Water Foundation Welcomes New Board Members

November 30, 2021
Moira Mcdonald and Peter Siva, Water Foundation board members
Moira Mcdonald and Peter Siva, Water Foundation board members

The Water Foundation is thrilled to welcome two exceptional leaders to our board of directors: Moira Mcdonald, director of the Environment Program at the Walton Family Foundation, and Peter Silva, president of Silva-Silva International.

“Moira and Pete are dedicated champions for water resilience and equity. Together they bring experience from across the nonprofit community and all levels of government” said Allison Harvey Turner, Water Foundation CEO. “Pete’s and Moira’s guidance and advice will be invaluable as we help direct record levels of public investment in water and build resilience to our changing climate.”

As members of the board, Moira and Peter bring a wealth of expertise and perspective to advise our team’s ongoing work with our grantee and funder partners to secure resilient rivers for people and nature, achieve sustainable groundwater management for future generations, ensure safe and affordable drinking water for all, and advance water justice and equitable governance for communities most impacted by water issues and the changing climate.

Before serving as director of the Environment Program at the Walton Family Foundation, Moira led Walton’s Mississippi River and coastal initiatives for 11 years. Moira has more than 20 years’ experience in agricultural conservation as well as wetlands and freshwater conservation and previously managed Mississippi River and Great Lakes programs at the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. “Collaboration is key to success in our work, and I am looking forward to sharing with and learning from an organization so deeply committed to true partnerships across the water field, especially at intersection of agriculture, climate and equity issues.”

Peter is president of Silva-Silva International, a small civil engineering firm in the San Diego area specializing in water resources management. He is a Civil Engineer with over 43 years of professional experience in the water and wastewater fields. He began his career as a staff member of the California Regional Board in San Diego, and among many distinguished state and federal positions and appointments, in 2009 Peter was appointed by President Obama and confirmed by the US Senate to the post of Assistant Administrator for Water for the U.S. EPA where he ran the nation’s water and wastewater programs. In his words: “One of my main professional career priorities has been to address the needs of under-served and under-represented communities. Being a member of this great organization allows me to continue to focus on that priority.”

Our growing board of directors now includes:

  • Celeste Cantú, chair of the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board;
  • David Beckman, president of the Pisces Foundation;
  • Hahrie Han, inaugural director of the SNF Agora Institute at Johns Hopkins University;
  • Jim Lochhead, CEO/manager of Denver Water;
  • John Echohawk, executive director of the Native American Rights Fund;
  • Laurie Dachs, president and founder of the Laural Foundation;
  • Moira Mcdonald, director of the Environment Program at the Walton Family Foundation;
  • Peter S. Silva, president of Silva-Silva International; and
  • Susan Bell, principal of Susan Bell & Associates.

Read more about the board and their bios on our website.