Carol Collier

carol collier

Senior Advisor for Watershed Management and Policy

Project roles: Serve as the project government liaison to inform government agencies and officials about the value of the initiative and how it ties into their programs.


Carol Collier serves as senior advisor and government liaison. She has been very involved with the Delaware River Watershed Initiative (DRWI), a multi-million dollar effort to improve water quality in the Delaware River tributaries by working with land owners, farmers and local officials. She led the efforts in outreach and policy change and was an Initiative Steward, a small group setting priorities for the future of the DRWI. She is also working on projects: a) evaluating impacts to natural resources and human water use due to potential flow changes on the Delaware River system and 2) developing a watershed network in the southwest PA region and 3) improving river-based recreation opportunities for the underserved neighborhoods in Philadelphia, Camden and Chester. For 2014 – 2018 she served as Director for the Environmental Studies and Sustainability Program in the Drexel Univ. BEES Department.

She served for more than 15 years as executive director of the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) before joining the Academy. The DRBC is an interstate/federal commission that provides a unified approach to water resource management without regard to political boundaries. Before joining DRBC, she was executive director of Pennsylvania’s 21st Century Environment Commission and director of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) Southeast Region. Prior to PADEP, Collier served 19 years with BCM Environmental Engineers, Inc., beginning as a student intern and ultimately becoming vice president of environmental planning, science, and risk.

She has a B.A. in biology from Smith College and a Master’s in regional planning from the University of Pennsylvania. She was inducted into the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Certified Planners (FAICP) and is a Certified Senior Ecologist. In 1997 she was presented the Touchstone Award from the Society of Women Environmental Professionals and in 1998 the Woman of Distinction Award from the Philadelphia Business Journal. In 2016 the American Water Resources Association (AWRA) elected her as an AWRA Fellow and in 2007 presented her with the Mary H. Marsh Medal for exemplary contributions to the protection and wise use of the nation’s water resources. She was president of the AWRA in 2013. In 2014, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarded her the Bronze Order of the DeFleury Medal and the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary presented the Delaware Estuary Jonathan Sharp Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2017 she was given the Peter Homack Award by the NJ-AWRA and the Curtin Winsor Award by the Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC).

She is Vice-Chair of the PA/DE Chapter of The Nature Conservancy (TNC), and serves on the Conservation Council of the NJ TNC, the Pinchot Institute for Conservation (Chair – 2011-2012), the Water Resources Association of the Delaware River Basin and the Fund for Fairmount Water Works. She has taught at the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University and published on environmental and water-related topics. She has testified before the U.S. House of Representatives and the Pennsylvania Legislature. In 2004 she was a member of a nine-person U.S./China/Japan team to assist the People’s Republic of China with river basin management. She has also participated in water management and sustainable forest practice events along the Yangtze River in China and in the rain forests of Ecuador. In 2015 and 2016 she attended the UN Climate Change Conferences, COP 21 and 22, in Paris and Marrakesh, respectively, She believes proper management of water resources is the key to our economic and environmental future.