UTEP graduate named first Latina to lead International Boundary and Water Commission

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Biden nominates first-generation Latina college graduate to head federal agency that enforces boundary treaties, water disputes

EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – President Joe Biden has appointed Maria-Elena Giner to serve as the United States Commissioner of the International Boundary and Water Commission.

Twelve House members had sent a letter to the White House endorsing the nomination of Giner for commissioner of the IBWC, which includes sections in the U.S. and Mexico, enforces boundary and water treaties between the two countries and deals with sanitation on rivers, water quality and flood controls.

Giner becomes the second woman and first Latina to head the IBWC, according to a Monday news release announcing the appointment.

“I am truly humbled and honored to once again serve the residents of the U.S.-Mexico border
region. I would like to thank all of the local governments and organizations and state agencies that
communicated their support. With the assistance of staff, I look forward to advancing the mission of the
IBWC to improve the quality of life for communities on both sides of the border,” Giner said in a statement.

U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, one of the House members signing the letter, said Giner is a first-generation college graduate and the daughter of an immigrant.

“Her experience of over 30 years working in public and private sector has given her depth insight into the technical, environmental, financial and public processes important for the development of sustainable infrastructure,” the letter from the border Democrats says.

Giner was appointed general manager of the Border Environmental Cooperation Commission in 2010, is a graduate of the University of Texas at El Paso, Loyola Marymount University and UT Austin. Her work and that of her BECC staff led to $9 billion in environmental infrastructure projects for 100 communities, many of those in coordination with the IBWC, the House member’s letter said.

“During her tenure, she focused on a progressive agenda and addressed binational cooperation on water, energy and climate change,” the White House said on Aug. 20 in announcing her nomination by President Biden.

Giner will assume her duties at the Commission in September.

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