As Water Table Director, Marissa plays a central role in guiding and supporting the Water Table funders collaborative. She coordinates, convenes, leverages, and facilitates the engagement of current and prospective funders, field partners, Water Foundation colleagues, and consultants in support of the Water Table’s mission to deliver coordinated resources for an equitable and resilient water future in the US. Prior to joining the Water Foundation, Marissa was the President and CEO of Friends of the Los Angeles River, a river and watershed advocacy and education nonprofit. Marissa holds a Master’s in Urban Planning from University of California Los Angeles, and lives in LA with her husband and two daughters.
"I remember being worried and wondering what would happen to this magical landmark but told myself it would fill back up with the next rains.I grew up in San Diego, CA on the outer edges of a planned community, sandwiched between quintessential suburban sprawl and stunning, wide-open swaths of green pastoral lands. My childhood was spent exploring those lands, a patchwork of streams, wetlands, pastures, and meadows. There was a beautiful lake that separated us from the next town over. I used to think how lucky we were to live so close to such a wild and beautiful place. One summer during yet another drought I noticed the water level was lower than it used to be. I remember being worried and wondering what would happen to this magical landmark but told myself it would fill back up with the next rains. Year after year, it would recede further and further, exposing the crackled dirt beneath it until it was completely gone. I want my kids to grow up in a world with healthy lakes, rivers, wetlands, and all the beauty and wonder that comes with them. The work of the Water Foundation is how we secure that future."