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.
Lizette Leclerc oversees all Water Foundation finance and administrative policies and systems including human resources, finance and budgeting, legal, communications, grants management, information technology, facilities, and administrative operations. She serves as a resource to the CEO and the Water Foundation Board of Directors for long-term planning. Before joining the Water Foundation, Lizette was chief of staff to the chancellor emeritus of the California State University system and retired president and CEO of the J. Paul Getty Trust. Before that, she served as senior administrator of the Cotsen Family Office and Foundations, executive director of the Children’s Nature Institute, and controller of the USC Department of Cultural Arts and Activities. Ms. Leclerc received a BS in Business Administration from the USC Marshall School of Business.
Lester Snow was founding director of the Water Foundation and continues to provide strategic counsel on programs, projects, and initiatives. Mr. Snow has a distinguished record of innovation and results working on complex natural resource management matters. Prior to the Water Foundation, he served as California Secretary for Natural Resources, where he oversaw 25 departments, commissions, boards, and conservancies, and served as chief advisor on issues related to the state’s natural, historic, and cultural resources. During this time he also served as chairman of the California Ocean Protection Council and served on the Delta Conservancy, Delta Protection Commission, and the Strategic Growth Council. Previously, Lester was Director of the California Department of Water Resources, where he headed a Department that protects, conserves, and manages California’s water supply, including operation of the California State Water Project, the largest state-run, multi-purpose water and power system in the United States. He has also served as Executive Director of CALFED, regional director for the Bureau of Reclamation, General Manager of the San Diego County Water Authority, and spent six years with the Arizona Department of Water Resources, including four years as Tucson area director. Lester received a Master’s degree in Water Resources Administration from the University of Arizona and a Bachelor’s degree in Earth Sciences from Pennsylvania State University.
Kristin Brainerd develops and implements strategies and projects in the areas of land conservation and water resources. Before joining the Water Foundation, she served as legislative counsel to U.S. Representative Jim Costa, advising on energy and environmental matters. Previously, Kristin was an attorney with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, focusing on environmental aspects of real estate and corporate transactions, environmental disputes, and regulatory compliance. She received her law degree from Columbia Law School and her MS from the Energy and Resources Group at UC Berkeley.
Andrew Fahlund provides leadership in the ongoing development and implementation of the Water Foundation’s organizational vision, mission, and strategic priorities. He works with other team members and management to craft strategy, develop projects, oversee implementation, and ensure that agreed-upon outcomes are being met, and that financial and program reporting is timely and accurate. Before joining the Water Foundation, Andrew was the executive director of the Water in the West program at Stanford University and worked for 12 years in the Washington, DC, office of American Rivers, where he was senior program director and senior vice president for conservation. Mr. Fahlund received an MS in Natural Resource Policy from the University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources and Environment and a BA in Anthropology from Colorado College.
Alesandra Nájera provides planning and strategy development advice and support for program implementation and coordination for safe drinking water, water efficiency and Salton Sea/Colorado River initiatives. Prior to joining the Water Foundation, she was a Legislative Assistant to U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer, and to Congressman John Garamendi. She previously served as a Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute STEM Graduate Fellow in the Office of the Secretary at the Department of the Interior.
Alesandra received both undergraduate and Master’s degrees from Stanford University, while working at Joint Venture Silicon Valley.
Mike Myatt develops and implements strategies and projects for the Water Foundation. His past experience includes the development and administration of the California Department of Water Resources’ multibillion-dollar annual budget; design and coordination of a multiagency, crosscutting budget for the CALFED Bay-Delta Program; and development of long-term financing strategies for the California Bay-Delta Authority. Mike received BS degrees in environmental studies and economics from San Jose State University.
Aaron O’Callaghan develops and implements processes associated with Water Foundation’s grantmaking. Aaron has over a decade of experience in program management, providing expertise to a variety of philanthropic programs including his role serving on the South Bay Salt Pond Project Management Team. Prior to joining the Water Foundation, he conducted research on the ecological systems of Lake Tahoe and the Bay-Delta in coordination with University of California, Davis and the USDA Agricultural Research Service. He received a BS in environmental biology and management from UC Davis.
Alex Paxton develops and implements strategies and projects for the Water Foundation. Prior to joining the Water Foundation, Alex was a consultant for Estolano LeSar Perez Advisors and before that was with the Community Redevelopment Agency for the City of Los Angeles. She received a BA in American Studies, an MFA in Theater Management, and a law degree from Yale University, as well as an MS in Social Anthropology from University College London.
Elizabeth Soderstrom develops and implements strategies and projects for the Water Foundation. Before joining the Water Foundation, Elizabeth was senior director of conservation and development at American Rivers. Prior to that she was director of the Sierra and Africa Rivers Program at the Natural Heritage Institute. She received a BA in English Literature, a BS in Biological Sciences, and an MS in Biological Sciences from Stanford University, as well as a PhD in Wildlands Resource Science and River Science from UC Berkeley.
Joshua Stewart ensures that the day to day operations run smoothly. He works closely with the Director of Operations and Finance and assists in a variety of different administrative and program related tasks. Prior to joining the Water Foundation, Joshua completed the Enterprise Rent-A-Car management training program and managed multiple locations around Northern California. He received a BS in Business Administration from the University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business.