The Coalition’s Co-Chairs provide strategic direction to the Coalition and work closely with Coalition staff. Five individuals serve as co-chairs of the Coalition, with their organizations meant to represent the breadth of the Coalition and be reflective of our membership. 

Nsedu (Nse) Obot Witherspoon (Lead Co-Chair), Executive Director, Children’s Environmental Health Network

 Nse is the Executive Director of the Children’s Environmental Health Network (CEHN), an organization she has been   working with for 20 years now. Her background is public health, maternal and child health, environmental justice, and   strategic collaborations.  CEHN is a national non-profit organization that has been working for close to 30 years to   protect all children from environmental hazards. CEHN works actively to support peer-reviewed science in the field, to   effectively translate that science into education, training, and action platforms, works toward child protective state and   national policy development, and provides leadership on a variety of state and national coalitions. CEHN is dedicated to   protecting especially the most vulnerable of children, ensuring that they get the start that they need and deserve.

April Ingle, Advocacy Director, River Network

April is River Network’s Advocacy Director and has worked for over 25 years leading organizations, collaborating with partners to advance clean water policy, and supporting individuals and organizations who are working together to protect and strengthen their communities and the places they love. April provides training, develops tools and resources, and facilitates peer-to-peer exchange in the areas of water policy; equitable climate resilience; and building sustainable equity-focused partnerships between community organizations and water utilities.

Beth Roach, Clean Water Director, Sierra Club

Beth is the Water Director for Sierra Club National, Tribal Council Vice Chair for the Nottoway Indian Tribe of Virginia, and Co-founder of the Alliance of Native Seedkeepers. Her background is in storytelling, community organizing, environmental justice, and being in the right relationship with all of her relatives. Beth advocates for water and climate justice at the intersection of decolonization and restoration of tribal rights.

Gary Belan, Senior Director, Water Supply Program, American Rivers

Gary Belan leads American Rivers’ clean water supply team. Gary has worked at American Rivers for the past 18 years   promoting and implementing water management solutions across the U.S. as a means of reducing stormwater   pollution, flooding, and water use stress on rivers. Gary is a specialist in stormwater management and planning, with   expertise in green infrastructure. He has written a number of publications and articles on water management and   green infrastructure and continues to engage on practical applications to advance natural infrastructure   practices. Gary received a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Virginia, his M.A. in Environmental Policy from   American University and a Master’s Certificate in Non-profit Management from Georgetown University. He is based in   Washington D.C.

Glenn Watkins, Senior Policy Specialist, National Wildlife Federation

Glenn works to advance NWF’s policy and legislative priorities relating to Clean Water Act defense, ecosystem restoration, and wetland and watershed protections. Prior to joining NWF, Glenn worked for the Natural Resources Defense Council, on water policy and government affairs. Glenn holds a B.A. in Environmental Policy from Hamilton College.


Jim Murphy, Director of Legal Advocacy, National Wildlife Federation

Jim Murphy is the Director of Legal Advocacy for the National Wildlife Federation where he coordinates legal advocacy across the Federation’s national programs with a focus on renewable energy and clean water. He has been with the National Wildlife Federation since 2003, having worked on environmental issues such as endangered species, and the National Environmental Policy Act. He has represented the National Wildlife Federation and other conservation groups in several precedent setting cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and Federal Circuit Courts. He has been extensively published in law reviews and other legal publications on issues such as water policy and law, transportation and smart growth, and energy production. Prior to joining the National Wildlife Federation in 2003, Murphy did work with the Conservation Law Foundation and was in private practice for four years. He has previously worked on Capitol Hill and has an LL. M., summa cum laude, from Vermont Law School, a J.D. from Boston College Law School, and B.A. from the University of Vermont.

Steering Committee

The Steering Committee is made up of organizations who are interested in serving as an oversight body for the Coalition. The Steering Committee is the main voting body of the Coalition and acts as the Coalition’s “think tank” for implementing the Strategic Plan, Long-Term Policy Agenda, and yearly Work Plans, as well as creating the Coalition’s annual budget.

Current Steering Committee Members Include:

  • Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments
  • American Rivers
  • American Sustainable Business Network
  • Amigos Bravos
  • BlueGreen Alliance
  • Children’s Environmental Health Network
  • Clean Water Action
  • Earthjustice
  • Environment America
  • GreenLatinos
  • Latino Farmers and Ranchers, International
  • Lawyers for Good Government
  • League of Conservation Voters
  • Mississippi River Collaborative
  • National Parks Conservation Association
  • National Religious Partnership for the Environment
  • National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
  • National Wildlife Federation
  • Natural Resources Defense Council
  • River Network
  • Rural Coalition
  • Sierra Club
  • Southern Environmental Law Center
  • The Center for Water Security and Cooperation
  • Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership
  • Trout Unlimited

If your organization is a member of the Coalition and interested in joining the Steering Committee, fill out this form and Coalition staff will be in touch!

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