Charles River Watershed Association Announces New Staff

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In full transparency, the following is a press release submitted to SOURCE media for publication.

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BOSTON – Charles River Watershed Association (CRWA) announced the addition of several new staff members.

and new leadership roles for existing staff.“We are entering an exciting growth phase to meet the extraordinary challenges of this moment and build a more effective, impactful organization capable of achieving our vision of a clean, climate-resilient watershed for future generations,” said Executive Director Emily Norton.

Conrad Crawford has joined as CRWA’s Deputy Director of Programs. Conrad’s work has spanned the legislative and executive branches of Massachusetts state and municipal government, including senior management roles in statewide agencies, public policy research, and executive roles in local and statewide environmental non-profits. Conrad served in the MassDOT public affairs office, then led the Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Office of External Affairs.

After leaving state government, he headed the launch of The Trustees of Reservations Boston Region, incorporating over 60 Community Gardens into a statewide land stewardship platform, opening their Boston Public Market programs, and developing the organization’s strategy for urban land preservation, now the Trustees’ One Waterfront Initiative.

He has recently focused primarily in Cambridge and Somerville, advising on the advancement of regional watershed initiatives, urban greenspace efforts, and supporting leadership transitions at local environmental organizations.

“I look forward to supporting the continuation of CRWA’s tradition of leadership and distinction advocating for the Charles River’s ecosystem. It excites me to have an experienced, talented bench of existing program and project staff to create the durable solutions to climate change our region needs,” said Crawford.

Jennifer Ryan has joined as CRWA’s Deputy Director of Advocacy. 

She has worked in state government and for environmental nonprofits, leading several successful initiatives that have advanced legislative priorities, raised significant public funds, reduced greenhouse gas emissions and increased climate resilience, and strengthened environmental laws and regulations.

She began her career with the MA Division of Fisheries & Wildlife, Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program, where she led conservation planning and regulatory efforts to protect freshwater species, including riverine dragonflies. She was Director of Legislative Affairs at Mass Audubon, where she focused on endangered species, renewable energy incentives and siting, and open space funding and advocated for nation-leading climate change laws and regulations. 

After Mass Audubon, she was Director of Policy at The Trustees of Reservations, where she raised significant public funds for open space protection, increased public access, and advocated for coastal resiliency and climate policy. 

Through consulting, she has supported Massachusetts’s efforts to reduce emissions through a variety of programs; set farmland protection and access goals and priorities; and communicated environmental policy priorities to candidates. Jennifer has served on several boards, where she has contributed to both public policy and organizational growth. She is currently Vice-Chair of the Community Preservation Coalition, which helps municipalities understand, adopt and implement the Community Preservation Act and advocates for CPA at the state level.   

“I am thrilled to join the growing team at CRWA. It’s an exciting and challenging time – and how we meet challenges over this next decade matters. We have more to do to restore the river from generations of pollution, and we must innovate and protect the Charles River in a changing climate in a way that ensures a healthy river that everyone can enjoy,” said Ryan.

Emily Reiling has joined as CRWA’s Development Manager. Emily works closely with the Development Director on fundraising programs, campaigns, and engagement to support our work towards a clean, resilient Charles River.

Prior to joining CRWA, she served as an AmeriCorps member through Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest at Blanchet House of Hospitality in Portland, Oregon. There, she held roles in volunteer management, community engagement, and development to provide services for people experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity. While completing her undergraduate studies at Villanova University, she interned at Venture Outdoors where she supported a campaign to increase access to outdoor recreational activities in her hometown of Pittsburgh.New staff above are also joining several new hires who joined us in May.

With this growth, we are also excited to announce new leadership roles for several of our staff.

Dira Johanif is now our Urban Resilience Advocate, leading our Boston climate resilience work.

“This new role is an exciting opportunity for CRWA to focus on the breadth of climate resilience efforts gaining momentum in the City of Boston. I’m eager to build relationships with the community groups and city officials leading the work, and ensuring that the solutions will continue to protect river health and build equitable resilience to climate change,” said Johanif.

Lisa Kumpf is now our River Science & Restoration Program Manager, leading our efforts to use sound science to restore the Charles River. 

“I am excited to focus more on our restoration work, and aligning our river science efforts with our project priorities. In a highly urbanized watershed, it is not enough to study and protect the Charles from future development: we need to take bold action to restore the river system through dam removal, stream restoration, and invasive species management,” said Kumpf.

Heather Miller remains our in-house counsel and is expanding her role to include all aspects of administration as our General Counsel & Director of Operations. 

“As CRWA grows its capacity and builds upon a legacy of advocacy for the Charles to address new challenges in a changing climate, I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to ensure that the organization remains strong, effective, and nimble. Our talented staff are our greatest resource, and together with our dedicated supporters, we will continue fighting for a clean Charles for all,” said Miller.

editor

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