Call for Applications: Regional Network Collaborative for Water Leadership

June 7, 2024
collaborative alumni group photo

Regional Network Collaborative for Water Leadership

 “Leadership Collaborative” 

The Water Center at the University of Pennsylvania is currenting accepting applications to the 2024/2025 Regional Network Collaborative for Water Leadership cohort. This 9-month program aims to build a collaborative network that will provide support, opportunity, and inspiration for mid-career water-related professionals. Applications are due no later than July 15, 2024.  


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 continue the Regional Network Collaborative for Water Leadership and offer a second cohort that will run from September 2024 through May 2025. 

Peer-to-peer exchange is powerful and the goal of this Collaborative 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. We hear often from water-focused professionals about the need to work with and learn from peers 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 Leadership Collaborative will convene a diverse set of mid-career water professionals based in the greater Philadelphia region (working within Delaware River Watershed), who have demonstrated potential to become leaders in their respective fields. We are seeking individuals working at public and private water utilities, advocacy organizations such as watershed and/or environmental non-profits, private industry such as consultants who serve the water industry, and regulatory organizations such as federal and state agencies and commissions. The Collaborative provides a peer-to-peer issue and solutions exchange environment; workshop style learning with academic, non-profit, and private industry leaders; enhanced cross-sector collaboration; and a supportive space for the building of long-lasting professional relationships between cohort 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 water utilities, watershed/environmental organizations, private industry, and the regulatory sector. 
  • Women, people of color, and LGBTQIA+ individuals are strongly encouraged to participate.
  • We are focused on recruiting in the Greater 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

There is no cost for participation, apart from your time. In fact, there are stipends available for participants. Other key information includes:  

  • This non-accredited program will take place from September 2024 to May 2025, and will be delivered in-person. Limited virtual attendance may be an option if unforeseen scheduling conflicts arise, but in-person attendance is preferred.  
  • 9 total sessions will be held over the course of 9 months (one session per month). Each session will last approximately 2-3 hours. Dates/times will be finalized over the summer and will be announced upon acceptance into the program. 
  • Each participant is expected to attend and actively participate in all sessions, as well as undertake a very light level of activities between each session (i.e. summary reading, responding to questions, etc). 
  • Stipends will be provided to participants to help cover costs with attendance such as parking, transportation, child care, etc. In addition, these stipends can be used to help offset costs associated with professional development outside of this program.

How to apply?

If you or someone you know is interested in participating in the 2024/2025 Leadership Collaborative please fill out the application form here no later than July 26, 2024. Space is limited to 12 participants. 


Please email The Water Center at Penn at: and include ‘Leadership Collaborative’ in the subject line.