Drawing upon 48 years of experience in engineering, Bruce Blanchard has always boasted an interest in civil engineering and government practices. Noting that he held a romance with engineering, he enjoyed observing and constructing projects starting from a very young age. Supported by a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree, both in civil engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Mr. Blanchard most recently served as the director of planning and policy analysis in the Office of Indian Affairs for the U.S. Department of the Interior in Washington between 2005 and 2006.
Commencing his tenure at the Department of the Interior in 1970, Mr. Blanchard first served as an environmental specialist within the Office of the Secretary for one year before becoming the director of the Office of Environmental Project Review from 1971 to 1989. There, he oversaw the review of 18,000 environmental documents of various federal agencies. From 1989 to 1997, he was the deputy director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and from 1997 to 2004, he was the special assistant for tribal self-governance within the Office of the Secretary. Soon thereafter, he was promoted to the rank of assistant to the deputy assistant secretary of management in the Office of Indian Affairs from 2004 to 2005 before landing his most recent role.
Prior to embarking on his career, Mr. Blanchard was a member of the U.S. Army from 1951 to 1953 before pursuing a formal education at MIT. Returning to the U.S. Army in 1960, he was promoted to lieutenant for the Arizona National Guard from 1961 to 1966 and colonel of the Maryland National Guard from 1967 to 1985. In light of his service, he earned a Decorated Army Achievement Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Meritorious Service Medal and Distinguished Fiji Award.
Furthermore, Mr. Blanchard received several Commendation Medals and Meritorious Service Medals from the State of Maryland between 1976 and 1983, having thereafter received a Meritorious Service Medal from the Department of the Interior in 1985. Most recently, he earned a Distinguished Service Medal in 1999.
A former editor of “The Nation’s Water Resources” from 1968, Mr. Blanchard holds the title of fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and has maintained affiliation with several military and science organizations. He is a past 1998-1999 vice president and 1999-2000 president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Club of Washington, and continues to serve as Washington group treasurer of the Explorers Club since 1997.
Mr. Blanchard finds the most rewarding aspect of his profession to be the sensation of contributing to the health and strength of the United States, as well as participating in worldwide issues related to climate change. A native of Fort Stotsenburg, Philippines, he was born on December 26, 1932 to parents Wendell Blanchard and Marcella (Palmer) Blanchard. Married to Mary Josie Cain since 1992, he has three children: Wendell, Laura and Renee. He also has six grandchildren.