ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA. IWR Director Robert (Bob) Pietrowsky is the recipient of the 2013 LTG John W. Morris Civilian of the Year Award and was honored on August 5, 2013 at the National Awards Dinner held during the USACE Senior Leader Conference. The Awards Dinner was hosted by Major General Todd T. Semonite, USACE Deputy Commanding General. In his selection letter to Mr. Pietrowsky, Lieutenant General Thomas P. Bostick, USACE Commanding General and Chief of Engineers, indicated that “this prestigious award is given to the nominee who has achieved the highest overall standards of excellence and has made the most significant and noteworthy contributions to the mission, reputation and prestige of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.”
“Mr. Pietrowsky’s extraordinary leadership of IWR clearly resulted in the Institute’s huge contributions, essential to the success of USACE, Department of the Army and U.S. Government missions, both domestic and abroad, in 2012,” said Mr. Steven L. Stockton, Director of Civil Works, in his award nomination. He went on to note that “as a direct result of Mr. Pietrowsky’s visionary leadership and his commitment to living the Army values, IWR and USACE are more widely recognized, trusted and respected as domestic and global leaders in water resources and environmental stewardship than ever before.” As IWR Director, Mr. Pietrowsky is also dual-hatted as the Director of the International Center for Integrated Water Resources Management (ICIWaRM), under the auspices of UNESCO.
In his introduction of Mr. Pietrowsky at the awards ceremony, Colonel Mark Toy, Chief of Staff, said, “As Director, Mr. Pietrowsky led more than 240 employees to take actions to transform IWR from a narrowly defined academic ‘think tank’ to a more broadly focused, problem-solving Institute. He demonstrated persistent disciplined thought and action to realize Lieutenant General Morris’ vision of IWR as an instrument of change within the Civil Works program.” He noted that Mr. Pietrowsky’s sustained leadership efforts in the Institute position USACE in the forefront of the global water resources community and enhance the prestige and reputation of USACE in the United States and around the world with the official establishment of ICIWaRM.
“It’s been my great honor and privilege to lead the Institute, and I could not be more proud of what the IWR team has accomplished in support of the Corps missions,” said Mr. Pietrowsky during remarks at the ceremony. “I’m truly blessed with a superb critical mass of truly gifted and passionate engineers, planners, economists and other water experts at the Institute – with many of these folks likewise serving as role models for all of us, and some of them serving as personal heroes of mine.”
He noted that changes stimulated by Lieutenant General Morris forty years ago persist to this day. Embracing a customer-oriented perspective has helped the Institute to elevate its ability to contribute to USACE mission success. “The combined capabilities of IWR’s centers now provide USACE with an unmatched water resources engineering capability that has saved billions of dollars for the Corps over the last several years,” he said.
The award justification also recognized Mr. Pietrowsky’s leveraging of the Institute’s capabilities to further USACE, Army and U.S. Government domestic water resources mission goals to address overseas water security, humanitarian and stability operations and reconstruction goals around the world, and his encouragement of teamwork and partnering across IWR, within USACE, with external partners and through his own many professional activities in water resources as a means to stimulate creativity and innovation.
Also noted was his work supporting the USACE Campaign Plan that has promoted a commitment to integrity throughout USACE, encouraging collaboration and transparency, the sharing of information, scholarship, and the use of independent external peer review to affirm and ensure confidence in USACE decision-making.
“Aspects of our planning modernization, adaptation to climate change, and fully integrating risk management and resiliency into our strategy for aging infrastructure are all critically important…..but, in particular, the issue of international ‘water security’ represents a huge, still largely untapped opportunity for USACE in leveraging our Civil Works capabilities for the benefit of the U.S. Combat Commands around the world,” said Mr. Pietrowsky. “We’ve been very fortunate to be welcomed by the leadership of USACE Pacific Ocean Division to be part of developing and executing their visionary strategy for the Asia-Pacific region – a strategy that recognizes the critical importance of water security and disaster preparedness as foundational elements of Theater Security – while also perhaps serving as a model for pursuing water security around the rest of the globe.”
Mr. Pietrowsky gave special thanks to his wife, Camille Torquato, who accompanied him to the awards ceremony, along with expressing his thanks and appreciation for the support of Major General Michael J. Walsh, Deputy Commanding General for Civil & Emergency Operations, Mr. Steven L. Stockton, Director of Civil Works, and the entire IWR team – noting that “the award is certainly much more theirs than mine alone.”
Mr. Pietrowsky accepted the award on behalf of his IWR, ICIWaRM and USACE teammates.