Jessie Ritter

Director, Water Resources and Coastal Policy, National Wildlife Federation

As Director of Water Resources and Coastal Policy, Jessie leads the development and execution of NWF’s national water resources and coastal policy priorities. She oversees federal campaigns to protect clean water and wetlands and increase the resilience of communities and wildlife in the face of climate change and natural disaster events. Jessie also advocates on behalf of NWF’s Gulf Coast Restoration program to protect and restore the Gulf of Mexico coastal area, increasing its resiliency in the face of storms, floods, sea level rise, oil spills, and other threats to wildlife and coastal communities. Based out of Washington, D.C., Jessie coordinates closely with NWF’s partner organizations and with the team on the ground in the Gulf States to secure authorizations and federal funding for restoring coastal Louisiana, and to direct funds from the BP oil spill to the restoration of coastal areas Gulf-wide.

Jessie came to NWF from the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee, where she covered the oceans and atmosphere portfolio under the leadership of Senators Rockefeller and Nelson. She has also worked for a number of national non-profits on federal and state policy issues ranging from fisheries management to water resources to coastal community resilience. Jessie holds a Master’s of Environmental Management degree from Duke University’s Nicholas School, and a B.S. in Zoology from North Carolina State University. Her love for the Gulf Coast Region stems from many childhood summers spent exploring and adventuring along the Gulf Coast of Florida.

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