The John Bezdek Files
Bezdek, an Endangered Species Act and Indian Water Rights Advocate,
Leads Negotiation and Execution of Obama Administration’s
“Neutrality-Based” Klamath Basin Water & Fish Accords
At Irrigators’ Expense
John Bezdek is currently the Assistant Solicitor for Water and Power which is the senior career position within SOL on Reclamation law. Mr. Bezdek supervises a staff of 7 attorneys and is responsible for advising the Commissioner, Assistant Secretary, and Secretary on matters pertaining to the operations and administration of the Reclamation program. Mr. Bezdek has been with the federal government since 1994--working first for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Louisiana and then the Office of the Solicitor General at the Department of Justice--joining the Solicitor's Office in 1997. From 2003 - 2007, Mr. Bezdek was Deputy Director of the Secretary's Indian Water Rights Office where he was responsible for managing 19 Indian Water Rights Negotiating Teams. Mr. Bezdek was named Assistant Solicitor in 2008. Career highlights include developing the legal/regulatory compliance for the Animas-LaPlata Project; developing the ESA compliance protocols for California 4.4; successfully defending Reclamation before FERC on PG&E's attempts to pass on $100 million of power costs to BOR contractors; leading the Department's efforts on the Navajo-Gallup settlement; and leading the administration's efforts on the Klamath Agreements where he was named Senior Advisor to the Secretary for Klamath Basin Matters. Mr. Bezdek holds a Master's of Laws from the George Washington University, a Juris Doctor (Magna Cum Laude) from the Southern University School of Law, and a Bachelor's of General Studies from Louisiana State University. [http://uttoncenter.unm.edu/pdfs/river-restoration-bios.pdf]
John Bezdek was cited before Congress by Michael Bogert, Chairman of the U.S. Department of Interior’s Working Group on Indian Water Settlements, as “very valuable to us in our Indian water rights settlements.”
 See Indian Water Rights Settlements, Oversight Hearing Before the Subcommittee on Water and Power of the Committee on Natural Resources, U.S. House of Representatives, 110th Cong., 2d Sess. (April 16, 2008), available at: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CHRG-110hhrg41820/html/CHRG-110hhrg41820.htm (accompanying this document in highlighted form).