Rebecca Wodder is a nationally known environmental leader who has devoted her entire career to conservation causes, beginning with the first Earth Day in 1970. Most recently, she served at the US Department of the Interior as Senior Advisor to Secretary Ken Salazar, advancing river and watershed conservation objectives, including President Obama’s initiative on America’s Great Outdoors. Wodder was nominated by President Obama for the post of Assistant Secretary for Fish, Wildlife and Parks.
As president and CEO of the foremost national river advocacy organization, American Rivers, for more than 16 years, she led the development of community-based solutions to river and freshwater challenges. Two of the organization’s best-known projects, developed under her tenure—the annual report on America’s Most Endangered Rivers and its successful work in the restoration of rivers through obsolete dam removal—remain cornerstones of that organization’s efforts today. Earlier in her conservation career, Rebecca defended America’s most pristine places while at The Wilderness Society. As Legislative Assistant to U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson (WI), Rebecca worked on a wide range of critical environmental and energy issues facing the nation.
Currently, Rebecca is developing an independent project to encourage communities to work together to enhance local and regional resilience to climate change, through sustainable approaches to rivers, watersheds and freshwater resources. She serves on the Board of the Potomac Conservancy, a regional NGO working to protect the watershed of the Potomac River, and is a member of the Board of Visitors of the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin.
Rebecca holds a BA in Biology and in Environmental Studies from the University of Kansas, and a MS in Landscape Architecture and in Water Resources Management from the University of Wisconsin. She was named “Woman of the Year” by the American Sportsfishing Association, was recognized as a Top 25 Outstanding Conservationist by Outdoor Life Magazine, and received the James R. Compton River Achievement Award from River Network. Rebecca likes to weave, practice yoga, and savor nature’s beauty around the world.
Contributions to HumansandNature.org:
- Reflections on Water Wrongs
A response to “What are our moral and civic responsibilities to water?