Elizabeth Söderström (she/her)

Senior Program Officer
Elizabeth Soderstrom

Elizabeth Söderström is a senior program officer at the Water Foundation. She has spent the last several decades working at the nexus of program strategy and philanthropy delivering resources to address environmental issues in the water sector. Previously, as part of the Strategic Partnerships team at the Water Foundation, Elizabeth helped develop and deliver on fundraising strategies.


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. Elizabeth serves on the boards of the Consensus Building Institute, the Stockholm Environment Institute, and CHIRP, a non-profit is guided by the Nevada City Rancheria Tribal Council. She also sits on the advisory board of the South Yuba Citizens League. Elizabeth 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.


"As a child, the ocean was the wild edge of New England and I spent hours swimming, body surfing, sailing, fishing, and exploring through all seasons.
In college, I learned to scuba dive and discovered even more complexity beneath the surface. Before long, I followed the ocean waters upstream, through the estuaries to the headwaters and became equally at home in freshwater rivers. While working in the Tongass River in Alaska and the Okavango River in Southern Africa, I came to understand how water is vital to all ecosystems and to human health and well-being. At the Water Foundation, I work with an amazing and increasingly diverse group of colleagues, funders, partners, and organizations who everyday reach out to others to unpack complex water issues. Underneath the surface of these seemingly intractable water problems, we are discovering new connections and innovative solutions."