Daniel P. Beard is the Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation in the Department of the Interior. Currently, Reclamation is the largest wholesale supplier of water in the West and the eleventh largest electric power generator in the nation. The more than 7,500 employees Mr. Beard leads are responsible for operating and maintaining water storage and distribution as well as electric power generation facilities in the 17 Western States.
Mr. Beard's agenda is a simple but ambitious one. "As an environmental agency," he notes, "we have an obligation to assist Western states and communities in solving their contemporary water problem."
For eight years prior to his appointment as Commissioner, Mr. Beard was the Staff Director for the Committee on Natural Resources of the U.S. House of Representatives. The Committee has jurisdiction over many programs, including those of the Department of the Interior, Department of Energy, U.S. Forest Service, and Nuclear Regulatory Commission. During his tenure there, Mr. Beard was a key participant in drafting the Central Valley Project Implementation Act, the Central Utah Project Completion Act, as well as other important water resources laws.
Mr. Beard has held a variety of positions within the Federal Government since 1970. He conducted research for the Congressional Research Service at the Library of Congress, served as Special Assistant to Illinois Congressman Sidney R. Yates, and was Administrative Assistant to Montana Senator Max Baucus. During the Carter Administration, he worked for the Domestic Policy Staff at the White House and served in the Interior Department as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Water and Science.
A native of Bellingham, Washington, Mr. Beard earned a B.A. degree from Western Washington University (1965), and both his M.A. (1969) and Ph.D. (1973) from the University of Washington.
He and his wife, Dana, have three children, Allison, 21, Nicholas, 19, and Peter, 8. They live in Columbia, Maryland.