Area of Focus
Western Resource Advocates’ Board of Directors hold an important role in the organization. They are one of our chief assets, providing exemplary leadership that has helped make it possible for us to protect the West’s land, air, and water. Our board members work to further the mission of the organization by leveraging their diverse strengths in areas such as business, fundraising, communications, policy, and more. Board members represent our mission across the region and we are indebted to their commitment and service to our organization. Learn more about each of our board members below.
“Western Resource Advocates’ mission is grounded in integrity and hard work in defense of the air, water, and land of the West. WRA is a great philanthropic investment because we make wise and steady choices to benefit resource conservation.”
Ms. Carney has 25 years of service to the nonprofit and government sectors. Her areas of expertise include the facilitation of collaborative processes, creation and implementation of strategic plans, capital campaign planning and management, in addition to volunteer training and coaching. She specializes in facilitation, mediation and negotiation. Her experience as a consultant in the non-profit and conflict resolution fields and her previous work as an Instructor for the National Outdoor Leadership School provide a strong foundation for her current work. Elaine is a graduate of St. Lawrence University where she studied Environmental Anthropology and African Studies and has completed graduate level courses at Antioch University and the Harvard Program on Negotiation.
Chelsea Congdon Brundige
“Western Resource Advocates looks to leverage the financial investment of our donors with our expertise on the issues, the integrity of our commitment to solutions, and our capacity for strategic partnerships and communication to preserve the legacy of the West for generations to come.”
Ms. Congdon Brundige is writer and producer with First Light Films, an independent film and television company based in Snowmass, Colorado. She has worked in environmental conservation with the Natural Heritage Institute in California and as a water resource specialist with the Environmental Defense Fund in California and Colorado. She has served on many committees, funds, and trusts, and is an accomplished public speaker. Ms. Brundige has written for popular and scientific journals on issues ranging from land and water rights of Native Americans to environmental dispute resolution, water pollution control programs, and international relations related to water resources. She has an undergraduate degree from Yale University and an M.A. from the Energy and Resources Group at the University of California in Berkeley.
Patrick de Freitas (Chair of the Board)
“Western Resource Advocates is effective. It’s effective because of the talent of the staff and their approach to issues. There’s no yelling and screaming, no blockading, just deeply informed discussion based on fact, great experience, and an enduring passion for the West.”
Mr. de Freitas has a background in management, with organizational and entrepreneurial experience with profit and nonprofit groups. He was the chair of the boards of directors of both the Institute for Conservation Leadership in Washington D.C. and the Laird Norton Family Foundation in Seattle. Mr. de Freitas was born and raised in England, lives in Salt Lake City, and holds a Masters degree in Public Administration from the University of Utah.
Andrea J. Grant
“Western Resource Advocates has become one of the most widely respected organizations in the region. WRA is the one group that has the vision and capabilities to help create a future for the West that honors all that the Western region has represented to this country throughout history.”
AJ Grant is president of Environmental Communication Associates, Inc. (ECA), a national consulting firm located in Boulder, Colorado that specializes in social marketing and communicating complex environmental issues to the public. Ms. Grant is a founding partner and Chief Green Officer of The Big Green Company, Inc., a multimedia children’s education/entertainment company. Their Emmy Award-winning PBS children’s show, Big Green Rabbit, brings environmental and health topics to audiences around the world.
“I respect Western Resource Advocates because they are protecting our natural and cultural assets in the Southwest.”
Ms. House is a botanical consultant and researcher for Indigenous Peoples environmental issues and policies, and is a consultant to the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. She is a member of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Recovery Team for Endangered Plant Species, and has worked for the Nature Conservancy’s Indigenous Lands Program. Ms. House is a tribal member of the Navajo Nation, and lives in San Juan Pueblo, New Mexico.
“We live where we work and we understand how the issues affect both people and the natural world. WRA doesn’t just point out problems – our approach is to develop solutions to problems.”
Mr. Morgan has been a trial lawyer in the Denver Public Defender’s Office and a partner in his law firm for forty years. He also worked at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research and researched legal issues for the Department of Health, Education and Welfare concerning delivery of federal services to Native American tribes. Mr. Morgan has been a staff lawyer in the Denver office of the Environmental Defense Fund, and on the boards of directors of Audubon Colorado, the Yellowstone Association, and the Sonoran Institute. He has a B.A. in Economics from Stanford University and a JD from the University of Colorado School of Law.
“Western Resource Advocates stays ahead of the evolving conservation challenges in the region by building on its deep history of innovation, creativity and collaboration.”
Mr. Robertson is a retired software designer, and has also been involved in mining history. He has been a long-time member of the Colorado Mountain Club, and served on the Boulder County Parks and Open Space Advisory Committee. He has been very involved in conservation issues and the preservation of the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge, and serves on the board of the Alaska Conservation Foundation.