In his role as President of the Pisces Foundation, David Beckman is responsible for the Foundation’s strategic direction, grantmaking, and overall management. Previously, David was director of the national water program at the Natural Resources Defense Council, one the nation’s largest environmental advocacy organizations, where he was also a senior attorney. David co-founded and managed the launch of the water program in 2008. Under his leadership the water program became one of NRDC’s six national strategic priorities; substantially expanded its staff; and tripled its financial support. Over seventeen years at NRDC David litigated a number of precedent-setting water quality cases; drafted legislation that led to implementation of groundwater monitoring and water quality programs in California; and researched and wrote reports on a variety of environmental policy matters. For five years he served also as a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at California State University, teaching environmental policy and law. David is a 1988 graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, and a 1991 graduate of Harvard Law School.
Lauren Dachs is Vice Chair of the Board of Directors. In addition to her leadership of the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation and Stephen Bechtel Fund, Lauren serves on the advisory council to the Public Policy Institute of California’s Water Policy Center and on the Board of Directors of the Water Foundation. In the recent past, she served on the Board of Directors of the Land Trust Alliance and on the advisory council of Stanford’s Woods Institute for the Environment.
Lauren has been an advisor or board member for many environment, education, and health organizations, including Stanford University, The Nature Conservancy of California, Children’s Hospital and Research Center in Oakland, Head Royce School, The Thacher School, Lawrence Hall of Science, and the Center for Underrepresented Students in the College of Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. She is also a founder of The Lake School, a nonprofit preschool located in Oakland. Lauren graduated from Stanford University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology, and she is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Susan Bell is Principal of Susan Bell & Associates. She provides strategic counsel to private philanthropies and nonprofit organizations addressing environmental and social issues. She is also Managing Director of the Water Funder Initiative, a collaborative effort to activate promising water solutions through strategic philanthropic investments in the U.S., starting in the West. Susan served as Vice President of The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation for over twelve years. At Hewlett she also served as Senior Fellow for Energy and Climate, helping to launch the ClimateWorks network—in the United States, Europe, China, India, and Latin America—designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enable economic growth. Susan’s career includes work in strategic planning, development, and communications at Stanford University, the Sierra Club, and Northwestern University. Susan is vice chair of the board of the European Climate Foundation, board member of the National Audubon Society, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Water Foundation, and on the Founding Advisory Board of MenloSpark. She is a graduate of Duke University. Susan lives in Menlo Park, California with her husband, Steve.
Eric Heitz co-founded the Energy Foundation in January 1991, serving as a program officer in the Power Sector and then Executive Vice President, heading all U.S. programs. In 2002, he became President of the Energy Foundation, overseeing all U.S. and China operations. He was named CEO and Co-founder in 2014. Prior to the Energy Foundation, Eric worked as an international energy consultant for the Agency for International Development and for the City of Palo Alto municipal utility, advancing efficiency and load management programs for commercial customers. Before that, he worked in the nascent solar industry installing residential solar systems in Colorado. Eric has a B.S. in Energy and Environmental Planning and an M.S. degree in Civil Engineering, specializing in energy planning. Both degrees are from Stanford University.
Michael is President of the Resources Legacy Fund, which he founded to help design and administer initiatives for philanthropic foundations and individuals that result in significant conservation achievements. He also helped to create the independent Resources Law Group. Since the late 1990s, he has designed and participated in programs and projects that broadened the leadership and constituency for natural resources protection and achieved extensive conservation outcomes for land, water, and ocean resources and on renewable energy. Michael helped lead the 2010 campaign that prevented a rollback of California’s landmark climate change legislation. In the past decade, he has chaired two campaigns resulting in voters approving $7 billion of investments in water, land, and ocean conservation. Previously, as Undersecretary for Resources for the State of California, he oversaw the $2.8 billion budget of the Resources Agency. Prior to that, he was General Counsel for the World Wildlife Fund and a Deputy City Attorney in Los Angeles. Michael is author and co-author of several books and articles, the recipient of several national conservation awards, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Monterey Bay Aquarium and on the Governing Council of The Wilderness Society.
Wade Crowfoot directs the Water Foundation and leads its transition into an independent organization early in 2017. Mr. Crowfoot brings more than 20 years of public policy and environmental experience to his role, with expertise in water, climate and sustainability issues. He came to the Water Foundation from California Governor Jerry Brown’s Administration, where he served since 2011, most recently as deputy cabinet secretary and senior advisor to Governor Brown, leading the administration’s drought response efforts. Before joining the Brown Administration, Wade was west coast regional director for the Environmental Defense Fund and a senior environmental advisor to former San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom.