Nicole SilkPresident

Nicole Silk

Boulder, Colorado

Understanding how people relate to water and what water needs to remain healthy has been a central tenet of Nicole’s professional career for more than 25 years. She believes strongly in the role of local champions and river enthusiasts in creating a future of clean and ample water for people and nature. As President of River Network, she is responsible for guiding River Network toward its mission in collaboration with staff and board members, engaging supporters and partners, expanding River Network’s reputation and public image, motivating staff, and other duties. River Network’s mission is to empower and unite people and communities to protect and restore rivers and other waters for all life.

Prior to joining the staff at River Network, Nicole worked at The Nature Conservancy (TNC) for 19 years. While at TNC, she served as Managing Director of The Nature Conservancy’s Global Freshwater Team, guiding a team of technical experts, helping projects articulate new strategies and solutions, providing budgetary oversight, and expanding organizational capacity and influence across the US and around the world. She also held roles related to knowledge development, conservation planning, stewardship, and public policy. Before TNC, Nicole worked on law and policy aspects of conservation in the US and Costa Rica and as a professional river guide leading adventures around the world.

Nicole has written and contributed to several scholarly scientific and legal papers and books, including A Practitioner’s Guide to Freshwater Biodiversity Conservation (Island Press, 2005) and Turning Instream Flow Water Rights Upside Down, and has served on numerous boards and advisory committees. She has convened more than 30 conferences and international summits, delivered 40 virtual learning events on freshwater topics, and pioneered new websites, social networks, national campaigns, and online communities to advance faster progress toward healthy rivers. She holds a J.D. from the University of California, Davis and a B.A. in economics and ecology from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Nicole is based in Boulder, Colorado. When she is not working, she spends as much time as possible outdoors, including longer adventures on rivers with her family and friends. Away from technology and daily routines, these trips provide an unparalleled opportunity to remain connected with nature’s mysteries.