Rob Hutsel is the President & CEO of The San Diego River Park Foundation, a nonprofit established in 2001 to serve as a catalyst in creating a 52 mile long system of parks, trails and open spaces along the San Diego River.
Since its founding, Rob has led an effort to create a coalition of 78 non-governmental organizations to partner with the River Park Foundation and helped secure California legislation to create a new state agency dedicated to the San Diego River.
Rob attended UC San Diego where he studied Urban Studies and Planning. He has been a guest lecturer at UCSD, SDSU and at several national and state conferences.
Rob was named by the River Network as the 2008 National River Hero for his leadership with the River Park Foundation and his more than 20 years of volunteering in San Diego. In 2009, he was awarded the President’s Award by San Diego State University’s President Weber for his efforts including working with SDSU to develop what is called “the first wireless watershed in the nation.” In July 2011 he was invited to the White House to accept a National Award on behalf of the River Park Foundation.
Currently, he serves on the board of directors of the California Watershed Network, Statewide Steering Committee of the California Urban Streams Partnership, and the County of San Diego’s Park Advisory Board, representing District 4.
As lead staff for the River Park Foundation, Rob has successfully completed more than 20 property transactions, secured millions of dollars in state and local funding and is responsible for the daily operations of this growing organization which coordinates more than 25,000 volunteer hours annually.
Rob is known by many as “River Rob” for his passion and dedication to creating a better future for the San Diego River and his work to improve the quality of life in San Diego.
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