Jen Kader’s changing hats

One hat, two hat, red hat, blue hat …

This year is ushering a number of changes for Jen Kader. Beginning Jan. 1, 2022, she started in a new role at Freshwater as our director for engagement and systems change. Later that same month, her peers on the state’s Clean Water Council—who are appointed by the governor to serve on the council—unanimously elected her council vice chair.

Director for engagement and systems change

In this new role, Jen will focus on collaboratively identifying opportunities—big and small—to change the systems that govern, are impacted by, or perpetuate challenges related to water. This will involve:

  1. Developing stakeholder-informed understandings of how things currently work;
  2. Isolating what to continue and what to leave behind; and
  3. Engaging in developing the intentional structures that can help ensure a durable and resilient water future.

Jen’s position has a dual focus: internally on staff and board relationships, processes, and policies; and externally on how we identify and pursue opportunities for impact.

Vice chair for the Clean Water Council

Jen’s involvement with the Clean Water Council started through Freshwater’s Trajectory Project—a collaborative effort with 16 other agency and interest group representatives she helped lead from 2017–2018. That project aimed to check in on progress made in the first 10 years of the Clean Water Fund and recommit to a new vision for the next 10 years.

This effort produced a series of recommendations that she has focused on turning into a reality ever since. In 2020, that focus resulted in Gov. Tim Walz appointing her as one of two statewide environmental organization representatives on the council. In that role she has continued to support the recommendations from the Trajectory Project while building relationships and supporting strategic focus for the council.

Join us in congratulating Jen for her new roles!