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Posted 8/25/2017

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By Eileen L. Williamson
Northwestern Division, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Jody Farhat, Chief of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Missouri River Basin Water Management Division was honored with the Bronze DeFleury Medal in an informal ceremony Friday, Aug. 11, 2017. 

On receiving the medal, Farhat said, “It has been my honor to serve the nation, the Corps of Engineers, and the stakeholders of the Missouri River basin for my entire professional career.”

Farhat has served as Chief of Missouri River Basin Water Management Division since February 2009. She joined the Water Management Division in 1989 after six years as a hydrologic engineer with the Omaha District. From 1989 to 2009, she served as a member of the Reservoir Regulation team, the Master Manual Team, and as the Power Production Team leader from 2002 to 2009.

Through her tenure with the Missouri River Water Management Division the Missouri Basin has endured historic drought from 2000 to 2007 and record flooding in 2011.

The Missouri River Water Management Division is responsible for planning, coordinating, and regulating the Missouri River Mainstem Reservoir System by directing water releases and power generation at the six dams as well as ensuring that all eight congressionally authorized purposes for the Missouri River Basin are served.

Daniel Saniuk, Chief of Military Programs for the Northwestern Division who leads the Division’s office in Omaha said, “Regulating this system is of profoundly keen interest to a number of Tribes, States, Municipalities, other Federal Agencies and private interest groups. Jody has masterfully and impartially served each group. In her role as Chief, Jody has provided professional technical oversight and support to water management offices in the Corps’ Omaha and Kansas City Districts as well as her staff of 12 employees. In the toughest of times and under the greatest scrutiny, Jody has demonstrated professionalism, integrity and passion that is paramount to the success of water management activities in the Missouri River Basin, which has the largest system of reservoirs in the United States.”

Northwestern Division Commander, Maj. Gen. Scott A. Spellmon said, “The DeFleury medal has a Latin inscription that means ‘a memorial and reward for courage and boldness’. Jody exemplifies these words. Her decisions in 2011 ultimately impacted hundreds of communities in the Missouri Basin. Her selfless service during the flood included directing the day-to-day regulation of the system through the unprecedented event, working long hours, making tough decisions, and enduring extreme scrutiny. She duly earned the moniker, ‘The Iron Lady of the Missouri River’.”

“Jody is sincere, well respected, and trusted. She attempts to strike the best possible balance between the needs of numerous Tribes, local municipalities, State agencies and private entities in operating the river system. She tirelessly promotes the skills and professionalism of the Corps while actively listening to the concerns and needs others,” Spellmon added.

As with all her many accomplishments, Farhat is quick to recognize her team for their successes. She is mission-focused, results-oriented, and cares for people and a commitment to excellence.

Farhat expressed her gratitude for the honor by thanking her team. “Through the longest of days and nights during the floods, we leaned on each other and met the greatest challenge of our careers. We were blessed to be supported by Corps employees from across the nation who fought the flood, inspected infrastructure and kept the public informed, and by great leadership at all levels of the organization.  We are a team of dedicated professionals, and this honor is a credit to the entire team.”

Farhat will retire from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers September 1.