Interim Director, Utton Transboundary Resources Center
B.A. 1977, Arizona State University
J.D. 1981, University of New Mexico School of Law
Susan Kelly joined the Utton Center in 2003 as associate director and became interim director in July 2009. As interim director of the Utton Center, she is responsible for the overall operations of the center, which includes working on projects related to the center's mission of helping stakeholders who share a water resource manage the resource instead of litigating over it.
Kelly works with all of the major water institutions in New Mexico – nonprofit, federal and state. She also works with law students on projects related to water rights. During the Spring 2009 semester, she co-taught a law school course, Practical Application of Water Law.
Kelly is involved with all of the center’s projects, some of which are listed here:
Kelly, with co-author Geoff Klise, wrote "How Science Can Provide Pathways to Solutions — The Technical Toolbox", published in the 2007 New Mexico Tech Decision-Makers Field Guide. In 2009, she wrote "Urban Water Administration in the Albuquerque Urban Area" and moderated the New Mexico Tech Decision-Makers conference.
As a follow-up to an earlier symposium on the reservoirs along the Rio Grande, Kelly organized a special edition of the Natural Resources Journal (Summer 2007, Vol. 47, No. 3) that was devoted to the laws and policies of the Rio Grande reservoirs in New Mexico. Her article, "Modeling Reservoir Storage Scenarios by Consensus", was included in that edition.
Kelly is a member of New Mexico State Bar Association, Natural Resources Section, the American Planning Association and the American Institute of Certified Planners.
Prior to joining the Utton Center in 2003, she was the water rights manager for the City of Albuquerque, where she managed the city’s water rights portfolio, including the acquisition and transfer of water rights and administration of the city’s well permits and water storage contracts. She was part of a team implementing the city’s future water strategy, including surface water diversion and non-potable water permitting. She also represented the city in regional and statewide water resource planning projects.
Kelly worked in community and regional planning for eight years, including policy development and infrastructure capital planning. In private practice, she primarily dealt with real estate and business clients. She occasionally serves as an arbitrator for New Mexico’s Second Judicial District Court, hearing small claims as referred by the court.