Jason joined Friant Water Authority as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in 2016. In this role, he oversees all activity conducted by the authority on behalf of its member agencies and represents the public face of the organization. Prior to Friant Water Authority, Jason worked for 15 years for the Bureau of Reclamation’s Mid-Pacific Region. His experience at Reclamation included Deputy Regional Director, Area Manager of the Reclamation's Klamath Basin Area Office, based in Klamath Falls, Oregon, and manager of several complex Programs in the Region including the San Joaquin River Restoration Program, Upper San Joaquin River Basin Storage Investigation (the federal Temperance Flat study), and the San Luis Drainage Feature Re-evaluation. Before this, he a was a project planner for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District, on flood control and ecosystem restoration projects. Jason, his wife Melisa, and their three children live in Fresno. Jason received a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering at Portland State University.
Don was appointed as Friant’s General Counsel in June 2016. He is responsible for all legal compliance and contracting matters for the organization. Since assuming office, Don has been working closely with the Board and management to update Friant’s policies, procedures and practices, and has been leading efforts to address various regulatory issues regarding the operation and maintenance of the Friant-Kern Canal. Don has provided contract general counsel and city attorney services to public agencies throughout California for nearly 25 years. In addition to representing Friant, he currently serves as the City Attorney for the City of Rolling Hills Estates, Assistant City Attorney for the City of Camarillo, and General Counsel for the Bear Valley Community Services District. Don also provides special counsel services for numerous other public agencies. Don received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Davis School of Law, and his Bachelor of Arts degree from Wake Forest University.
Doug became Friant Water Authority’s Chief Operating Officer in January 2017. In this role, he oversees the organization’s budgets, administration, and operations and maintenance work. Before joining Friant Water Authority, Doug spent the last 10 years as a Hydrologist and Manager for the Bureau of Reclamation in central California and central and western Oregon. Some of the major programs he has managed include the Rogue River Project Biological Opinion implementation, the Deschutes Habitat Conservation Plan development, and the Scoggins Dam Safety of Dams project. From 2006 to 2013, DeFlitch served as a Supervisory Hydrologist for Reclamation at the South-Central California Area Office in Fresno, and as lead operator at Friant Dam. He has also performed several temporary assignments including Chief Hydrologist for the San Joaquin River Restoration Program and Deputy Area Manager for the South-Central California Area Office. Before his federal career, he was a Water Resources Specialist for the Friant Water Users Authority and Geologist for ENSR Corporation in Pittsburgh, PA. DeFlitch holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in Geology from the University of Pittsburgh and California State University, Fresno, respectively. He is also a graduate of the USDA Graduate School Executive Leadership Program.
Alex joined Friant Water Authority in July 2016. She is responsible for coordinating with congressional and legislative representatives and their staff, working with state and federal agencies on regulatory or planning processes that could affect the Friant Division’s water supply, and overseeing media relations and public information for Friant Water Authority. Before coming to Friant Water Authority, Alex was a public affairs specialist and water resources planner at MWH Global for eight years. At MWH Global, her she supported a range of state, federal, and local government agencies on planning and environmental studies related to agricultural water supply, climate change, flood control, and groundwater management. She also spent three years in the administration of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, where she supported his Special Advisor on Jobs and Economic Growth and served as an Assistant Director for Communications at the California Resources Agency. Alex holds a Master of Public Policy from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, and a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, with a second major in Politics, from the University of San Francisco.
Jeff joined Friant Water Authority in June 2016. He coordinates with state and federal agencies on regulatory or planning processes that could affect the Friant water supply, leads efforts to monitor and defend the reliability of Friant water supplies, oversees special studies related to the improvement of Friant district sustainability, and assists the CEO in coordination of activities and strategic goals among Friant member agencies and strategic partners. Before joining Friant Water Authority, Jeff was a Principal Engineer at MWH Global where he oversaw Federal water planning and infrastructure feasibility studies, most notably for implementation of the San Joaquin River Settlement’s Water Management Goal. As a consultant, Jeff oversaw planning studies throughout the U.S. related to agricultural and urban water supply, climate change, hydropower relicensing, aquatic ecosystem enhancement, and the integrated management of water resources. Jeff holds a Master of Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Washington in Seattle, and a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from the University of Kentucky in Lexington.
Finance & Administration
Christopher joined the Friant Water Users Authority in 1999. He is responsible for ensuring the IT infrastructure is strategically aligned with organizational objectives, the design and management of the Authority’s operations infrastructure which controls the operation of the Friant-Kern Canal, development and management of IT/OT convergence objectives, and the management of front office staff. Before coming to Friant Water Users Authority, Christopher served as a Computer Services Technician at Kaweah Delta Medical Center for three years. Chris holds a Bachelor of Science in Public Administration from Liberty University, Helms School of Government and an Associate of Science degree in Information Systems from Cerro Coso.
Operations & Management
Chris joined Friant Water Authority in July 2015. He is responsible for the Operations and Maintenance of the Friant Kern Canal spanning a length of 152 miles with 14 check structures and 128 District turnouts for Friant Water Authority. Others duties include overseeing the three maintenance yards in Orange Cove, Lindsay, Delano; he further oversees the Instrument Tech department, Water master operations and canal system operations. Before joining Friant Water Authority, Chris was the operations and maintenance superintendent for Berrenda Mesa Water District for10 years. At BMWD he was responsible for 55,000 acres of permanent plantings and a State allocation of 100TAF of contract water from the State Water Project and the operations and maintenance of 8 pumping plants totaling 23,000 HP, 14 miles of canal and 70 miles of distribution pipelines. Before managing the water district he was the owner of a Ready Mix Concrete operation in Kern County and expanded the company to include the transportation of Bulk Commodities that encompassed 5 western States. Chris holds an Associate of Science in Engineering from Taft College and Water Distribution and Treatment certificates from California State University, Sacramento, and is licensed with the Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) from the State of California.