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Fitzpatrick named Deschutes River Conservancy’s new executive director

Deschutes River Conservancy executive director Kate Fitzpatrick
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Kate Fitzpatrick, newly chosen executive director of the Deschutes River Conservancy

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The Deschutes River Conservancy’s board of directors is pleased to announce that they have completed the selection process for the next director of the organization. Current DRC Director of Operations Kate Fitzpatrick was unanimously selected as the next executive director after a thorough review of over 300 candidates from across the US.  

Fitzpatrick started her career at the Deschutes River Conservancy in 2004 after earning her Master of Science in Collaborative Natural Resource Management from the University of Oregon.

During her tenure at the DRC, Fitzpatrick has provided leadership in the development and implementation of collaborative strategies to restore water to the rivers and streams of the Deschutes Basin. She has also played an active role in both the Upper Deschutes Basin Study and the Deschutes Basin Water Collaborative. 

“Kate is supremely qualified to lead us into our next 25 years of the DRC,” said DRC Board of Directors Chair Bobby Brunoe. “Her 16 years of service to the organization and her unwavering commitment to improving conditions in the Deschutes Basin make her a clear choice. Her dedication to community and consensus building is what we need to lead the DRC into the next phase of its journey.”

Fitzpatrick will be transitioning into her new role during the month of December, with the intention to fully take the reins beginning in January. The board and staff are excited to work with Kate in her new capacity and welcome her leadership as they continue with their mission to restore streamflow and improve water quality in the Deschutes River Basin. 

“I am honored and excited to step into the role of Executive Director, and to work alongside our committed staff, board and community partners to achieve even more for the river,” Fitzpatrick said.  “I believe that the DRC's unique approach to collaborative restoration results in the most durable solutions for our rivers and community. I also want to thank outgoing ED Ron Nelson for two years of invaluable leadership and service to the DRC.”

Current Executive Director Ron Nelson will be returning to retirement, but will continue to advise the DRC in the years to come.

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