American Rivers announces Kelly Catlett as new hydropower program director

September 29, 2021

Contact: Amy Souers Kober, 503-708-1145

American Rivers announced today that Kelly Catlett has been selected to lead the organization’s hydropower program. Catlett brings nearly 20 years of experience in hydropower policy, dam relicensing, and coalition building.

As Hydropower Reform Program Director, Catlett will direct American Rivers’ efforts to support healthy, free-flowing rivers by reforming hydropower dam operations, protect rivers from new hydropower projects and engage in opportunities to restore and reconnect rivers. Catlett will work in close partnership with the Hydropower Reform Coalition to advocate for improved federal policy and engage in hydropower relicensing efforts to secure better outcomes for rivers and the people who depend on them.      

“Few things have a greater impact on a river than a hydropower dam,” said Tom Kiernan, President of American Rivers. “Kelly has the expertise and experience to lead our efforts to ensure that every hydropower dam meets the highest standards for environmental health and justice and to accelerate the restoration of healthy, free-flowing rivers nationwide. We are thrilled she is joining our team.”

Most recently, Catlett served as associate western states director for the Hydropower Reform Coalition. Before that, she led hydropower reform and policy advocacy      efforts at the California Hydropower Reform Coalition, Defenders of Wildlife and Friends of the River. She attended the University of California at Davis and received her Juris Doctor from the California Western School of Law.

“Hydropower reform is a powerful tool to protect and restore rivers.  I have had the privilege to work most of my career in hydropower licensing and I have seen firsthand the positive change this tool can achieve on rivers all over the country,” said Kelly Catlett. “I believe passionately in both the mission of American Rivers and in hydropower reform and I look forward to helping American Rivers protect and restore the rivers that connect us all.”