The Water Education Foundation is governed by a volunteer board
of 33 members representing a broad cross-section of water,
education, business, environmental and public interest
communities. The board of directors meets three times a year.
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,
Sierra Nevada Conservancy and the Delta Stewardship
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.
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.
Yung-Hsin Sun is chief water resources engineer with Stantec,
where he has worked since 2001. Dr. Sun is a principal engineer
with 29 years of experience leading, managing, and planning
large-scale water resource projects for flood management, water
supply and ecosystem restoration.
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
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 the assistant general manager-chief financial
officer/treasurer for Rancho California Water District in
Temecula, where he has worked since 2015. He helped lead the
district’s effort to provide incentives to growers to swap
water-intensive crops like avocados for less water-intensive
crops like wine grapes.
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.
Erica Bishop is a graduate of the Foundation’s 2019 Water Leaders
class. She works as a senior planner for GEI Consultants, Inc.
and manages water supply, flood management, restoration and other
Roberta Borgonovo is the Co-Program Director for Water for the
League of Women Voters of California (LWVC). During her tenure
with the League, she has focused on water conservation issues and
protection of the Bay-Delta Estuary.
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.
As the California director of Defenders of Wildlife, Kim develops
and directs the organization’s work across the state, including
determining policy and program work in wildlife, land use, water
and energy issues.
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.
Pablo Garza is the California political director for the
Ecosystems Program at the Environmental Defense Fund. He develops
and implements policy initiatives to help achieve Environmental
Defense Fund’s water and habitat objectives.
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.
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.
Cynthia Koehler is the Executive Director of Waternow Alliance, a
forum for local leaders who want to champion sustainable,
affordable and climate resilient water strategies. She has been a
leading western water policy expert and environmental advocate
for two decades.
Mary Aileen Matheis has served on the Irvine Ranch Water District
board since 1988. She is an active member of several committees,
including the Water Resources Policy and Communications Committee
and the Advisory Committee to the University of California Urban
Water Research Center.
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.
Peter S. Silva is the President of Silva-Silva International, an
engineering consulting company specializing in water policy and
regulatory affairs. He has nearly 37 years of experience in the
water and wastewater fields, and is an expert on U.S.-Mexico
border affairs in these areas.
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