Biden appoints another Fil-Am as deputy commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation

Published January 28, 2021, 11:46 AM

by Jaleen Ramos

Pangasinan native Camille Calimlin-Touton was appointed by US President Biden on Wednesday as deputy commissioner of the US Bureau of Reclamation.


Calimlin-Touton, a water policy expert whose parents Carl and Marlene Bangsal Calimlim are from Barangay Tebeng in Dagupan, was appointed to the position, the Dagupan Public Information Office announced on Wednesday.

Representative Grace Napolitano of the 32nd District of California called Calimlim-Touton’s appointment “historic” for being the first Filipino-American to serve in the important agency leadership role in the US.

“I congratulate President Joe Biden and Interior Secretary-designate Deb Haaland on their excellent choice, their appointment of Camille Touton as the Deputy Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation. Ms. Touton has been one of my most trusted advisors on water policy for over a decade,” Napolitano said.

Prior to her appointment, Calimlin-Touton worked in the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. She had counseled senators and members of Congress, and was a leader in the Obama administration’s Department of the Interior’s Office of Water and Science.

“Ms. Touton is a master of the complicated issues of Western water policy, who fully understands the grave threats posed by climate change and unpredictable drought cycles. She is well respected by the wide spectrum of water leaders, including Democrats and Republicans, federal, state, and local water officials, and non-governmental groups,” Napolitano added.

“Although I am losing Ms. Touton for a second time to the Administration, I couldn’t be happier for her, and I am glad the Department is again, getting her great leadership, competency, and expertise.”

The Bureau of Reclamation is a water management agency under the US Department of the Interior, which oversees dams, canals, and hydroelectric plants across the Western United States. It is the nation’s largest wholesaler of water and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the West.

House resolution

A resolution was filed on Wednesday at the House of Representatives by Rep. Christopher de Venecia (Pangasinan-Fourth District) congratulating Calimlim-Touton on her appointment.

In sponsoring the resolution, Rep. De Venecia said the appointment of Touton brings honor and pride not only to the people of Dagupan City but also to the entire country.