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Programs Director for the South Pacific Division

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Cheree Peterson currently serves as the Programs Director for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers South Pacific Division (SPD), headquartered in San Francisco, CA. Established in 1888 to help settle the West, the Division is one of nine USACE regional Commands. It encompasses California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and parts of five other states. The Division comprises four operating districts headquartered in Albuquerque, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and San Francisco.

Ms. Peterson currently oversees SPD’s Programs Directorate, driving program delivery in Military Construction, Veterans Affairs construction, and in Civil Works, valued at more than $2 billion. Her leadership encompasses working with a diverse array of customers from the Air Force, Army Material Command, State governments, and other federal agencies to deliver critical military infrastructure, reduce flood risk, and improve aging medical facilities for veterans.

Ms. Peterson worked directly with, or for, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers since graduation from the University of Washington with her Master's in Public Administration in 1994. She began her career at the U.S. Office of Management and Budget overseeing the then $4-billion dollar U.S. Army Corps of Engineers accounts, and specializing in Environmental Restoration, the Everglades, Rivers and Harbors maintenance, and the Regulatory Program.

After a fellowship with the Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee, Water Resources Sub-Committee in 1998, Ms. Peterson moved to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation where she built partnerships with a range of federal agencies, including USACE and the Department of Interior agencies. Ms. Peterson also spent more than a year in the US Fish and Wildlife Service Budget Office, writing budget narrative and overseeing the Service’s land acquisition program.

Moving to the west coast in 2003, Ms. Peterson became the Executive Assistant to the Commanding General of USACE South Pacific Division where she led efforts to build strategic partnerships, and to prioritize senior leadership engagement based on future-focused national and regional priority relationships, issues, and events.

In 2009, Ms. Peterson transferred to the Sacramento District where she created the Command’s Synchronization and Initiatives Group (SIG), to lead the District’s strategic planning efforts, facilitate senior leader engagement, disseminate customer survey results, and reinvigorate the District's training program.

Ms. Peterson returned to the South Pacific Division's in August of 2010 to become the Chief, Civil Works Integration Division. Ms. Peterson led the $350 million program, to include two Mega-projects, garnering increasing resources to drive mission delivery in flood risk, navigation, and restoration. For a six month period, Ms. Peterson became SPD’s Chief, Military Programs, overseeing the entire military program then valued at $900 million, resulting in the highest execution achievement in USACE. This included managing relationships and mission delivery with the Air Force Civil Engineering Center, Fort Irwin National Training Center and the Army Installation Management Command.