Press Releases

Water Institute welcomes three new board members and a new science and engineering advisory council member

Feb 5, 2020

BATON ROUGE, La. (Feb. 5, 2020) - The Water Institute of the Gulf is honored to welcome three exceptional new members to the board of directors – Dr. Gerry Galloway Jr., Christy Brown and Dr. Efi Foufoula-Georgiou. The Institute is also excited to announce that Dr. Robert Twilley, executive director of the Louisiana Sea Grant College Program, is joining the Institute’s Science and Engineering Advisory Council (SEAC).

Galloway is an internationally recognized researcher and the Glenn L. Martin Institute Professor of Engineering with the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Maryland where he focuses on issues of water resources policy and management, disaster resilience and national security.

Brown is managing director of NOLA Holdings, LLC., chairman of the McIlhenny Company and vice president and director of Avery Island, Inc. a family land management company.

Foufoula-Georgiou is Distinguished Professor in the Departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth System Science and the Henry Samueli Endowed Chair in Engineering at the University of California, Irvine with research focusing on hydrologic prediction and climate impacts.

“Gerry, Christy and Efi bring a collective wealth of background on coastal issues, sustainability and conservation to the board,” said Kevin Reilly, Institute board chairman. “We’re very excited to welcome them to the team as the Institute continues pursuing a mission of bringing together universities, NGOs, government agencies, and private sector firms to provide the applied research coastal decision makers need.”

Galloway, who had a 38-year career in the U.S. Army retiring as a brigadier general with the Corps of Engineers, is very familiar with Louisiana’s coastal challenges. Following the 2005 hurricane season, Galloway participated in a working group that produced “A New Framework for Planning the Future of Coastal Louisiana,” and was a principal consultant to the American Society of Civil Engineers on the report, “Restoring Coastal Louisiana: Enhancing the Role of Engineering and Science in the Restoration Program.” In 2008, he was appointed to the Louisiana Governor’s Advisory Commission on Coastal Protection, Restoration and Conservation where he served for several years and was appointed by President Reagan to serve on the Mississippi River Commission. His full bio is available here.

Brown serves or has served on numerous community and foundation boards including Audubon Louisiana (retired), Greater New Orleans Foundation, and the Selley Foundation locally and the James Beard Foundation and National Audubon Society’s Leadership Council (retired) nationally. Brown’s family has a long history of coastal conservation starting with his great-grandfather who was the founding president of Audubon Louisiana’s office. That work continues today as the McIlhenny lands are a part of a group of private landowners within the Rainey Conservation Alliance organized through Audubon Louisiana.

Foufoula-Georgiou has served as director of the NSF Science and Technology Center, “National Center for Earth-surface Dynamics” and director of the St. Anthony Falls Laboratory at the University of Minnesota. She has served on numerous advisory boards, both nationally and internationally, including as the U.S Representative to the International Association for Hydrologic Sciences (IAHS), National Committee for the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG); Presidential appointee to the Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board (NWTRB); NRC Decadal Survey for Earth Science and Applications from Space -- Panel on Global Hydrological Cycle and Water Resources, 2016-2017; President of the Hydrology section of the American Geophysical Union (AGU); and as an expert advisor, European Research Council (ERC), Brussels. She has published extensively in hydrology and geomorphology and has pioneered methods for multi-scale analysis of complex environmental systems. Her full bio and resume are here.

A renowned expert on coastal processes and long-time coastal researcher in Louisiana, Twilley joins our Science and Engineering Advisory Council which periodically meets to provide expert guidance on the Institute’s scientific and technical mission. Twilley has been executive director of the Louisiana Sea Grant Program since 2012 and previously was Vice President for Research at University of Louisiana at Lafayette and director of the Wetland Biogeochemistry Institute at LSU. He has been heavily involved in the coastal master planning process and served on numerous advisory and technical committee guiding Louisiana’s coastal work. Twilley joins nine current members of the advisory council. Twilley founded the LSU Coastal Sustainability Studio and the Center for Ecology and Environmental Technology at UL Lafayette. Twilley has published extensively on wetland ecology, global climate change, and has been involved in developing ecosystem models coupled with engineering designs to forecast the rehabilitation of coastal and wetland ecosystems.

“The addition of these four remarkable people to the Institute’s leadership is so exciting for our team,” said Justin Ehrenwerth, Institute president and CEO. “Their varied backgrounds, strong experience and dedication to our mission will add greatly as the Institute moves forward.”

About The Water Institute of the Gulf

The Water Institute is a not-for-profit, independent applied research and technical services institution with a mission to help coastal and deltaic communities thoughtfully prepare for an uncertain future. Through an integrated and interdisciplinary approach, our work helps create more resilient communities, thriving economies, and healthy environment. For more information, visit