Who We Are

 

Steering Committee

The Coalition is made up of member organizations of all shapes and sizes that hail from all corners of the nation, and governed by a Steering Committee composed of the following member organizations:

General Counsel:
Water and Power Law Group, PC
Berkeley , California

Chairs

Thomas O’Keefe, Ph.D.
National Chair
Pacific Northwest Stewardship Director, American Whitewater

Tom is an aquatic ecologist representing the whitewater paddling community in connecting the interests of human-powered recreational river users with ecological and science-based data to protect and restore rivers. Over the past 25 years he has served in a leadership capacity in dozens of successful campaigns to restore instream flows to rivers impacted by hydropower and remove dams where environmental and social justice impacts outweigh benefits of hydropower. Tom serves as the National Chair of the Hydropower Reform Coalition, where he leads policy efforts and provides strategic guidance on Coalition operations. Tom received his undergraduate degree from Cornell University before completing his graduate work in aquatic ecology at the University of Wisconsin where he received his PhD. He served as research coordinator and instructor for the river ecology group at the University of Washington before joining American Whitewater.

 

Mark Zakutansky
Eastern Chair
Director of Conservation Policy Engagement, Appalachian Mountain Club

As AMC’s Director of Conservation Policy Engagement, Mark works to advance priority federal and state conservation issues, including land conservation funding, river and watershed protection, as well as access to public lands. Mark is an avid outdoor enthusiast, primarily as a whitewater paddler and telemark skier, based in Albrightsville, Pennsylvania. As the Eastern Chair of the Hydropower Reform Coalition, Mark leads on regional hydropower policy issues in the eastern United States, in partnership with Coalition members, while also engaging in state policy issues and hydropower project licensing proceedings.

 

Kevin Lewis
Northwest Chair
Executive Director and Conservation Director Emeritus, Idaho Rivers United

Kevin has been involved in hydropower issues for the last 25 years as a volunteer advocate, nonprofit staffer, and contractor. Kevin was involved in relicensing on California’s Pit and North Fork Feather rivers before moving to Idaho in 2004 to manage the conservation program for Idaho Rivers United. During his time in Idaho, Kevin has been involved in a number of relicensings as well as defeating a proposed hydropower dam that would have devastated critical habitat and flooded a popular local recreational area.

 

Dave Steindorf
California Chair
Hydropower Specialist, American Whitewater

Dave has been an active river advocate in California since 1997 and the Chair of the California Hydropower Reform Coalition since 2007. As the lead negotiator for American Whitewater in California, Dave has negotiated improved flows and access on more than twenty hydroelectric projects in California. These agreements have restored rivers, while providing reliable power to the grid and protecting water supply. With a degree in economics, Dave has been keenly interested in the changing energy landscape. In 2017, Dave was invited to testify before the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee to educate members on the role of hydropower in energy markets and how to optimize power generation in a way that has the least impact on rivers.

Staff

​Kelly Catlett
Associate Western States Director
Sacramento, CA
kelly@hydroreform.org

As Hydropower Reform Coalition staff, Kelly coordinates the activities of the coalition’s western members and serves as a liaison between them and Coalition staff in Washington, D.C. Kelly also spearheads the HRC’s government relations work in California. Kelly joined American Rivers in 2016. Prior to working for the HRC, Kelly was the Government Relations Consultant to the California Hydropower Reform Coalition and she spent nearly a decade as the Hydropower Reform Policy Advocate for Friends of the River. Kelly has a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Davis and a J.D. from California Western School of Law.

 

Colleen McNally-Murphy
Associate National Director
Washington, DC
colleen@hydroreform.org

Colleen coordinates coalition members around national issues, and works with eastern members on regional issues. She serves as the liaison with other NGO partners and federal resource agencies, and facilitates education on hydro issues for Congress. Colleen joined the HRC in 2019 after an early career in international development. She has a B.A. in Sociology and Anthropology from Lewis and Clark College and a M.A. in Sustainable International Development from Brandeis University’s Heller School for Social Policy and Management.