrologic research and technology transfer. Dr. Bales has conducted research on water-resources, hazards, and water-quality issues throughout the U.S., has published more than 120 articles and technical reports on this work. Dr. Bales has served on many interagency committees, including serving as Co-Chair of OSTP's Subcommittee on Water Availability and Quality and as Chair of the U.S. National Committee for the UNESCO International Hydrological Programme.

Over the last several years, I have grown to increasingly value the role of the AWRA in the water-resources community. AWRA provides a setting in which hydrologists, water managers, social scientists, planners, and other groups can have informative conversations through the newsletter, journal, conferences, and other AWRA sponsored dialogues. AWRA is attracting more students and early-career professionals of all backgrounds to AWRA events, and I want to help encourage that. The leadership of AWRA in activities such as the Open Water Data Initiative and the AWRA National Leadership Institute is having a noticeable impact on the way leaders think about and address water issues, as has AWRA's support of Integrated Water Resources Management. As we have seen from recent national events, water issues are gaining increasing visibility and importance in the U.S. and abroad. AWRA is poised to provide continuing leadership in this arena.

Sharon Megdal (2017-2019)


Sharon Medgal Dr. Sharon B. Megdal is Director of the University of Arizona Water Resources Research Center, an Extension and research unit in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. She also holds the titles: Professor and Specialist, Department Soil, Water, and Environmental Science; C.W. & Modene Neely Endowed Professor; and Distinguished Outreach Professor. Sharon, who has long enjoyed interacting with AWRA leadership and members through conferences and through workshop planning, is excited to be serving on the AWRA Board of Directors. AWRA's work as a bridging organization is needed more than ever.

Sharon's work focuses on water policy and management, about which she teaches, writes and frequently speaks. Current projects include: comparative evaluation of water management, policy, and governance in growing, water-scarce regions; groundwater management and governance; groundwater recharge; and transboundary aquifer assessment. Her work integrates the academic and real-world of water management, with the geographic scope ranging from local to international. In addition to her full-time position as Director of the University of Arizona (UA) Water Resources Research Center (since 2004), she is serving a second six-year term as an elected member of the unpaid Board of Directors of the Central Arizona Water Conservation District. This board is responsible for overseeing operations and for setting policies, taxes, and charges associated with delivery of Colorado River water through the Central Arizona Project (CAP) to cities and towns, industries, agriculture, and Tribal Nations. She is a past president of the National Institutes for Water Resources and President- Elect of the Universities Council for Water Resources Board of the Directors.

Sharon grew up in New Jersey, where she received her undergraduate degree in Economics from Rutgers University and Ph.D. in Economics from Princeton University.

Scott Kudlas (2018-2020)


Scott Kudlas Scott Kudlas is the Director of the Office of Water Supply at the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality where he served most recently as project manager in efforts to reduce declining groundwater levels resulting from over allocation (2014-2017) and the development of Virginia’s first State Water
Resources Plan (2015). Scott’s 31 years of experience as an environmental planning professional has focused on variety of economic development, land-use, water quality, and water quantity issues. While spending the last 25 years in Virginia state government in various management and policy positions at DEQ, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, and the Chesapeake Bay Local Assistance Department, he also worked for several local governments in multiple states and for a private sector design build firm. He is a graduate of the Virginia Natural Resources Leadership Institute (2015) and past chairman of the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin (2011, 2015) and the Cooperative Water Supply Operations on the Potomac (2006, 2011, 2015, 2016).

Scott was a member of a number of other national associations for many years, including state chapter leadership roles, but was always searching for the one that best represented his interests and values.
He found that with the AWRA. A member since 2007, he has been an active consumer of AWRA technical products and recently committed to a more active role in the Association. He is an alumnus (2015), past contributor (2016), and current co-facilitator (2017) of the AWRA National Leadership Institute.

Today’s water resource management environment is complex and requires the balancing of multiple objectives for the use of a finite resource. Scott’s passion is in promoting shared visioning through collaborative processes, fearless transparency, and using models to inform policy and management decisions. He hopes to bring his significant technical, policy, and planning experience to bear in support of AWRA goals and to promote tools and professional development for effective comprehensive water resource planning at the state and local levels.


Lisa Engelman (2018-2020)


Lisa Engelman Lisa Engelman has over 20 years consulting and project management experience. She was the Chair of the AWRA 2017 Summer Specialty Conference on Climate Change Solutions: Collaborative Science, Policy and Planning for Sustainable Water Management, and was chair of the AWRA Policy Technical Committee, general chair of the 2014 AWRA Annual Conference, conference committee member for the specialty conference for Managing Climate Change Impacts on Water Resources, and the moderator of several Student Night Career Panels. Additionally, she was the founding President of the AWRA's reinvigorated National Capital Region section, which provides the broad spectrum of federal, regional, and local perspectives around policy, science, and utility to water resource professionals in Northern Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, DC.

Lisa believes the interdisciplinary approach of AWRA and the facilitation of communication across and outside the multiple facets of the water resources community are vital to the management and sustainability of water resources. She is eager to continue supporting students and new professionals in developing their potential and exploring the connections of their discipline to the other interests within the water resources community.

Lisa provides a wide range of project management, facilitation, environmental, and quality assurance support, including water resources planning, stormwater management, air quality, environmental compliance, restoration/clean-up, sustainability, and environmental reporting information systems. She earned a B.A. in Environmental Studies from the University of Rochester, an M.S. in Environmental Studies from Ohio University, and a Graduate Certificate in Conflict Analysis and Resolution for Collaborative Leadership in Community Planning from George Mason University's Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (now School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution).

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