President Joe Biden in August 2021 appointed Maria-Elena Giner to serve as the United States Commissioner of the International Boundary and Water Commission, United States and Mexico. Dr. Giner, the second woman and first Latina to hold the post. She previously served as General Manager of the Border Environment Cooperation Commission (BECC), an institution that developed environmental infrastructure along the U.S.- Mexico border in association with the North American Development Bank. During her tenure at the BECC, she focused on policies that addressed U.S.- Mexico cooperation on water, energy, and climate change. With the support of the BECC staff, she led the development and financing of $9 billion in environmental infrastructure, benefitting about 100 communities and over 10 million residents.
Dr. Giner is well regarded among state agencies and local communities in California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and the six Mexican border states. In addition, she has published extensively on water policy and transboundary bilateral cooperation.
Dr. Giner’s education includes a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Loyola Marymount University, a Master of Business Administration from the University of Texas at El Paso, and a Ph.D. in Public Policy from the University of Texas at Austin. She is also a registered professional engineer, first-generation college graduate, and daughter of an immigrant. Dr. Giner is from the border region and attended Loretto Academy High School in El Paso, Texas. She is bicultural and bilingual.
The International Boundary and Water Commission, United States and Mexico, is responsible for applying the boundary and water treaties between the two countries and settling differences that arise in their application. The Commission operates and maintains flood control levees, international storage reservoirs, diversion dams, wastewater treatment plants, and boundary monuments at various locations on the U.S.-Mexico border. In addition to its Headquarters in El Paso, Texas, the U.S. Section has offices at San Diego, California; Nogales and Yuma, Arizona; Las Cruces, New Mexico; El Paso/American Dam, Ft. Hancock, Presidio, Del Rio/Amistad Dam, Laredo, Falcon Heights/Falcon Dam, and Mercedes in Texas; and Washington, DC.