Justin Ehrenwerth

President and CEO

Justin R. Ehrenwerth was appointed the second President and CEO of The Water Institute of the Gulf in January 2017. Prior to joining the Institute, Ehrenwerth served as the inaugural Executive Director of the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (Council). The Council was created in the aftermath of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill and charged with using billions of dollars in penalties to restore the Gulf Coast’s economy and environment, and adapt in the face of climate change. Ehrenwerth successfully established the Council as an independent federal agency and oversaw all aspects of its programmatic, technical, and operational activities.

Ehrenwerth previously served as Chief of Staff to the U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce where he assisted in overseeing issues of policy, budgeting, and strategic planning. He focused on matters impacting the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) including complex regulatory and management challenges.

Earlier, Ehrenwerth served as Assistant Counsel to the President where he took the lead on Deepwater Horizon litigation for the White House working with the Department of Justice. He also served as a member of the Oversight and Litigation group representing the White House in Congressional investigations and advising federal agencies on oversight matters. Before joining the White House, Ehrenwerth served in the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Office of General Counsel where he provided support to NOAA leadership on sensitive regulatory and political matters. He received NOAA’s Award for Excellence for work in response to Deepwater Horizon.

Ehrenwerth has held leadership positions on a number of national political campaigns and has been active in the non-profit sector. He served as a Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Teaching Fellow as well as a Coro Fellow in Public Affairs. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Touro Synagogue and the Anti-Defamation League’s South Central Region.

Ehrenwerth is a summa cum laude graduate of Colby College, holds an M.A. in philosophy, politics and economics from the University of Oxford, and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He and his wife, Dana Dupré, reside in New Orleans with their two sons.