Chloe Lieberknecht joins the team as Water Foundation’s new Program Officer leading on the Texas Wellspring Fund. She comes to the Water Foundation after working as an independent consultant partnering with philanthropic foundations, non-profits, and associations on strategy and policy, including helping to establish the Texas Wellspring Fund. Before that, she spent seven years with The Nature Conservancy working in Texas, nationally, and globally on policy, water, climate, and urban conservation issues; and more than a decade with the Sunset Advisory Commission, a Texas legislative agency, providing objective, independent analysis and recommended changes for state policy areas that ranged from natural resources, criminal justice, insurance, and occupational licensing. Chloe holds a B.A. in Philosophy from Mary Washington College in Virginia and lives in Austin, Texas.
"Growing up, my folks instilled values of sustainability and stewardship, although I couldn’t have used those words at the time.It was in the discoveries contained in the hidey holes of smooth limestone rocks in the intermittent urban creek where our home was; the relief of a watering hole in the Hill Country during the searing summer heat; trips to the tar-ridden Gulf of Mexico where the sand would burn your feet; and my first catfish caught in Lake Marble Falls, a reservoir on the Colorado River in Texas. Many years later, these same water systems – and so many others – are under increasing threats: the creek I grew up on subject to flash floods that have devastated and changed the fabric of communities; spring flows that feed those special watering holes drying up; the Gulf subject to inland and coastal flooding, and rising sea-levels; and the water supplied by the Colorado River for our habitats, cities, agriculture, and economies stressed and simply unable to meet all needs. To me, this shows that we must change the way we collectively use, manage, and think about water. The lessons I’ve learned on the way – focusing on solutions, working collaboratively, valuing community experience, centering both people and nature, fore fronting equity, staying the course – inspire me to work on what I view as one of the biggest challenges of our lives and the one that often sits as the nexus of the health of our communities and natural systems: water."