Call for Applications: Regional Network Collaborative for Water Leadership

June 27, 2023

The Water Center at the University of Pennsylvania is excited to share that we are building a Regional Network Collaborative for Water Leadership that will provide support, opportunity, and inspiration for current and next generation water-related professionals to become more impactful and inclusive leaders. We have been busy working on the development of this program, and we need your help in identifying individuals that might be interested in participating. 


The Water Center at Penn received grant funding from Spring Point Partners - a Philadelphia based social impact organization that champions community-driven change and promotes justice by investing in transformational leaders, networks and solutions - to build a Regional Network Collaborative for Water Leadership modeled after some of the Center’s ongoing work. 

Peer-to-peer exchange is powerful and the goal is to create a space at the regional scale that will foster leadership among participants and find attainable solutions to some of our biggest water challenges. The thing that we hear the most about working with water-focused professionals is the need to speak with and learn from others who are dealing with similar issues - such as identifying and hiring diverse staff, building trust in the community, and understanding how to navigate tough decisions around privatization, to name a few. We want to cross pollinate the exchange of information by engaging and bringing together both water utility management professionals and watershed organization professionals.

Program Objectives

The Regional Network Collaborative for Water Leadership will convene a diverse set of people, based in the Philadelphia region, working in sectors that intersect with water issues (water utility personnel, watershed/environmental non-profit and stormwater professionals, etc) who have demonstrated potential to become leaders in their respective fields. The Collaborative will provide a peer-to-peer issue/solutions exchange environment, workshop style learning with academic, non-profit, and private industry leaders; enhance cross-sector collaboration; and create a supportive space for the building of long-lasting professional relationships between collaborative members.

Participant Profile

We are looking to bring together a cohort of participants that reflects the broader social, political, geographic, and economic diversity of the region. Ideal participant characteristics include:

  • Mid-career individuals from organizations intersecting with water issues including environmental organizations, water utilities, and municipalities. 
  • Women, people of color, and LGBTQ+ individuals are strongly encouraged to participate.
  • We are focused on recruiting in the Philadelphia region, including Philadelphia, Delaware, Chester, Montgomery, and Bucks Counties in Pennsylvania; Camden, Gloucester, Burlington, Mercer, and Salem Counties in New Jersey; and New Castle County in Delaware.  

Program Logistics

Because of Spring Point Partners funding, there is no cost for participation, apart from time. In fact, there are stipends available for participants. Other key information includes:  

  • This non-accredited program will take place from September 2023 to April 2024, and will be delivered in-person and virtually. 
  • We anticipate that 7 to 8 sessions will generally be held monthly for 1.5 - 2 hours per session. 
  • Each participant is expected to attend and actively participate in all sessions, as well as undertake a light level of activities between each session. 
  • As the program concludes in spring 2024, we anticipate an in-person experience to meet with state and/or U.S. legislators about water policy issues. 

Can you help?

We would like to see whether, based on the program objectives and participant profile outlined above, you might be able to recommend someone either from within your organization or your network who you think might make a great contribution to this program, and in turn find it a worthwhile experience.

As we have limited space (no more than 10 participants), if you do have someone in mind I would ask you to reach out to them and share this information to determine their interest. If they are indeed interested, I would ask that they fill out the brief form bellow expressing their interest and motivation for participation.

We would like to have all expressions of interest entered into this Qualtrics Form by August 15, 2023. I can be reached at and am available to chat with you or your identified participant if more information is needed.

Thanks in advance for helping us bring together this inaugural group of regional water leaders.