Betsy Otto

Former Vice President, Strategic Partnerships (1999-2011)

Betsy served as the organization’s chief liaison to municipal and industry groups, such as the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the national Alliance for Water Efficiency. She worked to promote sustainable water management and water infrastructure practices and policies to help communities become more resilient in the face of climate change and development impacts. She presented widely on the impacts of urbanization on rivers and the value of incorporating green infrastructure as a central component of water infrastructure systems.

In her 12 years with American Rivers, Betsy developed and directed the organization’s clean water and water supply and efficiency programs, and she spearheaded American Rivers’ lobbying efforts in Congress on water infrastructure funding. She is the co-author of numerous reports, including Ecological Riverfront Design with the American Planning Association, and Paving Our Way to Water Shortages.

Betsy joined American Rivers in 1999. Prior to joining American Rivers, Betsy worked for 10 years with local and national conservation organizations, as director of the Midwest Office of The Conservation Fund, and with the Environmental Law and Policy Center and Chicago-based Openlands Project. Before her work in conservation, Betsy had a career as a management consultant.

B.A. in Economics from University of Illinois, M.S. in Water Resources Management from the University of Wisconsin’s Gaylord Institute for Environmental Studies, Master’s of Management from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, and Betsy is a Harvard University Loeb Fellow

Potomac River


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