Darcy Burke, a water education and water regulatory expert, has been selected as the first executive director of the Center for Water Education near California’s Diamond Valley Lake.
“Ms. Burke's energy and dedication are just what we were looking for in the center's first executive leader,” said Phillip J. Pace, president of the center's board of directors. Her real-world training and experiences will help realize the center's mission to stimulate and promote an awareness and appreciation of water-related issues. It also will provide leadership for a better understanding of the history of water and its importance in our daily lives,” Pace said.
As executive director, Burke will be the ranking center officer, reporting directly to the board. She is responsible for developing and implementing fund raising, sponsorship and staff plans for the center in anticipation of its grand opening in October. She also will oversee future budget and operating plans and will be charged with creating a docent program.
“Being the first executive director for the Center for Water Education is an opportunity of a lifetime,” Burke said. “The center is more than a museum. It is a regional destination that will provide water education, community events and services to the water profession.”
Construction continues on the state-of-the-art, 23,000-sq-ft center located within Diamond Valley Lake's east recreation area.
The center will include permanent and temporary exhibits, education labs, community meeting rooms and outdoor interactive spaces. The center is part of an 18-acre campus that incorporates the Western Center for Archaeology and Paleontology, focusing on understanding the environmental history and cultural heritage of Western North America.
Prior to joining the center, Burke was executive director for the California/Nevada Section of the American Water Works Association, serving 8,200 members and over 21,000 certified individuals. While at AWWA, she founded the section's Water College, which educated and trained water treatment and distribution operators.
Burke has participated in several regulatory work groups in California and Nevada and is active in developing emergency response and crisis communication plans for the drinking water community.
Before joining AWWA in 1999, Burke was the senior manager of the Child Care Resource Center, a non-profit childcare subsidy and welfare reform program. While in this position, Burke participated in the development and implementation of CAL WORKS for Los Angeles County.
She previously held executive vice president and program director posts while with the New York State Builders Association from 1994 to 1997. During her tenure with the association, she oversaw all homebuilder programs, including government affairs, marketing, continuing education, regulatory affairs and administration.
Burke was director of marketing for NY-STAR, a non-profit subsidiary of the state builder's association from 1992 to 1994, educating homebuilders on energy efficient construction techniques and consumers on the benefits and value of purchasing energy efficient homes. While in that position, she authored “The NY-STAR Home Buyer's Guide.”
A native of California, Burke earned a bachelor's degree in marketing and international economics from Mt. Saint Mary's College in Los Angeles.