R.D. James was confirmed On January 25, 2018, by the full Senate as Assistant Secretary of the Army, Civil Works (ASA (CW)). His nomination had been favorably reported by both the Senate Environment & Public Works (EPW) Committee and the Senate Armed Services Committee near the end of last year. The vote was 89 Aye, 1 Nay. IL Corn was quite pleased with his remarks during a testimony to a Senate Committee late last year, answering questions from Senator Tammy Duckworth.
Read more about that hearing, Mr. James’ testimony, and Senator Duckworth’s line of questioning in this daily update from December 11, 2017.
Mr. James has served as a civilian member and engineer on the Mississippi River Commission. Originally appointed in 1981 by President Ronald Reagan and reappointed twice after that, he had provided water resources engineering direction and policy advice to several Administrations, Congress, and the Army.
The early October White House press release announcing Mr. James’s nomination stated that he “is a self-employed farmer and manager of cotton gins and grain elevators in New Madrid, Missouri. Over the past 35 years, Mr. James has developed a wealth of knowledge about our nation's critical infrastructure. He previously served as president of the Southern Cotton Ginners Association, on the board of directors and executive committee of the Southern Cotton Ginners Association, the Cotton Producers of Missouri, the Board of Directors of U.S. Bank of Sikeston, and the board of directors of Osceola Products. Mr. James is the recipient of the prestigious Bronze de Fleury medal for his significant contributions to Army engineering, the Sikeston Area Chamber of Commerce Agri-Business Award, and was formerly named the New Madrid County Outstanding Conservation Farmer. Mr. James received his degree in civil engineering from the University of Kentucky,” the release noted.