President Biden appoints newest member to Mississippi River Commission 

Published 2:51 pm Tuesday, October 4, 2022

President Joe Biden appointed the newest commissioner to the Mississippi River Commission (MRC), on Sept. 28.

He is the first African American civilian member appointed to the MRC in its 143-year history.

Dr. Robert Miller is a professor in the department of civil and environmental engineering and assistant director of the Watershed Flood Center at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He conducts applied research in water resources engineering and mathematical biology. Miller’s research uses math to quantify key variables in water-related challenges like sea level rise, saltwater intrusion and water quality.

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“I am honored by this opportunity to help assist in addressing these critical issues with the Mississippi  River Commission. This appointment represents a tremendous opportunity to carry out my duty as an engineer — specifically ensuring the safety and well-being of our communities with respect to flood risk and environmental management on a large scale,” Miller said. “The Mississippi River system is of national economic and ecological significance and I envision a role that offers unique perspectives informed by past experience in the private sector and current academic work in the fields of applied mathematics and river/coastal systems research.”

Prior to his academic career, Miller worked in private industry on coastal restoration and design, drainage and hydraulic impact studies, Federal Emergency Management Agency flood zone mapping and modeling, hydraulic design for energy exploration and production and watershed drainage master plans.

Maj. Gen. Diana Holland, MRC president said, “It is a pleasure to have Dr. Miller as the newest member of the MRC. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience from the private sector and academia. He is also an accomplished author of numerous studies and publications regarding water resources. I look forward to working with him to address the challenges facing the Mississippi River while maximizing beneficial use and resiliency across the entire watershed in support of our Nation’s  communities, businesses and natural resources.”

Miller said his long-term goal is to contribute solutions that help and support communities to deal with the challenge of managing complex water ecosystems more effectively and sustainably in the future.

Established by Congress in 1879, the MRC is headquartered in Vicksburg. It provides water resources engineering direction and policy advice to the Administration, Congress and the U.S. Army in a drainage basin covering 41 percent of the United States and parts of two Canadian provinces by overseeing the planning and reporting on the improvements on the Mississippi River.

In its current capacity, the MRC is charged with prosecuting the Mississippi River and Tributaries project that was authorized through the historic 1928 Flood Control Act.