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Introducing Wes Coleman, Acting Director for the Institute for Water Resources

Published Jan. 30, 2018
Wes Coleman official photo

Wes Coleman official photo

ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA.   The Institute for Water Resources (IWR) welcomed Mr. Wesley (Wes) Coleman as the acting director beginning August 21, 2017.  Mr. Coleman is located within the Washington D.C. National Capital Region (NCR), in Alexandria, Virginia and oversees IWR satellite centers in New Orleans, LA; Davis, CA; Golden, CO; and Pittsburgh, PA.  Mr. Coleman comes to IWR with more than 30 years of USACE experience.    

Mr. Coleman received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Oceanography from the Florida Institute of Technology. He joined the USACE in 1985 working for the Baltimore District.  At the district he held a variety of positions in the district’s Planning Division, the last being the Chief of the Civil Project Development Branch from 2001 to 2005.  There he oversaw investigations of navigation, hurricane risk reduction, erosion control, flood risk reduction, recreation, water supply, and environmental restoration for major river basins and estuaries covering a six state area and the District of Columbia. 

Following Hurricane Katrina, Wes joined the Headquarters of the USACE where he lead several initiatives spanning the suite of Civil Works mission areas, and participated in national coordination meetings with groups such as the Department of the Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, Ducks Unlimited, and the Nature Conservancy.  In 2007 Wes took the position as HQ’s Deputy Chief, North Atlantic Division Regional Integration Team where he worked with all levels within the Corps of Engineers and with external stakeholders to build relationships and to resolve regional issues.   

In 2013, Wes took an 8 month assignment as a planning and policy expert at the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works) at the Pentagon.  During this time he made explicit project recommendations and developed planning implementation procedures through coordination and cooperation with the Corps of Engineers; stakeholders; Congressional Members and their staff, and congressional committees; the Office of Management and Budget; and the Council on Environmental Quality.  An important part of his assignment included the preparation of review reports and oral briefings to defend positions before the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works), for decision.  

Wes’ most recent position, prior to joining the IWR team, was Chief of Office of Water Project Review, HQUSACE.  This position has the important responsibility of supporting field offices through consultation and training to assist in producing policy compliant decision documents.  Wes supervised a multi-disciplinary group of 17 engineers, scientists, and economists who perform policy compliance reviews of decision documents for projects requiring Congressional authorization or approval by the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works), for modification of existing authorizations, and for other studies of complex water resource problems across the United States.   

Wes’s comments on his experience thus far at IWR,  

Since coming to IWR, I've been amazed by the depth and the breadth of the Institute's impact on national and global water resources management.  A lot of what we do is in support of others, so we sometimes fly below the radar.  But we are anticipating emerging water resources challenges, we are on the leading edge of innovative and collaborative problem solving, and we are developing tools and approaches that raise the capabilities of our Corps team and professionals worldwide.  I believe one would be hard pressed to find a successful water resources study or project that wasn't in some way improved by a process, approach, or product that originated at the Institute.  I would encourage anyone interested in national and global water resources to visit the Institute's website for information on our many endeavors, easy access to our many products and services, and a comprehensive online library. 

IWR is fortunate to receive the leadership and guidance that Wes has to offer.   Welcome Wes!   

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