News > News > Riverkeeper > Riverkeeper welcomes new members to its Board, Advisory Board and Leadership Council

Riverkeeper welcomes new members to its Board, Advisory Board and Leadership Council

Riverkeeper logoNew volunteer leadership will help Riverkeeper seize important clean water opportunities in the coming years.

Ossining, NY — Riverkeeper has added new directors and leadership to its Board, Advisory Board and Leadership Council to help bolster the organization as it looks to build on its 55-year history of fighting to reclaim the Hudson River and ensuring that over 10 million New Yorkers have clean, safe drinking water. The new volunteer leadership augments Riverkeeper’s boards and councils by bringing wide-ranging experience in finance, volunteerism, community activism, social justice, law, information security, engineering and science. Riverkeeper encourages new and active volunteer leadership to foster continued organization renewal and continues to seek individuals who possess the qualities to help the organization move forward in achieving its goals over the coming years.

Riverkeeper added two directors to its Board of Directors, they are: 

Sarah Street

After a long career as a leader in the finance and securities industry at firms such as JP Morgan Chase and XL Catlin, Street now applies her expertise to the fitness and sport technology sector. She is a world traveler and enthusiast for fitness and the outdoors. She has climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, sailed the open waters and swam with whale sharks in the Galapagos. Street is originally from the UK and graduated from Oxford University with a MA in Geography.

Sarah has been a member of the Board of Directors of READ Global, a poverty alleviation organization focused on women’s empowerment, for the past four years. Until recently she served as Chair of its finance committee, helping the organization evolve and expand in many areas, including computer literacy.

“Riverkeeper has a tremendous track record of having real impact on many important environmental issues facing the Hudson River and its tributaries,” said Street. “With the recent approval by the Board of the new strategic plan, we have a clear vision of the important work ahead in protecting the Hudson River from source to sea. I am excited to join this journey and I look forward to supporting Riverkeeper in achieving their vision.”

“Sarah has a passion for our work, as well as the outdoors and the natural world, and she brings with her a wealth of experience on how organizations can advance their missions,” said Riverkeeper President Paul Gallay. “She’s a maven when it comes to helping them do their work wisely and well, she’s now dedicated herself to help Riverkeeper become one of those organizations.”

Chief Dwaine Perry

Perry is the elected Chief of the Ramapough Lunaape Nation, with some 3,500 members in New York and New Jersey. He is also a Vietnam War veteran and an environmental and human rights activist. Upon returning from Vietnam, Perry enrolled at Rockland Community College, where he helped to establish the College’s first student organization for people of color. He later earned a bachelor’s degree from Pace University and an MS in Community Economic Development from Southern New Hampshire University.

Mentored by noted civil rights attorney and activist Conrad Lynn, Perry aided in establishing an indigenous-rights group that was to become the precursor to the reformation of the Ramapough Lunaape Nation’s modern restructuring. Chief Perry continues to champion human rights today, focusing primarily on issues concerning the Ramapough Lunaape Nation, decolonization, and the Indigenous community at large. He has sat with Elders and Indigenous leaders in the Himalayas, the Andes, and throughout North America, and his recent journey to Standing Rock resulted in the establishment of the Split Rock Sweetwater Prayer Camp in northern New Jersey. He is also working to establish the first Embassy of Sovereign Indigenous Nations of the Western Hemisphere.

During Climate Week in 2019, Karenna Gore invited Chief Perry to join an interfaith ceremony along with (Hudson) Riverkeeper and Jordan Riverkeeper, which included a ceremonial blessing of the waters of both the Hudson and Jordan Rivers. In October 2020, Chief Perry was integral to yet another blessing on the Hudson River as part of the Rabbi Marshall T. Meyer Retreat for Social Justice. Both ceremonies highlighted how traditional, sacred and secular concerns compel action and how communities of faith and environmental organizations can collaborate to reduce climate risk and build bridges of resilience at the local level. 

Chief Perry offered this reflection upon his addition to Riverkeeper’s Board: “Before time was counted, the global cosmology was understood as a blessing for which we were a part of, and not the holders of dominion. Then as now, we are responsible for — and the caretakers of — the water from which all life comes. Let us continue to join in unity to protect the waters of the Earth. As we say in Munsee, ‘Mbuy Mbumasuwaa kanam,’ and in Lakota, ‘Mni Wiconi.’ Water is life.”

