Margaret Bowman, formerly Deputy Environment Program Director at the Walton Family Foundation, presents: Mobilizing Impact-Focused Capital for Water Sustainability: A water policy expert’s perspective on impact investing.  Please RSVP - reception follows.

Abstract

In the growing field of impact investing, investors are beginning to ask “What investments can we make that have side environmental benefits?” But what happens if that question is instead reversed: “What environmental change do we want to see and can we use investment to get us there?” Margaret Bowman, formerly Deputy Environment Program Director at the Walton Family Foundation, recently posed this question and the resulting report, titled Liquid Assets: Investing for Impact in the Colorado River Basin, was authored by the investment firm Encourage Capital and the law firm Squire Patton Boggs. The report outlines a set of regulatory, hydrologic and economic problems facing the Colorado River basin and suggests nine investment strategies that could generate environmental benefits for the river and its users in addition to financial returns for potential investors. Bowman, Encourage Capital, and Squire Patton Boggs are now part of a team that is designing deals to pilot four of these investment strategies. In this talk, she will discuss the findings of this report and initial lessons learned from trying to design investment deals to advance water solutions across the American West.

Biography

Margaret Bowman (Bowman Environmental Consulting, LLC) is a consultant working to promote sustainable water solutions in the American West, including development of impact-focused private investments. Margaret has over 25 years of conservation expertise, focused primarily on freshwater systems, but also experience with marine and other domestic and international environmental issues. Margaret worked for the Walton Family Foundation from 2008-2015, where as Deputy Environment Program Director she led the Foundation’s work to ensure healthy river flows in the Colorado River and provided leadership support for the Environment Program. Margaret has also directed the Lenfest Ocean Program at The Pew Charitable Trusts where she supported policy-relevant scientific research related to sustainable fisheries. For over a decade, Margaret provided leadership at American Rivers, a group dedicated to protecting and restoring healthy, natural rivers. Margaret held various titles while at American Rivers, including Vice President for Conservation, Director of the Dam Removal Program, and Chair of the national Hydropower Reform Coalition. She received a B.A. from Wesleyan University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.