Following the sudden resignation of Texas Water Development Board member Mary Ann Williamson in January, Gov. Rick Perry announced Tuesday that Kathleen Thea Jackson, a former public affairs specialist for ExxonMobil, would replace her.
The agency, whose profile has increased since its leadership structure was overhauled last summer and it was tasked with doling out the $2 billion in water financing that voters approved last November, had been operating with only two of its three board members from January until now. Williamson resigned for personal reasons, saying she did not have the time to commit to the job.
The appointment of a third member is sure to come as a relief for the agency and observers, since the board's chairman Carlos Rubinstein has promised that rules on how the $2 billion will be spent must be developed on an expedited schedule. Still, it will also likely disappoint those in the agricultural community, who have lamented the fact that no one on the board seems to represent rural interests.
Jackson, a Texas Registered Professional Engineer, also served on the board of directors for the Lower Neches Valley Authority and is on the board of the Texas Water Conservation Association, which advocates on behalf of cities' water supply interests.