The Senior Water Policy Fellows program connects distinguished professionals from government, academia, and the private sector with the Center for Water Policy. The purpose of this program is to strengthen the connection between theory and practice, offering insights for faculty, students, and the public into the nature of water policy problems and their most practical solutions.
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Brico Fund Journalist in Residence at the Center for Water Policy
Dan Egan, an environmental journalist and author of the “Death and Life of the Great Lakes” and “The Devil’s Element: Phosphorus and a World Out of Balance,” has been named the Brico Fund Journalist in Residence at the Center for Water Policy in the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s School of Freshwater Sciences.
As a Journalist in Residence, Egan will continue his award-winning work as a freelance journalist and author, using his storytelling ability to translate science and policy into compelling content for a large general audience. Protecting a national treasure, such as the Great Lakes, and our other waterways, requires public awareness and understanding of the complex issues and tremendous pressures we place upon our water resources or the threats facing them. Egan’s new book, “The Devil’s Element: Phosphorus and a World Out of Balance” dives into one of the most pressing of water contaminant issues: excessive algae fed by phosphorus pollution. Egan has been featured in major media, highlighting the delicate balance between needing phosphorus for food production, with it’s detrimental impacts on water quality. In February 2023, Egan was the keynote speaker for a statewide conference on phosphorus to learn from various perspectives about how numeric phosphorus standards have been implemented in Wisconsin. Videos of the full conference are available on our YouTube channel.
Additionally, he will be working on a newspaper project about the impact of climate change on our waters and cities. Egan will serve as an educational resource for students, helping them to understand water science and policy communication. Egan will also represent the Center for Water Policy when he gives talks at academic, government, and environmental group events throughout the Great Lakes region and beyond.
Dan Egan was a reporter with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, covering the Great Lakes from 2002 until 2021. He has twice been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and he has won the Alfred I. duPont–Columbia University Award, John B. Oakes Award, AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Award, and J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Award. Egan is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the Columbia School of Journalism.
Water Policy Fellow
Seth M. Siegel is a writer, lawyer, activist and serial entrepreneur.
Seth is the author of the New York Times bestseller “Let There Be Water: Israel’s Solution for a Water-Starved World” and “Troubled Water: What’s Wrong With What We Drink“. His essays on water and other issues have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, and in leading publications in Europe and Asia. Seth is a Senior Advisor to Start Up Nation Central, an Israeli non-profit that connects government, NGO and business leaders to the relevant people, companies and technologies in Israel.
Seth has spoken on water issues around the world and at venues in more than 40 US cities, including the United Nations, World Bank, Davos, Google’s headquarters, and at more than a dozen major college campuses, including Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Yale and Stanford University. Foreign editions of “Let There Be Water” are now in production in ten countries including China, Japan, Vietnam and the Czech Republic. Seth has spoken on water issues around the world and at venues in more than 40 US cities, including the United Nations, World Bank, Davos, Google’s headquarters, and at more than a dozen major college campuses, including Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Yale and Stanford University. Foreign editions of Let There Be Water are now in production in ten countries including China, Japan, Vietnam and the Czech Republic.
Seth is the co-founder of several companies, including Beanstalk, the world’s leading trademark brand extension company, which he sold to Ford Motor Company. He was also a Producer of the Tony Award-nominated Broadway revival of Man of La Mancha. Seth sits on the board of several not-for-profit organizations. In addition, he is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Seth is the co-founder of several companies, including Beanstalk, the world’s leading trademark brand extension company, which he sold to Ford Motor Company. He was also a Producer of the Tony Award-nominated Broadway revival of Man of La Mancha. Seth sits on the board of several not-for-profit organizations. In addition, he is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Watch the State of Freshwater 2017: Charting the Future of U.S. Water Policy, featuring Senior Water Policy Fellow, Seth Siegel, May 22, 2017.
Jodi Habush Sinykin
Water Policy Fellow
Jodi Habush Sinykin attended the University of Michigan, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1989. Ms. Habush Sinykin went on to Harvard Law School, where she received her law degree in 1992.
Following a federal clerkship with District Court Judge Charles P. Kocoras for the Northern District of Illinois and a decade working at the Chicago law firm of Pavalon & Gifford and, thereafter, as a partner at the Habush, Habush & Rottier law firm in Milwaukee, Jodi began her professional association with Midwest Environmental Advocates in 2003. Since then, Jodi has worked with MEA on a variety of public policy concerns of environmental concern, working closely with numerous state-wide environmental and conservation-based organizations on legislative initiatives and on federal enforcement actions arising in the Milwaukee area under the Clean Water Act.
Jodi served from 2005 to 2007 on the Groundwater Advisory Committee established under 2003 Wisconsin Act 310. In September 2006, she was appointed to the Legislative Council’s Special Committee on the Great Lakes Water Resources Compact, a study committee charged with the development of Compact legislation for the state of Wisconsin and, thereafter, participated in the Governor’s Working Group on the Compact. Jodi continues to collaborate with both state and regional partners to ensure that the Great Lakes Compact is implemented in keeping with the sound management principles, conservation ideals, and best available science envisioned at the enactment of this historic environmental agreement.
Brico Fund Senior Water Policy Fellow for Law and the Environment
Peter McAvoy is an environmental lawyer based in Milwaukee who has worked on air, land and water quality issues in the Great Lakes region for nearly forty years.
McAvoy has held several senior management and consulting positions in government and the private sector. He was the Great Lakes and Pacific Regional Administrator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s U.S. Coastal Management Program and served on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency/State Department’s international negotiating team that resulted in major revisions in the U.S./Canada Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, for which he received EPA’s Bronze Medal for his technical management and legal support during the negotiations. McAvoy also served as the Governor of Wisconsin’s lead person on developing acid rain, water diversion, and soil conservation legislation in the 1980’s.
From 1997 to 2012, McAvoy served as Vice President of the Sixteenth Street Community Health Center’s Department of Environmental Health. During this time, he administered programs to reduce health risks for children exposed to environmental hazards in Milwaukee’s south side neighborhoods and developed public and private sector partnerships to revitalize Milwaukee’s Menomonee River Valley and the Kinnickinnic River Corridor.
As the Brico Fund Senior Water Policy Fellow for Law and the Environment, McAvoy is applying his singular knowledge and experience toward building and leading the Center for Water Policy at this crucial point in its development.