Nina Carranco (she/her)

Program Officer
Nina Carranco

Nina Carranco is a program officer at the Water Foundation, where she advances grantmaking and water policy reform, with a focus on the Rio Grande Basin in New Mexico. She came to the Water Foundation from The Nature Conservancy in New Mexico, where she led state and federal policy work on climate, forests, land, and water as Director of External Affairs.


Nina built public administration and policy development expertise through multiple roles in state government. Most recently, Nina worked in the State Budget Division of the Department of Finance and Administration, which leads the executive budget process in New Mexico and administers the state budget following enactment. Nina has a JD from William Mitchell College of Law (incorporated into Mitchel Hamline School of Law in 2015), a MS in Geology from the University of Michigan­­, and a BA in Geology from Pomona College.


"I grew up in West Seattle, which is surrounded by the Puget Sound. Puget Sound is an estuary, where saltwater and freshwater mix.
One of my favorite water activities as a child was visiting the shore during extreme low tide when the tides are two feet or more below the normal tide level. During these times, you can walk out and observe ecosystems usually hidden by the water. I have fond memories of my entire family—my father, mother, brother, and me—going to a nearby park and being able to walk out, explore tide pools, and see marine life. I remember seeing a giant pacific octopus clinging to a rock that was only half covered by water as the tide moved out! These days when I visit Seattle I usually miss the extreme low-tide events, but I occasionally visit that park to reconnect with my childhood. The water grew my scientific curiosity and my love for water ecosystems."