Nathan Allen named as Executive Director to the Center of Excellence

Nathan Allen named as Executive Director to the Center of Excellence

Las Vegas - The Desert Research Institute has named Mr. Nathan Allen as the new Executive Director of the Nevada Water Center of Excellence (COE). Mr. Allen will lead the Las Vegas based COE, which drives the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) innovation initiatives and provides the nexus for public-private sector collaboration in water-focused technologies. The COE leverages the world-renowned expertise of DRI and Nevada System of Higher Education institutions focusing on hydrologic sciences, the leadership of the Southern Nevada Water Authority in water utility innovation, and the resources of economic development organizations of GOED and the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance (LVGEA). 

“We are thrilled that Nate has accepted the Executive Director position at DRI and the depth of experience he brings to the COE,” said Dr. Stephen Wells, DRI President. 

Mr. Allen will work with COE Co-Vice Chairmen Dr. Kumud Acharya and Kenneth Ladd to advance the COE’s growth and leverage the world-renowned expertise of DRI and Nevada System of Higher Education institutions focusing on hydrologic sciences. Mr. Allen joins DRI with a professional portfolio that includes experience in environmental sustainability, business development and research, construction, public outreach, and advocacy. His interdisciplinary acumen in higher education ranges from ground-up, innovative sustainability solutions to large-scale experimentation.

COE Vice Chairman Kenneth Ladd said, “This is exactly the combination of scientific and entrepreneurial talent that will continue to provide the impetus for COE’s expansion.”

Prior to joining DRI, Mr. Allen served as CEO and Principal of TerraSwell, which he founded as a response to environmental science and sustainability challenges encountered in the field. Allen’s experience in applied science includes previous positions as a Research Scientist and also as a Coordinator of Sustainability for the University of Arizona Biosphere 2, under which the Model City Research Program was launched. The expanse of this program included IBM Smarter-Buildings lab, hybrid fuel recharge stations, and urban water harvesting demonstration sites. Allen is a former Solar Technician for Arizona start-up Technicians for Sustainability.

“This is a great opportunity to lead a new organization with such broad support from across the state and I look forward to finding ways to capitalize on the extensive expertise of DRI and all the COE partners to help diversify Nevada’s economy,” said Nathan Allen.

Mr. Allen serves on the U.S. Green Buildings Council Arizona Chapter Board, and sits on the boards of both the Farm Education Resource Network and the Agrarian Freedom Project, which are sustainable agriculture non-profits located in Arizona. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from Simpson College and a Master’s in Education from the University of Arizona.

“Having a full-time executive director of the COE will catapult the efforts and success of this all-important partnership to assist in creating a new industry for Southern Nevada revolving around water technologies,” said Tom R. Skancke, President and CEO of the LVGEA.

COE stakeholders include the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED), DRI (on behalf of NSHE), Southern Nevada Water Authority,Nevada’s Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR), IBM and the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance. 

Nathan Allen

Las Vegas, Nevada