About the Norm Evans Endowment   

The Dr. Norm Evans Endowment was started by Ken and Ruth Wright of Wright Water Engineers in honor of Norm Evans, director of the Colorado Water Institute from 1967 to 1988. The Evans Endowment sponsors an annual lecture on water management education and policy to be held by the institute in Evans’ name.

Evans, a graduate of civil engineering at CSU, was the longest running director of the institute over its 50 year history. Ken Wright notes that Evans was loyal and dedicated to the institute: “He was certainly a champion for water research planning and programming,” says Wright. “He related well to other water use organizations and also to local, state, and federal government. He was well thought of at the state legislature, where he represented CSU with dignity.”

After the Federal Water Quality Act of 1965, Evans was a founding member of Colorado’s commission to establish and apply water quality standards. He is also known for his commitment to public service and historical preservation; he was involved with the Poudre Landmarks Foundation and took part in the preservation of the Avery House and the 1883 City Water Works in Fort Collins.

Dr. Norm Evans

Learn more about the Dr. Evans and his contributions to the Colorado Water Institute, Colorado State University, and the water community here 

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Eleanor Allen, 2017 Distinguished Lecturer

Eleanor Allen is the CEO of Water For People, a global nonprofit working in nine countries in Africa, Latin America, and India to help develop sustainable water and sanitation services. It is recognized as a leader in the water, sanitation, and hygiene sector through its innovative approach to development, which brings together local entrepreneurs, technology, governments, and communities to create quality, reliable, and lasting systems and services.

Prior to Water For People, Eleanor was the Global Director of Water at Arcadis and the Latin America Director of Water at CH2M. She is a professional engineer experienced in leading multi-cultural, global teams in delivering rural and urban infrastructure programs and managing regional and global operations. In 2016, Eleanor did a TEDx talk on Why Water Is A Women’s Issue. In 2016, Eleanor also won the Denver Outstanding Women in Business Award in Architecture, Engineering, and Construction. She is distinguished alum at the University of California at Berkeley Academy for Civil and Environmental Engineering and is on the advisory board at the University of Colorado Mortenson Center for Engineering in Developing Communities. She has lived and worked in many different countries and speaks four languages.

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Mike Connor, 2016 Distinguished Lecturer

Michael L. Connor serves as Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior. President Obama nominated Connor for the position in July 2013 and the U.S. Senate confirmed him without opposition in February 2014.

As Deputy Secretary, Connor is a key leader in implementing the Administration’s priorities for the Department of the Interior, including water policy and relations in the face of an unprecedented Western drought, as well as serving as the head of the Department’s Land Buy-Back Program, the land consolidation component of the Cobell Settlement.

Connor has more than two decades of experience in the public sector, having served as the Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation from 2009 to 2014, where he led efforts to promote the sustainable use of water to effectively address current and future challenges associated with water supply and power generation in the American West. As Commissioner, he forged major Indian water rights settlements and worked to resolve water conflicts in California, New Mexico, Oregon and other western states. Connor led the Department of the Interior’s efforts and completed two major binational agreements with Mexico on the Colorado River that have received international attention and acclaim. Connor also directed Reclamation’s efforts to expand hydropower generation at existing facilities.