Mike Chrisman, a fourth-generation Californian, is owner/partner
of Chrisman Ranches, a family ranching and farming business in
Chrisman served as California Secretary of Natural Resources from
2003 until 2010. As a member of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s
cabinet, he served as the governor’s chief adviser on issues
related to the state’s natural, historic and cultural resources.
Chrisman also chaired the California Ocean Protection Council
and Sierra Nevada Conservancy.
Celeste Cantú is a design team member for the Water Solutions
Ms. Cantú previously served as general manager of the Santa
Ana Watershed Project Authority (SAWPA). While there, she led the
development of the Crest to Coast, Corner to Corner Integrated
Regional Watershed Management Plan called One Water, One
Watershed (OWOW). The plan addressed all water-related
issues and joined all entities and hundreds of stakeholders
seeking to create a new vision of sustainability for the Santa
Ana River Watershed.
Yung-Hsin Sun is a water resources engineer and president of
Sunzi Consulting LLC, the engineering firm he founded.
Previously he was chief water resources engineer with Stantec,
where he had worked since 2001. Dr. Sun is a principal
engineer with more than 29 years of experience leading,
managing and planning large-scale water resource projects
for flood management, water supply and ecosystem restoration.
JaNell Cook is the Regional West Director for HDR,
overseeing engineering projects in the American West, Hawaii and
Previously, she was Director of US Business Development &
Strategy for MWH Americas, Inc. In California, the
company specializes in hydropower, soil and groundwater
remediation. During her tenure at MWH, Cook oversaw several
projects, including the Central Valley Flood Management Program
and the San Joaquin River Restoration project.
Bob Johnson is a senior adviser for Water Strategies LLC, a
Washington D.C.-based firm that represents water clients
throughout the Western United States. Johnson is also a senior
consultant with HDR Engineering.
Johnson previously served as commissioner of the U.S. Bureau of
Reclamation, where he oversaw the water and power programs of the
nation’s largest water wholesaler and second-largest producer of
Andrea Abergel is manager of water policy for the California
Municipal Utilities Association. She represents CMUA’s water
member agencies on issues before various California agencies
including the State Water Resources Control Board and Regional
Water Quality Control Boards, Department of Water Resources and
California Water Commission. Andrea is a practicing attorney
licensed in California and is an alum of the Water Education
Foundation’s 2022 Water Leaders class.
Jennifer Allen is an alumnus of the Water Education Foundation’s
2011 Water Leaders Program. As the Director of Public Affairs at
Contra Costa Water District (CCWD), she oversees the outreach and
education programs offered to customers, students, and employees,
and facilitates media relations.
Richard Aragon is director of finance for the Coachella Valley
Water District, where he oversees the agency’s accounting,
finance and purchasing/contracting departments.
He previously served as senior adviser to the Regulatory
Commission of Alaska, assistant general manager-chief financial
officer for Rancho California Water District in Temecula, and as
interim general manager and director of finance for the Central
Basin Municipal Water District, a member agency of the
Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.
Thomas M. Berliner is a partner in the San Francisco office of
Duane Morris LLP. He focuses his practice on water, energy,
environmental and governmental/municipal law and is chair of the
Duane Morris Water Resources and Renewable Energy and
Sustainability practice groups.
John Bezdek is a shareholder with the Water and Power Law Group
PC in Washington, DC. He is an expert in Western water resources,
especially Indian water rights, listed species protection,
habitat restoration, development and implementation of water
resources projects, and Reclamation law.
Ane D. Deister is executive director of the Urban Water Institute
and a consultant for HDR Engineering. She has more
than 30 years of experience in the water resources and
environmental management business, with more than 25 years
in executive leadership appointments.
Kim Delfino is the founder and president of Earth Advocacy, a
consulting company that provides policy and advocacy
guidance to nonprofits and foundations with the goal of
protecting and restoring our lands, water and wildlife for
Previously, she served as the longtime California director of
Defenders of Wildlife. She developed and directed the
organization’s work across the state, including determining
policy and program work in wildlife, land use, water and energy
Dave Eggerton is executive director of the Association of
California Water Agencies (ACWA), a statewide association whose
more than 450 local public water agency members are responsible
for about 90% of the water delivered in California.
Carl Evers III is director of sustainability for AgIS Capital,
where he is responsible for the company’s sustainability and
environmental, social and governance (ESG) efforts.
Previously, Evers was vice president of water resources for
Hancock Natural Resource Group, where he was responsible for the
management of water policy at the state and national level for
the company’s agricultural investments in the western United
States. Earlier, he led farming operations for the company’s
38,000 acres in California and oversaw farm developments in
Bart Fisher, a third-generation farmer from Blythe, is
a member of the Palo Verde Irrigation District board of
trustees, where he has served twice as board chairman.
