Delta Council Names Executive Officers

Leading Bay Area scientist, planner will guide implementation of Delta Plan that is based on science.

Published on: Mar 1, 2013

Leading Bay Area scientist, planner will guide implementation of Delta Plan that is based on science. Compiled by staff

A leading Bay area scientists and senior water resources official has been appointed deputy executive officers for the Delta Stewardship Council, charged with including science in decision making...

Dr. Rainer Hoenicke, current head of the San Francisco Estuary Institute, was named deputy for science, and Cindy Messer was promoted to deputy for planning. Messer had been acting in the job for the past year.

"These appointments complete our executive team and will help guide the Council in the challenging efforts to collaboratively implement a long-term management plan for the Delta based on best available science," says Council Executive Officer Chris Knopp.

Dr. Rainer Hoenicke, current head of the San Francisco Estuary Institute, has been appointed deputy executive officers for the Delta Stewardship Council, charged with including science in decision making.
Dr. Rainer Hoenicke, current head of the San Francisco Estuary Institute, has been appointed deputy executive officers for the Delta Stewardship Council, charged with including science in decision making.

Dr. Hoenicke, who will join the Council at the end of March, is a systems ecologist devoted to making science relevant to decision-makers. As executive director for SFEI, he led the development of new strategic directions for the Institute and integration of major program areas in clean water, landscape restoration planning, and development of innovative decision-support tools.

"I'm tremendously excited by the opportunity to dedicate my passion for connecting the dots to help achieve breakthroughs in water and land management," says Dr. Hoenicke.

Messer is a biologist and environmental policy expert who helped guide the formation of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Conservancy before joining the Council in 2012 to oversee completion of the Delta Plan.

"I look forward to my continued work here at the Council, to completing the Delta Plan and then moving ahead to the next exciting phase which is to implement the plan," says Messer.

Dr. Hoenicke received a B.S. in Agricultural Sciences from the University of Bonn, Germany, and a Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of California at Davis. He first joined SFEI as an environmental scientist in 1994, then left in 2001 for a two-year assignment in the Office of the California Natural Resources Secretary, where he spearheaded the development of a comprehensive landscape assessment program and the use of scientific criteria in making conservation investment decisions.

Returning to SFEI in 2004, he became deputy director soon thereafter and was named executive director in 2009. Dr. Hoenicke lives in Napa

 Messer received a B.S. in environmental policy from the University of California at Davis and an M.S. in Conservation Biology from the California State University, Sacramento. She lives in Sacramento with her husband, Dean, and daughter, Olivia.