Ted Kaufman - United States Senator for Delaware

Sen. Kaufman Recognizes Great Federal Employee, Dr. Regan Murray

June 21, 2010

Mr. President, I rise today to recognize another of our Nation's great Federal employees. Americans continue to watch closely the efforts in the Gulf of Mexico to clean up the worst oil spill in our Nation's history. That oil spill has been a reminder to all of us just how important clean water is for wildlife, businesses, and our food supply.

The Federal employee I have chosen to honor today designed innovative software to identify risks and solutions to possible attacks against our Nation's water supply.

Dr. Regan Murray is a native of Cincinnati, OH. She holds a bachelor's degree from Kalamazoo College and a Ph.D. in applied mathematics from the University of Arizona. After completing her doctorate, she worked in the private sector but soon realized she wanted to make a difference by serving her country.

Then came the attacks of September 11. Shortly after that tragic day, Regan started working at the Environmental Protection Agency as a mathematical statistician.

Looking back at her decision to pursue public service, Regan said:

I wanted to do more meaningful work that directly impacted people's lives.

Regan was instrumental in leading the development team for new software that identifies security vulnerabilities in our water supply and helps devise solutions to make it safer. One of these programs, TEVA-SPOT, helps find the best locations in water utility distribution systems in which to install sensors. Another, called CANARY, is a real-time data analysis program to monitor the sensors and identify contaminants.

Regan attributes her success to a strong background in mathematics. She has said:

Math is the language of science, which is perfect when leading an interdisciplinary group of researchers.

I have spoken often on this floor about the desirability of more of our students, especially women, to consider careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math, or STEM. Regan is a wonderful example of how someone who studies mathematics can make a real and important difference.

Her story, though, does not end with her success in developing these software programs. Regan also worked hard to build and maintain important relationships with water utilities in order to ensure that these programs would be put to use.

Furthermore, despite her long hours of work for the agency, Regan cofounded a nonprofit that focuses on improving the lives of children affected by HIV-AIDS and poverty in Africa. She visits Zambia annually and has raised thousands of dollars to benefit the schools there.

Outstanding government employees such as Dr. Regan Murray are making a difference each and every day. So many of them also serve as volunteers in their communities and around the world.

I hope my colleagues will join me in thanking Dr. Regan Murray and all those working at the Environmental Protection Agency for their hard work and dedicated service on behalf of the American people. They are all truly great Federal employees.

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