Palm Beach Atlantic University graduate Melissa Meeker has been appointed executive director of the South Florida Water Management District. She will assume her new role on June 1.
Meeker, who graduated from PBA in 1991 with a bachelor’s degree in biology, previously served on the water management district’s governing board. She is now deputy secretary for water policy and ecosystem projects for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
She also is the former director of DEP’s Southeast District and has served on the Florida Environmental Regulation Commission.
Meeker is the former owner of Hesperides Group, a strategic planning and environmental consulting business in Stuart, and a past vice president of California-based Tetra Tech, a leading provider of consulting, engineering and technical services worldwide.
She is the director of Women in the Environment, a networking organization for women working in environmental fields.
In addition to her undergraduate degree from PBA, she holds a master’s degree in environmental resource management from Florida Institute of Technology. Her husband, Richard Meeker, also is a 1991 PBA graduate.
One of Meeker’s professors at PBA remembers her as being mature for her age. "Some students have success written all over them, and she was one of those students," Professor of Biology Dr. Peggy VanArman said.
"She’s extremely ethical in her treatment of other people and in her everyday activities."
In her new role, Meeker will carry out the directives of the water management district’s governing board. The district covers a 16-county area and is responsible for managing and protecting water resources of South Florida by balancing and improving water quality, flood control, natural systems and water supply.
"While we have a challenging road ahead, I know Melissa is uniquely qualified to lead this agency in a new, fiscally-sound direction," said Joe Collins, the South Florida Water Management District’s governing board chair, in a statement announcing Meeker’s appointment.
"Her extensive experience in environmental resource management, along with her intimate knowledge of Everglades restoration and her proven ability to resolve complex problems will serve the District well as we move practically and decisively forward with our flood control, regulatory and restoration priorities."