Denise Moreno Ducheny, senior policy advisor at the UC San Diego School of International Relations and Pacific Studies’ Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, will be appointed to a key Obama Administration post, the White House announced Oct. 8.
Ducheny will serve on the board of directors for the Border Environment Cooperation Commission (BECC) and its sister organization, the North American Development Bank (NADB). President Barack Obama made the announcement along with several other new appointments, saying Ducheny and the others “bring extraordinary dedication to their roles and will serve the American people well.”
The appointment is expected to begin immediately.
“I am truly honored to have the confidence of President Obama to serve on this important cross-border board,” Ducheny said following the announcement. “During the last 20 years, the BECC and NADB have brought exceptional expertise to developing and financing environmental projects that have improved the lives of border residents in both nations. I will strive to continue to grow that legacy as we build ever more sustainable communities in the dynamic U.S.-Mexico border region.”
Ducheny served as a member of the California State Senate from 2002 to 2010, during which she also chaired the Border Legislative Conference. She served as a member of the California State Assembly from 1994 to 2000, and began her career as a practicing attorney focusing on immigration, family law, criminal defense and juvenile dependency cases.
In addition to her political and private career, Ducheny is a former presidential fellow at San Diego State University and Regents lecturer at the University of California. She works tirelessly as an advocate for cross-border collaborations, and was awarded Mexico’s “Premio Ohtil” in July 2014, the highest honor bestowed on an individual for service to Mexicans living abroad.
Created in 1993 by the United States and Mexico governments pursuant to a side agreement to the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, the BECC and NADB are charged with helping to improve the environmental conditions of the U.S.-Mexico border region in order to advance the wellbeing of residents in both nations.
The agreement established a single, 10-member board to govern the two interdependent institutions, and Ducheny will be the U.S. border resident representative. She will serve on the board with high-level officials from the U.S. and Mexico, including representatives of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew.
The two organizations function as a team to work with communities and project sponsors in developing, financing and building affordable and self-sustaining environmental infrastructure projects in five key sectors: water and wastewater, solid waste management, air quality, clean and efficient energy, and emerging sectors. The BECC focuses on the technical aspects of project development, while the NADB concentrates on project financing and oversight for implementation.
“It has been a privilege over the years to be able to work with the embassy and consuls of Mexico to strengthen the economic, political and social ties between our two neighboring nations, with the goal to improve the quality of life for all of our residents,” Ducheny said.