EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – The U.S. Section of the International Boundary & Water Commission swore in a new commissioner on Wednesday.
Maria Elena Giner became the first Latina to head the IBWC, taking over for Acting Commissioner Daniel Avila.
Giner, a former general manager of the Border Environmental Cooperation Commission, will oversee joint water resources with Mexico and enforce boundary treaties.
“She is known throughout the border region and in local communities in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas and in the six Mexican border states,” said Doña Ana County Manager Fernando R. Macias. “She is no stranger to the IBWC, to water issues and positions that perfectly represent the concerns of climate change, water and wastewater issues, technical assistance, program and grant management and sustainable infrastructure.”
Macias swore in the new commissioner near the Monument No. 1 international boundary marker near Sunland Park, New Mexico.
Giner said she hopes to strengthen ties with Mexico. “I have deep ties on both sides of the border and I have tremendous respect for our Mexican colleagues,” she said. “I’ve dedicated 20 years to serving border regions […] and I’m excited at levering that experience in my new role.”
Giner is a civil engineering graduate of Loyola Marymount University, has a master’s degree from the University of Texas at El Paso and a doctorate in public policy from UT Austin.
The IBWC, known in Mexico as Comision Internacional de Limites y Agua (CILA) also has a Mexican commissioner, Humberto Marengo Mogollon.