Director, Land Conservation and Water Programs

Emily Warren Armitano directs the land conservation and water programs for the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation in Austin. She is responsible for leading the design of the land conservation and water program strategies and managing a grants portfolio to achieve the foundation’s sustainability goals.

Emily joined the foundation in 2019, bringing her deep experience in community engagement, movement-building, connecting research to action, and a commitment to equity and social justice.

On August 28, 2023, Emily was named senior advisor to the Office of Water at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The one-year assignment is through an intergovernmental personnel act agreement. She works directly with the head of EPA Water, providing guidance and building new partnerships as EPA deploys $55 billion in water infrastructure investments through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

Previously, she held leadership positions at the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, where her focus was on sustainable natural resources management. She also served as a member of the management team at United for Iran, working to improve human rights, support civil society, and increase civic engagement in Iran. In addition, Emily worked as part of the global management team for a United Nations Development Program aimed at reducing the volume and toxicity of healthcare waste in eight low-income countries across the globe.

Emily is from Venezuela and comes from a family that spans four continents. She is fluent in Spanish. Emily holds a Ph.D. in Geography from Texas State University, a Master’s of Science in Environmental Science and a Master’s of Public Affairs from Indiana University’s O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs, and a dual B.S. in Ecology, Ethology, and Evolution and Pre-Medicine from the University of Illinois.

Board & Officers


Nichelle Bielinski

Marilu Hastings

Katherine Lorenz

Marita Mirzatuny

Sarah Mitchell

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