Railroad Commission Announces New Surface Mining & Communications Division Directors


AUSTIN –– The Railroad Commission of Texas announces new directors for the agency’s Surface Mining and Reclamation Division and the Communications Division. Brent A. Elliott is the SMRD director and R.J. DeSilva is the Communications director effective today, Feb. 3.

“R.J. and Brent bring extensive knowledge and experience to their new roles at the RRC,” said Wei Wang, Executive Director to the Railroad Commission. “As our agency continues to lead in energy regulation, I have full confidence that they will add great value to our success through their leadership.”

Elliott brings more than 25 years of mining and exploration-related research to the RRC. He joins the Commission from the University of Texas Bureau of Economic Geology, where he served as an economic geologist for seven years and supervised research staff and guided graduate students. Elliott also has taught a wide variety of geoscience and science education courses over the past 20 years.

R.J. DeSilva brings more than 20 years of experience in news coverage, media relations and state government to the RRC. DeSilva joins the Commission from the Texas Legislative Budget Board, where he served as Communications Officer since 2014. Before joining the LBB, DeSilva was spokesperson for the Texas Comptroller’s Office. DeSilva also was an anchor and reporter for Austin’s NBC affiliate, KXAN-TV for 10 years.

Elliott said, “It is an honor to lead the Commission’s Surface Mining and Reclamation Division. The staff’s commitment to environmental and public safety is well known. I look forward to working with them to continue their dedication toward safety-focused stewardship of mined resources, effective reclamation and constructive communication with the public and industry.”

DeSilva said, “I’m excited to be joining the RRC’s Communication team. This group has excelled at educating the public about the agency’s important regulatory role in protecting public safety and the environment while ensuring energy is safely produced in compliance with Commission rules.”

Brent A. Elliott, SMRD director
R. J. DeSilva, Communications director

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About the Railroad Commission

Our mission is to serve Texas by our stewardship of natural resources and the environment, our concern for personal and community safety, and our support of enhanced development and economic vitality for the benefit of Texans. The Commission has a long and proud history of service to both Texas and to the nation, including almost 100 years regulating the oil and gas industry. The Commission also has jurisdiction over alternative fuels safety, natural gas utilities, surface mining and intrastate pipelines. Established in 1891, the Railroad Commission of Texas is the oldest regulatory agency in the state. To learn more, please visit http://www.rrc.texas.gov.