Fisher also was the longtime chairman of the Colorado
River Board of California, where he represented California’s
rights in the Colorado River to the other six states with
entitlements to the river, and also to the federal
government and to the government of Mexico.
Brian Golding Sr. is the economic development director for the
Quechan Indian Tribe of the Fort Yuma Indian Reservation along
the Colorado River in Arizona and California. Since 2004, he has
been responsible for managing community development projects,
leasing, grants and contracts and acting as liaison on economic
development initiatives with local, state and federal agencies,
and private development entities.
David J. Guy is the President of the Northern California Water
Association (NCWA). For the past several decades he has worked in
various capacities to advance economic interests that promote the
conservation of California’s special places and their precious
water and land resources.
Cheyanne Harris is a civil engineer with Brown and Caldwell
supporting program management, conveyance and pump station
projects. She is based in her hometown of Sacramento.
She received a bachelor’s degree from University of the Pacific
in 2017 and a master’s degree from University of California,
Davis in 2021. She is a licensed professional civil engineer in
California and is an alum of the Foundation’s 2019 Water Leaders
She joined the Water Education Foundation’s Board of Directors in
Thomas Harter joined the faculty at the Department of Land, Air,
and Water Resources at University of California, Davis in 1995.
His research focuses on nonpoint-source pollution of groundwater,
groundwater resources evaluation under uncertainty, groundwater
modeling and contaminant transport.
Ann Hayden is associate vice president of Environmental Defense
Fund’s Climate Resilient Water Systems Program and oversees
strategy development and implementation of sustainable water
management approaches across the arid U.S, including California
and the Colorado River Basin.
Lily Lopez is director of external affairs at Walnut Valley Water
District, where she has overseen strategic communications and
public education efforts since 2019. Previously, she worked for
two communications consultants handling a variety of assignments.
In 2014-2015 she was a member of the Jesse M. Unruh Assembly
She graduated in 2014 from the University of California, Santa
Barbara, with a degree in political science.
Sandi Matsumoto is director of The Nature Conservancy’s
California Water Program. She leads a multi-disciplinary team
focused on securing a sustainable and resilient water future for
California. The Water Program is working to secure the wintering
grounds of the Pacific Flyway, revive healthy rivers to sustain
salmon, and advance sustainable groundwater management that
ensures drinking water for people and supports nature.
A sixth-generation farmer, Cannon Michael is president of Bowles
Farming Company headquartered in Los Banos, Calif. There, he
oversees an 11,000-acre farm where the company grows cotton,
fresh market and processing tomatoes, field crops, and other
Leslie Moulton-Post is president and chief executive officer of
Environmental Science Associates (ESA). She has more than 35
years of experience in environmental consulting focused on water
management projects and programs.
Christopher Park is a water resource planner with CDM Smith in
He has nine years of experience focusing on environmental impact
assessment and permitting for both local and statewide water
planning projects for clients that include the Bureau of
Reclamation, Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Army Corps
of Engineers, the Santa Clara Valley Water District and the
Cambria Community Services District.
Jennifer is the president and founder of Jennifer Persike &
Company, a consulting firm focused on innovative management and
Previously, she served as the executive director of Leadership
California, a network of more than 1,600 accomplished women,
dedicated to advancing the leadership role of women in business,
communities and public policy.
Thomas S. Philp is the executive strategist for the Metropolitan
Water District of Southern California (MWD). He works out of
MWD’s Capitol office in Sacramento, where he helps with public
affairs, local and state outreach as well as drafting key
communications for the district.
Sara Reid is Vice President and Credit Manager for CoBank, ACB
(part of the Farm Credit System) and an alumnus of the Water
Education Foundation’s 2015 Water Leaders Program. Sara
oversees the credit review and loan decision-making process for
CoBank’s 400-plus borrowers in the Western region.
Ronald B. Robie has served as an Associate Justice on the
California Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District, since 2002.
Previously he served as a judge of both the Sacramento Superior
and Municipal Courts. He was presiding judge from 1994 to 1995.
He was named “Judge of the Year” by the Sacramento County Bar
Association in 2002.
Attorney Alfred Smith, chair of Nossaman’s Water Group, has
extensive experience in water, environmental, transportation and
public agency law. He has successfully litigated multiple water
Rebecca Smith is a partner at Downey Brand specializing in
water law, a practice that includes work on groundwater
management and the state’s 2014 Sustainable Groundwater
Management Act, as well as the firm’s Food and Ag practice.
Teri Smyly is manager of water management at Pacific Gas &
Electric Co., where she leads a team specializing in hydrological
modeling and water planning guidance. Previously she was a
senior energy analyst and a senior hydro scheduling consultant