FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Kathie Smith
South Lake Tahoe – Today, the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board (Water Board) announced the appointment of Patricia Zwarts Kouyoumdjian as Executive Officer.
Kouyoumdjian brings more than 25 years of managerial and policy experience in California state government to the position. She served most recently as Deputy Secretary for Policy and Legislation at the California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal/EPA) in Sacramento, the Regional Board’s umbrella agency. She was the Cal/EPA Assistant Secretary for Legislation for more than 13 years.
During Kouyoumdjian’s tenure in state government she has served three California governors and six agency secretaries. Among her many accomplishments, she assisted in the development and negotiation of the California Global Warming Solutions Act, California’s Clean Car Standards, Green Chemistry Initiative, as well as numerous water bonds and cutting edge laws and initiatives.
Kouyoumdjian’s interest and involvement in California water issues dates back to the beginning of her career in government service when she served as a legislative analyst for the State Water Resources Control Board. While at Cal/EPA, she coordinated the regulatory activities of three state agencies, including the State Water Board and the nine Regional Water Quality Control Boards.
“We believe that Patty is an excellent fit for the challenges facing the Regional Board,” said Water Board member Amy Horne. “In a time of tight budgets, Patty’s decades of experience negotiating policies, budgets and legislation will serve us well. On a personal level, she is highly regarded for her upbeat attitude and sense of humor. We’re looking forward to working with her.”
“It is an honor to protect water quality for such an environmentally critical and culturally rich part of our state,” Kouyoumdjian said. “As the Executive Officer, I look forward to working with everyone to address future challenges and opportunities.”
Kouyoumdjian has a bachelor’s degree in government with a concentration in public health microbiology from Sacramento State University, and an associate degree in animal health technology from Hartnell College. She is originally from the Netherlands and is fluent in Dutch.
Kouyoumdjian will replace Harold Singer, who is retiring after 23 years as Executive Officer at Lahontan. Singer has worked for California’s State and Regional Water Boards for 39 years, including three years with the State Water Resources Control Board in Sacramento and 13 years with the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Board.