International Rivers, its Board of Directors and staff, mourns the loss of Brent Blackwelder, a revered member of the International Rivers’ Board, whose dedication to safeguarding our world’s rivers has forever enriched our organization’s mission and spirit.

Brent was a visionary leader whose dedication reshaped the global landscape for rivers and environmental justice. His impact transcended borders, fostering a worldwide movement for river preservation and protection. His pivotal role in establishing the international dimension of the Dam-Fighter Conferences expanded a network of river advocates and enthusiasts committed to safeguarding our waterways on a global scale. His relentless efforts in reforming multilateral institutions and advocating for environmental policies have left an indelible mark on the international stage. 

“Brent Blackwelder helped launch International Rivers along with countless other environmental organizations. He never ceased to bring vision, leadership and joy to our work protecting rivers and supporting affected communities. His legacy will live on in the global movement to preserve free-flowing rivers, for example, in our efforts to protect the rights of rivers worldwide.”

Melina Selverston-Scher, Board Chair

“Brent was a giant in our community, and we’re proud to have stood on his shoulders. He had a brilliant tactical mind combined with a big heart and a generous spirit. He will be greatly missed.”

Josh Klemm and Isabella Winkler, co-directors

“Brent Blackwelder, a formidable force in environmentalism, with a direct commitment to river protection and ecological sanity, has left a significant legacy. His achievements cut through green rhetoric, serving as a reminder that tenacity and practical action can shape a future where our rivers flow clean, and our environment stands resilient against human impact.”

Monti Aguirre, Latin America head