Irene B. Brooks, Chair
Irene B. Brooks was appointed as Commissioner to the U.S. Section, International Joint Commission, by President George W. Bush and assumed office on December 3, 2002. She was selected by the President to serve as the U.S. Section Chair, effective March 9, 2008.
In an era of unique challenges, Irene Brooks has carefully and thoughtfully tread an impressive path as administrator, negotiator and leader. She was appointed by Governor Tom Ridge to represent Pennsylvania on all interstate river basin commissions of which the Commonwealth is a member. Ms. Brooks served as Pennsylvania Commissioner and Executive Director, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Office for River Basin Cooperation from 1995-2002. She coordinated with the Secretary of the Department and the Governor's Office on a variety of interstate issues, including the development of long-range plans and adoption of policies, as well as regulations affecting the water of millions of citizens within fifteen states and two Canadian Provinces. She served as Chair of the Great Lakes Commission from 1998-2000 and Vice Chair from 1996-1998.
In 1989 she was appointed by President George Bush to serve as the United States Commissioner to the Delaware River Basin Commission, a five-member regulatory and quasi-judicial agency managing the water resources within the 13,000-square-mile Delaware River Basin. She helped formulate federal policy, coordinating a consensus among all federal agencies and working with Congressional committees, individual Congressmen and staff members plus state and federal representatives.
Previously, Ms. Brooks was appointed by unanimous vote of the Court of Common Pleas to complete a term as Chester County Commissioner and was subsequently elected to that position. She developed and implemented a comprehensive countywide plan to help protect and preserve the environment, farmland and open spaces, the first of its kind in Pennsylvania. The Chester County Open Space Program has been adopted by other counties across the country and has won several Presidential Awards.
Ms. Brooks graduated cum laude with a Bachelor's degree in political science/public administration from West Chester University. She has received the Mary H. Marsh Medal from the American Water Resources Association, the Stewardship Award from the Delaware River Basin Commission, recognition for her outstanding service from the Great Lakes Commission, the Leadership Award from the Interstate Council on Water Policy and the Outstanding Service to Conservation Award from The Nature Conservancy, among others. She enjoys fly fishing, tennis and exploring the ebbs and flows of notable American tributaries.