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Dr. Eugene Stakhiv Receives Meritorious Civilian Service Medal

Published March 8, 2013
Under Secretary of the Army Dr. Joe Westphal (left) presents medal to Dr. Eugene Stakhiv (right).

Under Secretary of the Army Dr. Joe Westphal (left) presents medal to Dr. Eugene Stakhiv (right).

ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA - March 8, 2013.  Dr. Eugene Stakhiv was presented the Meritorious Civilian Service Medal by The Honorable Dr. Joe Westphal, Under Secretary of the Army, at a Pentagon retirement ceremony held on February 9, 2013. Dr. Stakhiv retired from the Institute for Water Resources (IWR) on February 1, 2013. He served IWR for 36 years and was the technical director for the International Center for Integrated Water Resources Management (ICIWaRM), under the auspices of United National Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), since ICIWaRM’s inception in 2009. Lieutenant General Thomas Bostick, Chief of Engineers; Mr. Robert Pietrowsky, Director of IWR; and ten of Dr. Stakhiv's close friends and colleagues attended the ceremony. His wife and daughter accompanied him as well.

The medal recognizes Dr. Stakhiv’s vision in establishment of UNESCO ICIWaRM, an international water resources technical center at IWR, as well as his leadership of two International Joint Commission studies using state-of-the-art approaches. Dr. Stakhiv’s achievement was also a result of his benchmark contributions to three Intergovernmental Panels on Climate Change (IPCC) as the Defense Department representative, sub-committee co-chair and lead author, an effort that was recognized with a Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 that Dr. Stakhiv co-shared with other IPCC co-chairs.

The medal also recognizes Dr. Stakhiv’s time as the first science advisor to Ambassador Louise Oliver at the U.S. Mission UNESCO in Paris, France. While there, he initiated the concept to create a UNESCO Category I Center at IWR and worked to develop the formal agreement for ICIWaRM, after which he became its technical director.

Dr. Stakhiv has had an exemplary career with the U.S. Army Corps Engineers as a river basin planner with strong science acumen, a scholar with numerous publications and technical reports, and a pragmatic problem-solving orientation that has led to a long list of wide-ranging seminal accomplishments during his 44 years with the Corps.  He began his career in the USACE New York District, followed by six years with the Special Studies Branch of the North Atlantic Division office, where he managed several river basin studies.

During his time at IWR, Dr. Stakhiv was also appointed by the United Nations Director General to the Advisory Board of UNESCO’s International Center for Water Hazards and Risk Management (ICHARM), located in Japan, in 2006. He was subsequently elected ICHARM Board Chairman and has served on the Steering Committee of the Global Water Partnership since 2009. Dr. Stakhiv also was awarded the Meritorious Civilian Service medal in 2004 for his work in 2003 as senior advisor to the Ministry of Irrigation in Iraq.

Foremost among his accomplishments, beyond his vision for ICIWaRM, his work on climate change adaptation and lead role on three IPCC panels, were his leadership of IWR’s Policy and Special Studies Division during which he led many important national studies; his service to our country in Iraq in 2003 as the senior advisor to Iraq’s Ministry of Irrigation; and his leadership of two five-year comprehensive studies of the Great Lakes for the International Joint Commission, in which he implemented and tested some of the most innovative planning and modeling approaches he helped champion during his career. Dr. Stakhiv has over 70 peer-reviewed publications and has written over 150 technical reports during his long career with the Corps.

IWR and ICIWaRM now welcome Dr. Stakhiv as their Visiting Scholar for 2013. He leaves the Corps as a new adjunct faculty member of the Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering of the Johns Hopkins University, where he received his PhD. He is also associated with the Environmental Studies Program of Johns Hopkins’ Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, where he will be teaching graduate courses in water resources management and adaptation to climate change.  Dr. Stakhiv will be assisting IWR and ICIWaRM to achieve some of their numerous scholarly initiatives and training programs for developing countries, and he plans to undertake two books.