Meet the Executive Team

Eric Oppenheimer, Executive Director

Eric Oppenheimer, Executive Director

Eric Oppenheimer was appointed as Executive Director of the State Water Board in January 2024, where he is responsible for overall leadership and management of the agency. From 2016 to 2024 he served as a Chief Deputy Director where his responsibilities included water rights, Bay-Delta planning, groundwater management, water conservation, and administration. An environmental scientist by training, Oppenheimer’s career began with water quality protection roles in planning and regulatory programs with the Lahontan and Central Valley regional water boards, interspersed with positions at the Department of Water Resources and the California Coastal Commission. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Keene State College and a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and Ecology from Sierra Nevada College.

Michael A.M. Lauffer, Chief Counsel

Michael A.M. Lauffer, Chief Counsel

Since 2005, Michael has been the chief counsel to the State Water Resources Control Board and the nine California regional water quality control boards. Michael has been an attorney with the board since 1998, and between 2001 and 2005 he was lead counsel to the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board. Prior to joining the Office of Chief Counsel, Michael was an attorney in private practice. Michael holds an undergraduate degree from Grinnell College, and a juris doctor degree and a master of studies in environmental law from Vermont Law School. The Office of Chief Counsel employees 40 attorneys that advise the water boards' members and staff on all aspects of the laws they implement and oversee.

Jonathan Bishop, Chief Deputy Director

Jonathan Bishop, Chief Deputy Director

Jonathan has served as Chief Deputy Director at the State Water Board since 2007, where he oversees the Division of Water Quality and the Division of Financial Assistance, amongst other responsibilities. Jonathan worked for the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board for 23 years before being named as Executive Director of the regional board in 2004.  Some of the highlights of Jon's tenure with the Los Angeles Regional Board include the development of a new program to investigate the sources of groundwater contamination impacting drinking water wells, the development of a comprehensive water quality data management system, and, the adoption of the first urban trash TMDL in the nation. Jonathan received a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Environmental Engineering with an emphasis in water quality from Humboldt State University.