Joining a Remarkable Team in Making a Difference
Although I officially began work as the president and CEO of The Water Institute of the Gulf just last week, I’ve had the opportunity to meet and talk with many of you in the last couple months and during my years in Louisiana as executive director of the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council. I’m honored to succeed Dr. Chip Groat, the Institute’s founding President and CEO. Under Dr. Groat’s leadership, The Water Institute has blossomed into a world-class applied research organization and I’m thrilled that Dr. Groat has agreed to remain on our team through the end of April to assist with the transition.
For those who may not know me as well, I wanted to take this chance to tell you a little about myself, why I chose to join the Institute team, and what the future holds for this independent research center.
I received my B.A. from Colby College in Waterville, Maine before moving on to get a master’s degree in philosophy, politics, and economics at the University of Oxford and a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
I worked in the U.S. Department of Commerce Office of General Counsel before becoming assistant counsel to the President and then the chief of staff to the U.S. Department of Commerce deputy secretary. Then in 2013, I became the founding executive director for the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council, charged with restoring the ecosystem and helping the economy of the Gulf Coast in the wake of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
During that time, I’ve witnessed firsthand the incredible impact the Institute has had on Louisiana and Gulf Coast restoration efforts. The Institute’s reputation – both individually and collectively – is remarkable.
The important work the Institute does in Louisiana, and increasingly around the world, makes a difference in people’s lives by giving decision makers the strong science they need to better protect coastal communities, improve economies, and the environment. The chance to be a part of that effort was too good to pass up.
From the Institute’s work on the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority’s draft 2017 Coastal Master Plan to the building of relationships with other coastal communities such as in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta, it’s clear the pressures and threats are similar around the world. What we’ve learned through the decades of collective research of the Institute’s scientists is something that can be exported to help so many others.
As the Institute moves into its sixth year of operation, thanks to the dedicated work of our team, partners, and supporters, I see exciting times in our future and would encourage you to reach out directly to me to discuss partnership opportunities. I look forward to working with you all as we make that future a reality.