Brenna GogginDirector of Leadership Development

Brenna Goggin

Originally from Georgetown, Delaware (the rural part of Sussex County, also known as the poultry-producing capital of the agriculture sector), Brenna Goggin (she/her) now lives and works in Wilmington, Delaware, on Lenni-Lenape lands.

Brenna joined River Network in 2019. Serving as the Director of Leadership Development, Brenna provides local nonprofit leaders and organizations with support and resources to help them be effective and sustainable.

Ben and Brenna in Glacier National Park, 2016

Brenna has a BA in Political Science from Bridgewater College and a Masters in Public Affairs with a concentration in Non-Profit Management and Leadership from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Prior to joining River Network, she served as the Director of Advocacy for a Delaware environmental nonprofit organization, working to strengthen local, state, and federal laws and regulations. Outside of work, you’ll find Brenna baking, dog/chicken sitting for her neighbors, or going on outdoor adventures with her husband Ben and their two Westies: Padfoot and Dougal.


Which River Network value most speaks to you?


What motivates you to go to work everyday?

Nonprofit organizations serve as a backbone for our communities, providing key services and resources that others cannot. However, their value and role in our daily lives is easily overlooked. These organizations are filled with committed, inspired, enthusiastic staff who are often overworked and under-resourced. Providing organizational development support that helps Boards and Executive Directors address challenging issues, preparing the next generation of thoughtful leaders to give meaningful feedback, and using our platform to advocate for more inclusive and responsive organizational policies encourages my own development and dedication.

Why is equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) important in your work?

Historically, the environmental movement has not been representative of the communities they work in nor have they been willing to share the table with activists and leaders who live within those same communities. In order to be successful agents for change, we must provide space and invest resources that directly support those on the frontlines. For most of us in the environmental field, we know of the work of Rachel Carson and Aldo Leopold while leaving out those of Ralph S. Abascal and Marjorie Richard. River Network’s commitment to invest in and elevate local activists and bring national attention to local issues is one of the reasons I came to work here.

If you didn’t work in water or conservation, what would you be doing?

Women’s rights and mental health are two issues near and dear to my heart. If I didn’t work in the environmental field, I would likely be working on behalf of either of those issues. However, there is a part of me that would like to open a doggy daycare too.

How do you recharge outside of work?

Ben, Brenna, Padfoot, and Dougal cheering on the Philadelphia Eagles, Super Bowl 2018

I find great peace and comfort in the outdoors, whether it be creating yet another native plant garden, taking the dogs for long walks in our local state and county parks, or vacationing in or around National Parks and National Forest Areas, always in my outdoor gear. The water also allows me to recharge mentally and physically, so when I’m able (and mostly during the summer months), you’ll find me swimming. In the winter, I love reading by the fire, cheering on the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, or trouncing my husband in a new board game.

Carla Rodrigo (she/her) standing on a beach.