Dr. Maria Elena Giner ’85 currently serves as the United States Commissioner of the International Boundary and Water Commission. She was appointed by President Joseph Biden in September 2021. She is the first Latina and second woman to hold this post. Giner’s work over the past 30 years on policies of binational cooperation in water, energy, climate change and action, and the development of sustainable infrastructure, led to her nomination by the United States Congress back in May 2021.
Dr. Giner is well regarded among state agencies and local communities in California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and the six Mexican border states. 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. 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.