Water Center Launches Regional Network Collaborative for Water Leadership

GSI tour of Penn's campus

By: Brenton McCloskey

Director of Strategic Development and Communications, The Water Center at Penn


This month, thanks to grant funding from Spring Point Partners -  - the Water Center launched its Regional Network Collaborative for Water Leadership. 

The Collaborative is made up of a diverse set of professionals based in the greater Philadelphia region who are working to address water issues in their communities and have demonstrated the potential to become leaders in their fields. Through the Collaborative, the Water Center will provide a peer-to-peer issue/solutions exchange environment; offer 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. Most importantly, we want to create a space where cohort members feel supported, ask important questions, and build relationships with their peers to help them succeed in their roles. 

We are pleased to announce our inaugural cohort for the Collaborative, listed below: 

  • Rebecca Andersen, Philadelphia Water Department
  • Sarah Bach, American Rivers
  • Sarah Beganskas, Delaware River Basin Commission 
  • Brian Brach, Manasquan River Regional Sewerage Authority, New Jersey 
  • Ferry Akbar Buchanan, US EPA 
  • Kelly Knutson, Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed
  • Nomblé Lee, AECOM
  • Beth Anne Lutes, Philadelphia Water Department
  • Dante Payne, Philadelphia Water Department 
  • Kevin Rodier, New Jersey American Water
  • Meghan Rogalus, Schuylkill Action Network
  • Lindsey Sigmund, New Jersey Future 

The cohort will convene monthly from September 2023 through May 2024 for challenge discussions and leadership workshops. 

In addition to the discussions and workshops, we plan to harness the Collaborative’s momentum of information sharing and engagement by delivering a one-day youth engagement and leadership workshop. This workshop, targeted towards students who attend schools within the Cobbs Creek Watershed, will build on the Water Center’s multi-year work in the Cobbs Creek Watershed providing STEM-focused enrichment education to West Philadelphia high school students.

    Research Focus

  • Water Leadership
  • Community Capacity Building & Water Equity
About Brenton McCloskey

Brenton joins the Water Center after serving as the Assistant Vice President for Strategic Partnerships and Government Relations at University of the Arts in Philadelphia working to strengthen relationships, build long-lasting partnerships, and increase funding for programmatic and capital projects on campus. Prior to expanding his philanthropic and partnership building skill set at UArts, he served as a Natural Resources Manager at the Environmental Finance Center (EFC) at University of Maryland assisting communities in the development of sustainable environmental policy and financing programs relating to water quality, green infrastructure, and climate change resiliency. In addition, before joining the EFC, he served as Associate Director for Environmental Restoration Financing and Policy at the Maryland Department of Natural Resources where he led a team of natural resource managers, restoration specialists, and policy experts working to revitalize the Chesapeake Bay. Brenton brings a diverse set of skills to the Water Center in the areas of environmental policy, fundraising, and partnership building. He received his MS in Environmental Science and Policy from John Hopkins Krieger School of Arts and Sciences.