Colorado Water Trust Leadership Transition

Dear Colorado Water Trust Community,

After over five years leading Colorado Water Trust, Andy Schultheiss will be departing as our Executive Director. The Board of Directors has unanimously approved the appointment of Kate Ryan, Director of Programs and Senior Staff Attorney, as Interim Executive Director, effective May 1, 2023.

We are grateful to Andy for his commitment to the Colorado Water Trust since he joined in 2017. Under Andy’s leadership, Colorado Water Trust tripled the amount of water restored to Colorado’s rivers and streams, expanded our visibility and reach within the water community and beyond, and despite a global pandemic, the organization grew and strengthened financially. With a new strategic plan, a beautiful new brand, and a solid financial position, we are in the best possible place to take on this transition and we wish Andy all the best in his next endeavor.

“I am proud of the organization’s accomplishments since I took over from Amy Beatie back in the fall of 2017,” said Andy. “The organization is in excellent shape financially, with a strong core of supporters and a high-powered, engaged board, and I look forward to watching it continue to grow and expand its impact.”

Kate Ryan joined the Water Trust team as Staff Attorney in late 2018 and became Director of Programs in 2022. With over a decade of experience practicing water law in Colorado, her past clients included farmers, ranchers, municipalities, landowners, the CWCB and the Water Trust itself. Before going to Berkeley Law School, she obtained a master’s degree in geography at the University of Colorado and worked as an associate scientist at NASA’s National Snow and Ice Data Center. Kate spearheaded Colorado Water Trust’s most ambitious project to date – the 15-Mile Reach Project on the Colorado River – and has successfully overseen our 25 projects that restore water to Colorado’s rivers.

Kate is uniquely positioned to steer the organization during this transition, and we are grateful for her willingness to step into this role. She will lead an immensely talented, productive, and expanding staff as they work towards meeting the growth goals we have set in our strategic plan. In addition, the Water Trust’s Board of Directors is engaged in guiding the organization through this transition and will be making decisions over the next few months to finalize our permanent leadership team.

This is an exciting time for Colorado Water Trust. I am grateful to the staff and Board for their mission-driven dedication to the organization. And we are grateful to you for your continued commitment and support of our work to restore water to rivers. If you have any questions about the transition process, please contact me at

emily hunt


Emily Hunt

President of the Board
Colorado Water Trust