Alexandria, Va. —The Boards of Directors of the WateReuse Association and the WateReuse Research Foundation announced that Melissa L. Meeker has been named executive director effective March 25, 2014. Meeker will lead the strategic growth of the two organizations, as well as operational programs, staff, and execution of their missions. Meeker is a seasoned water executive with more than 20 years of experience in both the public and private sectors, with a broad range of expertise that includes regulatory issues, policy development, and executive management.
“After a nationwide search, we are pleased to welcome someone of Melissa’s caliber to maintain and enhance WateReuse as a recognized voice and as the “go-to” organization sought out by federal and state policy makers in addressing water reuse matters,” said WateReuse Association President Robert Johnson.
WateReuse Research Foundation Board Chair Richard Nagel added, “Melissa’s executive management experience, knowledge of research, and nonprofit fundraising successes are just what we need to build on the successes of the Foundation.”
Meeker will replace G. Wade Miller, who announced his resignation from WateReuse in August 2013.
Immediately prior to joining WateReuse, Meeker served as Vice President of Business Line Management for CSA Ocean Services, Inc., a marine environmental consulting firm founded in 1970. She was responsible for financial and office management, as well as business development.
In 2010, Florida Governor Rick Scott appointed Meeker Deputy Secretary of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), with responsibility for overseeing statewide water and environmental restoration policy. While serving at the Florida DEP, Meeker was appointed Executive Director of the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD). During her tenure, the agency rebounded from financial instability, improved efficiency, and focused its efforts on providing flood protection and water supply for 7.7 million south Florida residents, and made landmark progress on Everglades restoration.
Meeker was able to easily step into the leadership role at SFWMD in part because she had served as an appointed member of the Governing Board from 2007 to 2009. She also served as a Governor-appointed member of Florida’s Environmental Regulatory Commission, which sets standards and rules to protect citizens and the environment.
Meeker will also bring entrepreneurial experience to WateReuse. In 2007, she founded her own strategic consulting firm, Hesperides Group, which specialized in assisting clients with negotiating challenging regulatory processes. She also founded Women in the Environment (WE), a networking organization created to mentor female environmental professionals. Meeker’s private sector experience includes senior level positions at Tetra Tech from 2005 to 2010, where she headed the company’s Florida operation and later ran their national Water and Natural Resources Program.
Meeker spent the first decade of her career at the Florida Department of Natural Resources where she worked her way up to Environmental Administrator. From this position, she moved to the Florida DEP in 2000 to become Southeast District Director.
Meeker has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from Palm Beach Atlantic College (now PBAU) and a Master of Science Degree in Environmental Resource Management from the Florida Institute of Technology.