SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio River Authority (River Authority) Board of Directors has named Derek Boese (pronounced Bays) as the agency’s new General Manager following a national search to replace Suzanne Scott who retired in October 2020. Boese is coming from the Flood Protection Authority – East, a New Orleans based regional agency where he served as the Chief Administrative Officer of a $4 billion regional flood risk management system.
“I’m confident that Derek will continue to build on the great foundation of engineering project management, scientific services, and environmental stewardship the River Authority has become known for,” said River Authority Board Chairman Dr. Darrell Brownlow. “While Derek may not be a native Texan, his experience serving our military and the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers as well as keeping the City of New Orleans safe from flooding will all parlay into great things for this entire region and the State of Texas.”
A U.S. Army veteran, Boese was an Engineering and Construction Program Manager for an 84- person combat unit based at the 4th Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas. He was selected by senior officers to stay in command and deploy to Iraq where he led the unit of combat engineers from Kuwait through Baghdad to Tikrit during the ground occupation of Iraq in 2003.
“I’m honored to be selected as the San Antonio River Authority’s next General Manager,” said Boese. “I thank the Board of Directors for the trust and confidence they placed in me to lead this outstanding organization. I look forward to joining the River Authority’s talented and mission- driven team and to becoming a part of their internationally recognized efforts to preserve and protect the San Antonio River Basin.”
Following his successful U.S. Army career, Boese continued to expand his expertise in flood risk management as an Associate Vice-President at Atkins North America. There he was selected by senior leadership of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to serve as the first Chief of Staff for the Hurricane Protection Office, which was a 171-person organization created following Hurricane Katrina to manage the $7.6 billion operation responsible for providing the 100-year level of protection in Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, and parts of Jefferson Parishes.
Boese’s career also includes service as Vice President of Professional Service Industries in Jefferson, LA where he was responsible for two departments and certified laboratories consisting of 70 construction materials testing, geotechnical engineering, and environmental staff within an 80-mile radius of New Orleans. He also served as Executive Director of the East Jefferson Levee District in Elmwood, LA where he was hired to provide leadership and stability for the District during a critical transition period and was responsible for directing all engineering, construction, operations, and maintenance activities for 30 miles of levee along Lake Ponchartrain and the Mississippi River, including 12 floodgates.
Boese earned his BA in Civil Engineering from Rice University and his MS in Engineering Management from the University of Missouri-Rolla (now Missouri S&T). He is a licensed attorney in the State of Louisiana having earned his JD from Loyola University and also taught as an Adjunct Professor at Tulane University.
“I’m excited about returning to Texas,” Boese said. “I look forward to meeting the River Authority team and getting to know the elected officials and community leaders of Bexar, Wilson, Karnes, and Goliad counties. My experience in flood risk reduction, ecosystem restoration, and recreation management fits well into the River Authority’s mission being committed to safe, clean, and enjoyable creeks and rivers. I’m ready to get to work!