William Robert (Bob) Irvin
Department: Executive Services
Bob Irvin has been President and CEO of American Rivers since July 2011. As President, Bob leads American Rivers in its mission to protect and restore our nation’s rivers. He is responsible for management of the strategic, programmatic, and financial operations of American Rivers.
Before becoming President of American Rivers, Bob was Senior Vice President for Conservation Programs at Defenders of Wildlife.
Bob has also served as Director of U.S. Conservation for World Wildlife Fund; Vice President for Marine Wildlife Conservation and General Counsel for the Center for Marine Conservation; Senior Counsel for Fish and Wildlife on the Majority Staff of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works; Counsel and Director of the Fisheries and Wildlife Division, National Wildlife Federation; Trial Attorney in the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice; and was in private legal practice in Portland, Oregon.
Bob is an expert in biodiversity conservation, wildlife law, and the Endangered Species Act. He has written and lectured extensively on biodiversity conservation issues. He is the co-editor, with Donald C. Baur, of the American Bar Association’s deskbook on the Endangered Species Act, ESA: Law, Policy, and Perspectives (2nd ed. 2011). He co-authored, with Michael J. Bean, the chapter on the Endangered Species Act and marine species in Ocean and Coastal Law and Policy (American Bar Association 2008). He was a member of the IUCN’s Red List Criteria Review Working Group which revised the standards for listing threatened species globally. He has taught Biodiversity Protection at Vermont Law School for nearly 20 years and has also taught at the University of Maryland School of Law.
Bob graduated magna cum laude with a B.S. degree in Forest Science from Utah State University in 1980. He earned a J.D., Order of the Coif, in 1983 from the University of Oregon School of Law. He has served as co-chair of the Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources Section of the District of Columbia Bar and on the board of directors of the Environmental Law Institute.
Blog Posts By This Author
April 9, 2013 | Dams & Dam Removal
At American Rivers we like to say that rivers connect us, but how do you reconnect a river? That was the question I was pondering on a cold April day along the banks of Amethyst Brook in western Massachusetts. One of the things that makes American Rivers so effective is that, in addition to advocating laws, policies and practices that protect and restore rivers and clean water, we are also leaders on the ground, working with partners and communities to remove outdated dams, establish Blue Trails, and construct green roofs and rain gardens.Read more »
We don’t have to leap off the fiscal cliff like lemmings to the sea. To achieve this, however, we need a balanced solution, one that relies on sensible budget cuts that do not harm programs that provide enormous benefits to our nation, along with responsible revenue increases that are applied fairly across our society.Read more »
October 17, 2012 | Water Pollution
Growing up, I spent nearly every summer at my grandparents’ small farm in the mountains of eastern Kentucky. My mother grew up on the same farm. When she was a girl, Acup Creek, the small mountain creek that runs through the farm and is a tributary of the Kentucky River, was filled with crayfish and minnows and was an aquatic playground for Mom and her siblings and cousins.Read more »
October 9, 2012 | Dams & Dam Removal
Communities nationwide are benefiting from efforts to removed unsafe, outdated dams and restore river health. In the U.S., more than 1,100 dams that have outlived their usefulness have been taken down over the past 100 years. The United States is the global leader in river restoration through dam removal.Read more »
The Delaware River has captivated me for almost my entire life. It has always felt old and atmospheric, yet a river alive, romantic and beautiful. The river just has so much presence – it feels like a spiritual being.Read more »