Michael L. Connor, BSCE, ’86
Michael L. Connor was confirmed Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation by the United States Senate on May 21, 2009. In 2014, he was apppointed and confirmed as the U.S. Deputy Secretary of the Interior by President Barack Obama.
Connor has more than 15 years of experience in the public sector, including having served as Counsel to the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee since May 2001. At the committee, Connor managed legislation for both the Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Geological Survey, developed water resources legislation and handled Native American issues that are within the Energy Committee’s jurisdiction.
From 1993 to 2001, Connor served in the Department of the Interior, including as deputy director and then director of the Secretary’s Indian Water Rights Office from 1998 to 2001. In this capacity, Connor represented the Secretary of the Interior in negotiations with Indian tribes, state representatives, and private water users to secure water rights settlements consistent with the federal trust responsibility to tribes.
Before joining the Secretary’s Office, he was employed with the Interior Solicitor’s Office in Washington, DC and in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He began his Interior career in the Solicitor’s Honors Program in 1993. Connor received his J.D. from the University Of Colorado School Of Law, and is admitted to the bars of Colorado and New Mexico. He previously received a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from New Mexico State University and worked for General Electric.