TWDB chief Craig Pedersen receives Distinguished Public Service Award

Pedersen photo

Craig Pedersen, executive administrator of the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB), was chosen by the LBJ School Alumni Association to receive its 1999 Distinguished Public Service Award.

A 1981 graduate of the LBJ School, Pedersen has extensive experience in both the political and policymaking arenas. He has worked with a wide array of leading state political figures, including former Lieutenant Governors Bob Bullock and William P. Hobby.

Pedersen, who moved to Texas in 1979 to attend the LBJ School, has dedicated almost 20 years of his career to public service in Texas. Before joining the TWDB he was the Texas General Land Office's assistant deputy commissioner. He has also worked for the Office of the Lieutenant Governor, the Office of the Comptroller of Public Accounts, and the Railroad Commission of Texas.

Since 1991 he has overseen the TWDB, which manages the state's water resource financing projects. The agency's responsibilities range from research, data collection, and strategic mapping initiatives to providing loans to local governments for water-related projects. The TWDB also administers the Texas Water Bank, which facilitates the transfer, sale, or lease of water and water rights throughout the state, and the Texas Water Trust, in which water rights are held for environmental flow maintenance purposes.

During his tenure with the TWDB, Pedersen has played a crucial role in several administrative, water, and planning financial reform initiatives. He helped implement a new state planning initiative created under Senate Bill 1 (1997), and he helped expand the state's water infrastructure financing capabilities. With some $500 million in assets in 1991, the TWDB has expanded to a $4 billion infrastructure bank that funds needed water and wastewater projects statewide.

The TWDB is considered a national leader in both statewide water planning and construction financing. In addition, the agency has led the statewide effort to secure proper water and wastewater services for residents of Texas' colonias. To date, the agency has funded 57 projects for a total of over $340 million to provide services to nearly 180,000 colonia residents.

According to John Hall (LBJ Class of 1978), former chair of the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission, "Craig has a knowledge of the issues, a love of the environment, and an uncanny ability to bring parties to a middle ground without sacrificing outcome. Public policymaking in this style is what the LBJ Distinguished Alumni Award is all about."

Created in 1989, the Distinguished Public Service Award is presented annually to a graduate of the LBJ School who has significantly contributed to public policy, excelled in his or her chosen field, shown dedication to community service and volunteerism, and demonstrated commitment to the LBJ School and its mission. A special committee of LBJ School alumni, students, and faculty chooses recipients.

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05 May 2000

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