Press Releases

Dale Morris, former Water Institute Director of Strategic Partnerships, named Charleston’s Chief Resilience Officer

Jun 22, 2021

BATON ROUGE, La. (June 22, 2021) – Dale Morris, former Director of Strategic Partnerships with the Water Institute, was named the City of Charleston’s Chief Resilience Officer last week, providing an opportunity to continue the work he and partners started with Dutch Dialogues Charleston more than three years ago.

“When Dale joined the Water Institute in 2018, he brought with him decades of experience in working with communities to develop tailored approaches for resilience,” said Justin Ehrenwerth, the Water Institute president and CEO. “The Water Institute team can’t thank him enough for his dedication, drive, and passion for community resilience. Charleston has found the perfect advocate and resilience leader. Our sincere congratulations to Dale and his family on this exciting new position.”

At the Water Institute, Dale was instrumental in the formation of the Institute’s support for the City of Houston and, in particular, the “Living with Water” strategy developed in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. Dale worked with a diverse group of partners to take lessons learned in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina and applied them to Charleston as they develop their own flood mitigation measures, and he started work on Virginia’s development of a Coastal Resilience Master Plan.

Although Dale joined the Water Institute in 2018 as the Director of Strategic Partnership, his experience with the Institute and south Louisiana stretches back many years.

“It has been my honor to serve the Water Institute’s leadership and work alongside its brilliant, committed staff. The Institute’s science and decision-support knowledge will be essential in Louisiana and coastal communities in the coming years.” Morris said. “My experience at Institute will guide me as I work to build more resilience in the City of Charleston.”

Post Hurricane Katrina, Morris coordinated and directed the Royal Netherlands Embassy’s and Dutch Government’s recovery outreach to Louisiana, with a focus upon flood risk assessment, mitigation and integrated water management for storm surge, tidal, stormwater and groundwater flooding. Dale was also part of the team assembled by CPRA, the Baton Rouge Area Foundation and Senator Mary Landrieu to establish The Water Institute of the Gulf.

During this work, Dale co-founded the Dutch Dialogues with Waggonner & Ball, focused upon urban water management challenges and opportunities in post-Katrina New Orleans. Dutch Dialogues have been organized elsewhere in the U.S., leading to far-reaching planning, policy, and regulatory improvements in flood-prone and flood-recovering communities. Most recently, this approach was used in Charleston and has been embraced by community leaders as a way forward for a city under threat from sea level rise.


About The Water Institute of the Gulf

The Water Institute of the Gulf is an independent, non-profit, applied research institution advancing science and developing integrated methods to solve complex environmental and societal challenges. We believe in and strive for more resilient and equitable communities, sustainable environments, and thriving economies. For more information, visit