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Walton Family Foundation Names Amy Saltzman Head of Mississippi River Initiative

December 9, 2021
In her new role, Saltzman will lead the implementation of the foundation’s strategy to restore clean water and healthy soil in the river system

WASHINGTON, D.C., Dec. 9, 2021 – The Walton Family Foundation announced today that Amy Saltzman will serve as a senior program officer leading the foundation’s Mississippi River initiative, which seeks to support healthy soils, clean water and a restored and resilient Mississippi River system.

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Mark Shields

“Over the past five years, Amy has built an extensive understanding of the relationships and ecosystems in the Mississippi River region. That is exactly what the foundation needs as we continue to focus on building stronger communities centered on conserving nature,” said Moira Mcdonald, director of the Walton Family Foundation Environment Program. “To be successful nationally, our climate adaptation strategies must center on water − as we know that flooding, storm and drought are how people are experiencing climate change − and must include people in rural communities who are living these impacts every day.”

Since 2016, Amy has managed grants focused on agricultural conservation and climate resilience in the upper Mississippi River basin, as well as federal agricultural policy. She will now lead the team on its next five-year strategic plan. Before joining the foundation, Amy was a senior program analyst at the International Food Policy Research Institute’s HarvestPlus program, focusing on the intersection of agriculture and nutrition in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Amy has also held positions at the Rural Coalition and the U.S. Department of State and was a Fulbright fellow in Malawi, where she studied farmer behavior change. Amy received her B.A. from Cornell University and her M.P.A. from the University of Colorado. She grew up on a farm in southwest Iowa, where her family still produces corn and soybeans.

About the Walton Family Foundation

The Walton Family Foundation is, at its core, a family-led foundation. Three generations of the descendants of our founders, Sam and Helen Walton, and their spouses, work together to lead the foundation and create access to opportunity for people and communities. We work in three areas: improving K-12 education, protecting rivers and oceans and the communities they support, and investing in our home region of Northwest Arkansas and the Arkansas-Mississippi Delta. To learn more, visit and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.