Staff

Ramsay Adams, Executive Director

In addition to being the Executive Director of Water Defense, he is the founder and Executive Director of Catskill Mountainkeeper, an environmental nonprofit based in upstate New York. Mr. Adams is also a founding partner in the Catskill Brewery in Livingston Manor, NY.  The brewery is celebrated for its advanced renewable energy systems and great beer.  Mr. Adams serves on a number of not for profit boards including the advisory board of the Hudson Riverkeeper. He is a music lover and co-author of the best selling textbook – “Music Supervision: The Complete Guide to Selecting Music for Movies, TV, Games, and New Media” (Music Sales/Schirmer 2005). Mr. Adams and his wife Ananda live in the Catskill Park with their two children.

Kate Sinding, Senior Strategic Consultant

Before joining the Water Defense staff, Kate had been a valuable Board Member and advisor to Water Defense. She has been an active lawyer for 20 years, and has managed or assisted in numerous successful advocacy campaigns. Most recently, she was Senior Advisor to the President of Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). Kate has also served as a Senior Attorney and Deputy Director of the NRDC’s New York program, and director of NRDC’s national Community Fracking Defense Project. Kate has taught environmental law at Columbia University and Fordham University Schools of Law. She is a member of the boards of trustees of Riverkeeper and the Waterkeeper Alliance.

Scott Smith, Chief Technology Officer & Investigator

Scott Smith is the Chief Technology Officer & Investigator at Water Defense and a named inventor on six issued patents and fourteen patent pending applications relating to specialty foams used for both water testing and remediation of polluted waterways, one of which covers the open-cell foam base material of the Water Defense Waterbug. In 2008 he was the recipient of the SBA Phoenix Award for Small Business Disaster Recovery after his manufacturing business was hit by a devastating flood. Scott has been to every major oil spill site and Bakken oil train explosion since 2010 – over 60 different locations in the US and abroad – earning him the nickname Toxic Avenger. Scott is a graduate of Baylor University and Harvard Business School.

Sam Wright, Program Director & Staff Attorney

Sam Wright joined the Water Defense team in July 2015 as Program Director. After being accepted into the New York State bar, he has provided legal support for the organization. He attended Boston University and studied environmental law & policy at Brooklyn Law School. Sam and his wife live and work in New York City.