Joe S. Whitworth

Born at the confluence of three rivers in small-town Illinois, with long family ties to agriculture, Joe Whitworth learned early the value of water as a resource. That grounding guides him now as President of The Freshwater Trust, where he has been responsible for its strategic direction for more than a decade. He has transformed the organization from a traditional advocacy group which helped secure protection of several of the first Pacific Salmon populations under the Endangered Species Act into one that embraced technology and incentives to achieve the outcomes on the ground to actually make recovery possible. Drawing on his previous organizational consulting background and seeing the need for an integrated water entity, he drove the merger of two conservation groups and oversaw its corresponding name change. 
By focusing on the next generation of conservation tools at the intersection of technology and finance to accelerate the restoration of freshwater ecosystems, Mr. Whitworth has grown the budget of the organization by tenfold while increasing staff only threefold. He is a patented inventor, a Senior Fellow of American Leadership Forum, and author of a forthcoming book with Island Press entitled, QUANTIFIED: Redefining Conservation for the Next Economy
Prior to this, Mr. Whitworth served as Director of Operations for Pacific Crest Outward Bound School, charged with student experiences from British Columbia, Canada to Baja, Mexico.  More recently, his exploits in the field have been featured in Gray’s Sporting Journal and got him dubbed the Water Apostle by The Drake magazine.
A sought-after speaker, he hosts the podcast Freshwater Talk, has been interviewed by Forbes, spoken at SOCAP, and done a TEDx talk. As an author, he blogs for Huffington Post, has written Op-eds from Iowa to Oregon, and has published in both popular and technical legal journals. Mr. Whitworth has guest-lectured at both the Stanford Graduate School of Business and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.  His formal advisory roles are many, and currently does so in B Corp, foundation and government settings, and enabled the launch of the Council for Responsible Sport as its founding board chair.  
He holds an A.B. from Dartmouth College and a J.D. from Lewis & Clark College with an emphasis in natural resources and water law. In his spare time, he and his family are restoring a native forest on their land in Oregon.


Redefining Conservation for the Next Economy

Google, Apple, Amazon, Uber: companies like these have come to embody innovation, efficiency, and success. How often is the environmental movement characterized in the same terms? Sadly, conservation is frequently seen as a losing battle, waged...