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New Hampshire Commissioners

Robert Scott
NEIWPCC Executive Committee Member
Robert R. Scott has served as the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES) commissioner since June 2017. He previously served as commissioner of the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission. Before that, Scott worked for the NHDES Air Resources Division for 17 years. Scott also recently retired as a cyberspace operations officer with the Air National Guard after 30 years of military service. Scott earned a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from Lehigh University.

Thomas O’Donovan
Representative of the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services Commissioner at NEIWPCC Meetings of the Executive Committee and Commissioners
Tom O’Donovan is currently the water division director at the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services. With more than 36 years of public service in positions of increasing responsibility, O’Donovan has served as a senior leader in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, a senior manager within the Department of Energy and as a project director in the construction industry. His career highlights include worldwide service in countries such as Bosnia and Afghanistan; leadership of the largest hydropower and most advanced regulatory districts in the Corps, responsible for major strategic changes at the Bonneville Power Administration; and delivery of a $4 billion construction project in the Middle East. O’Donovan has a master’s in civil engineering, registration as a professional engineer and certification as a project management professional.

Thomas Ballestero
Dr. Thomas Ballestero is director and principal investigator at the University of New Hampshire Stormwater Center and an associate professor in the university’s civil engineering department. His research interests include stormwater, stream restoration, and bedrock hydrogeology. As an associate professor, Ballestero teaches advanced courses in stormwater systems, stream restoration, sediment transport, open channel flow, engineering hydrology, and hydrologic monitoring. Professionally licensed as an engineer, hydrologist, geologist, and groundwater professional, Ballestero holds a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Colorado State University and both a master’s and bachelor’s in civil engineering from Pennsylvania State University.

Fred McNeill
Fred McNeill began his career more than 30 years ago as a Peace Corps volunteer managing a rural water supply program in Sierra Leone, West Africa. He then embarked on a 20-year stint as an engineering consultant, spending considerable time in Egypt, Jordan, Armenia, Georgia, and Bulgaria. In 2006, McNeill assumed his current position, chief engineer for the City of Manchester’s Environmental Protection Division, where he manages northern New England’s largest wastewater utility. He is the state director for the New England Water Environment Association and a member of the New Hampshire Rivers Management Advisory Committee. McNeill has a master’s in business administration from Southern New Hampshire University and a bachelor’s in civil engineering from Northeastern University.

Nelson Thibault
Prior to his retirement, Nelson Thibault was chief officer for all municipal clients at Hoyle, Tanner & Associates, a national consulting engineering company, and sat on its board of directors. He started working for the firm in 1979, and over the years, worked his way up to become one of the principal owners of the company. He has more than 45 years of experience in the environmental industry and is a longtime member of NEWEA, where he held many positions including New Hampshire state director. Thibault was awarded life membership to the Water Environment Federation. He graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a bachelor’s in civil engineering.

Robert Varney
A former New Hampshire DES commissioner  and EPA regional administrator, Robert Varney brings great depth and experience to NEIWPCC in his current capacity as a gubernatorial appointee since 2011. Varney represented New Hampshire as a commissioner during his tenure at DES, and served as NEIWPCC’s chairman from 1995 to 1996. Today, Varney is president of Normandeau Associates, an environmental science consulting firm, where he focuses on the company’s continued expansion and strategic development. As regional administrator for EPA Region 1, he oversaw high-profile initiatives associated with climate change, safe drinking water, Superfund, brownfields cleanup and redevelopment, environmental justice, and water body restoration. Varney has received the EPA’s Lifetime Achievement Award, the ECOS Founders Award, and the John H. Chafee Award for Leadership. He holds a master’s in urban planning from Michigan State University and a bachelor’s in economics from the University of New Hampshire.