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Walton Family Foundation Names Moira Mcdonald Director of Environment Program

June 24, 2020
Conservation and sustainability expert promoted to leadership role with proven track record of large scale environmental wins

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Walton Family Foundation today named Moira Mcdonald, Ph.D., the director of the Environment Program, which focuses on protecting rivers, oceans, and the communities that rely on them.

Moira Mcdonald

“Never in our lives has it been more clear how dependent we all are on a healthy environment to sustain us. Moira understands the complexities of thriving ecosystems and the people and communities that depend on them,” said Lukas Walton, chair of the Walton Family Foundation’s Environment Committee. “Over the last two decades, the Walton Family Foundation has helped secure the largest water conservation agreement in history, established the sustainable seafood market, and helped launch the largest funded restoration project in the world in Coastal Louisiana. Moira is the leader we need to keep driving system-wide changes for a world where nature and people are able to thrive together.”

With nearly a dozen years leading the Walton Family Foundation’s Mississippi River and Delta Program, Mcdonald helped leverage historic funding for Coastal Louisiana restoration and led work to make conservation a more integral part of federal agricultural policy. Previously, she was a senior advisor at the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation where she led efforts on freshwater conservation in the Great Lakes and Mississippi River.

“Moira is a trusted and sought after expert inside the foundation and across the field,” said Caryl M. Stern, executive director of the Walton Family Foundation. “Climate change is touching every part of our world and our work right now, and Moira has a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities of this moment.”

Moira lives in Takoma Park, Maryland, with her wife Debra, and their two kids Naomi and Jonah. She is a native midwesterner, with a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. She is a dog lover and an avid bicyclist.

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.

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