(Salem, OR) — Governor Kitzhaber announced today that Phil Ward, longtime director of Oregon's Department of Water Resources, is leaving state service for a position with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
"I want to congratulate Phil on his appointment as State Executive Director of the USDA's Farm Service Agency," said Governor Kitzhaber. "Over the past 28 years of service to the state of Oregon, Phil has made important and meaningful contributions to natural resource management across our state."
Ward served as director of the Department of Agriculture from 1999-2003 and as director of the Department of Water Resources since 2004. During his tenure at Agriculture, he was instrumental in the design and implementation of Senate Bill 1010, Oregon’s pioneering Agricultural Water Quality Act. While at Water Resources, Ward initiated efforts to expedite processing backlogs for water rights, protect instream water for fish, and develop new water supply for agriculture and industry. Under Ward’s leadership, the agency developed Oregon’s first Integrated Water Resources Strategy, a groundbreaking initiative that articulates a path for meeting Oregon’s current and future water needs.
Ward starts his new position at the Farm Service Agency on June 23, 2014. Tom Paul, current Department of Water Resources Deputy Director, will serve as Acting Director until a permanent replacement is named.