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


Thomas O’Keefe, Ph.D.
National Co-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 Co-Chair of the Hydropower Reform Coalition, where he leads policy efforts and provides strategic guidance on Coalition operations in collaboration with Kelly Catlett. 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.

Kelly Catlett
National Co-Chair
Hydropower Reform Program Director, American Rivers

Kelly leads American Rivers’ work on reforming laws and policies around hydropower to improve the health of rivers nationwide. She has 20 years of experience working in both hydropower licensing and hydropower policy and has served as both staff and a Steering Committee member of the Hydropower Reform Coalition (HRC). Kelly enjoys providing advice and strategic guidance to HRC members and other activists working to protect rivers in their regions. Along with co-chair Thomas O’Keefe, she is responsible for leading the HRC’s policy work and providing strategic guidance on the coalition’s operation. Kelly served as the Associate Western States Director for the HRC from 2016 to 2021. 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 where she is proud to have campaigned for Klamath dam removal alongside the Yurok and Karuk Tribes.

Nic Nelson
Northwest Chair
Executive Director, Idaho Rivers United

Nic has dedicated his career to conservation, working on conservation efforts for elk, raptors, and waterfowl; in addition to wilderness advocacy and permanent land protection campaigns. When not in the office, you can find Nic wetting a line on one of Idaho’s blue ribbon fisheries or playing in the beautiful mountains that make Idaho the ideal place to live. Nic is a native of Wyoming and a graduate of the University of Idaho. Nic joined IRU as Executive Director in 2019 and joined the HRC leadership team as PNW Chair in 2023.

Theresa Lorejo-Simsiman
California Chair
California Stewardship Director, American Whitewater

Theresa has over a decade of river advocacy and licensing experience. She helped secure recreational flows, protected river access, and advocated for river protections on several rivers throughout central California and the Sierra Nevadas including the South Fork American River, Slab Creek, South Silver Creek, Mokelumne River, Cosumnes River, and San Joaquin River. As the Chair of the California Hydropower Reform Coalition, Theresa provides leadership and coordinates action on regional policy priorities.

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.


Colleen McNally-Murphy
Associate National Director

Colleen manages the Hydropower Reform Coalition, including coordinating coalition members and leading outreach, communications, and equity initiatives. She liaises with other NGO partners and federal resource agencies, and works closely with the Chairs and Steering Committee on policy advocacy. 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.

Andrew Remus
Associate Director of Hydropower Reform

Andrew came on board with the Hydropower Reform Coalition team in 2023 after 17 years working on flood control in California’s San Joaquin Valley. Located in Massachusetts, he works with HRC’s Eastern Caucus and Steering Committee on building Coalition capacity, activity and training opportunities. The focus will be on the Northeast, helping to gird Coalition members there for the huge wave of FERC relicensing activity that the region will see in the next decade. He is looking forward to working directly with Coalition members to gain an understanding of their projects and plans for engaging FERC on hydropower. Andrew has a B.A. from Fresno State in Physical Geography and a M.S. from UC Berkeley in Energy & Resources.