“Riverkeeper recognizes and respects Indigenous Peoples as traditional stewards of this land, and we are honored that Chief Perry has joined Riverkeeper to help our organization become more community centered and be a better ally, as we seek to live up to our core values, including our commitment to foster a reduction of environmental harms, especially for disproportionately impacted communities and decimated fish and wildlife populations,” said Gallay.

Riverkeeper added three members to its Advisory Board, they are: 

Doug Greene

A Westchester County resident, Greene is the Chief Information Security Officer at The Guardian Life Insurance Company. He is a board member of the Student Agencies Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to helping students develop business entrepreneurial skills. Greene is an outdoors enthusiast who enjoys kayaking, sailing, skiing and hiking. Greene volunteers his time doing trail work for the Irvington O’Hara Nature Center and Taxter Preserve.

Doug is excited about Riverkeeper’s work and is eager to bring his passion for the Hudson, and clean and healthy waterways to greater effect by his support of the organization. 

Walter Meyer

Meyer is an urban designer and landscape architect and co-founder of the Local Office Landscape and Urban Design in 2006. After Hurricane Sandy, his firm partners started Power Rockaways Resilience, a nonprofit which delivered solar generators to volunteer centers throughout the coastal Rockaway peninsula. His firm, Local Office, advises the National Parks Service, the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation and the Army Corps of Engineers on coastal resiliency in New York.

“Coastal resilience is an issue that really demands attention. Anybody that can help Riverkeeper do a better job at addressing this issue is gold to us,” said Gallay of Meyer. “We need to advance climate change as a priority as we enter an era of increasing threats.”

Owl (Steven Smith)

Owl — whose English name is Steven Smith — is an attorney and member of the Ramapough Lunaape Nation working at the intersection of human rights, Indigenous rights, and the environment. He has traveled and lived in Latin America and the Caribbean, and has taught and lectured on a wide variety of subjects including business & environmental law, science, technology, trade policy, and the human rights of Indigenous people. He has assisted Navajo, Tohono O’odham, and Guyanese villagers with major environmental issues in national courts and before Congress and the United Nations.

Riverkeeper is excited about Owl joining its Advisory Board and bringing out a broader range of perspectives to our work and our commitment to environmental law and justice.

Riverkeeper also added one member to its Leadership Council, she is:

Megan Boone

Boone is an actor who stars in the long-running NBC series The Blacklist. She has been interested in the environment for many years. After the birth of her daughter in 2016, her environmental activism took on a new light, as she pondered climate change’s impact on her daughter’s future. She spoke at the Mom’s Clean Air Force Play-In for Climate Action rally at the U.S. Capitol in 2017. She began pursuing an MBA in sustainability at Bard College, juggling studies with her professional obligations. Her service work focuses on greening urban environments, reforestation and forest conservation; recently working with One Tree Planted to plant half a million trees in Australia, Scotland, Peru, Northern California and many other compromised forest systems around the world.

Riverkeeper is thrilled to have Megan join our Leadership Council and value her expertise and perspective, especially regarding reforestation. Megan connected us to One Tree Planted and helped us plant over 200 trees along a stream after a dam breached last year. She takes part in the Riverkeeper Sweep with her family and she is excited to volunteer on future tree plantings. We look forward to her bringing this enthusiasm for the environment and for Riverkeeper to the Leadership Council.

“One key indicator of an NGO’s health is the quality of its corps of volunteer leaders — folks who serve on the Riverkeeper’s Board of Directors, Advisory Board, Leadership Council, Young Advocates Council and Corporate Stewardship Council,’ said Board Chair Ernest Tollerson. “All of the people who are joining the Board and our Advisory Board will add to the social and intellectual capital Riverkeeper needs to champion our mission and make progress on our new strategic plan.”

Gallay said that the additions to volunteer leadership invigorate the organization as it looks to the future: “2021 is a pivotal year for Riverkeeper. It’s the first year of our new strategic plan, and now we have new leaders at every level of governance who are energized and committed to healthy waterways and vibrant waterfront communities. These six accomplished individuals will add to the already dynamic volunteer leadership and dedicated staff that are a driving force behind Riverkeeper’s success in protecting and restoring our waterways,” said Gallay. 

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