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Leslie Middleton is the executive director of the Rivanna River Basin Commission.
Middleton grew up in Massachusetts and spent a decade working at sea in commercial fisheries and oil production maritime support before returning to the University of Rhode Island to obtain a BS in Mechanical and Ocean Engineering in 1983. Middleton became a research engineer for the US Navy, developing systems specifically for the emerging field of remotely-operated vehicles (Port Hueneme, CA); facilitating the development and deployment of fiber optic cable systems (Arlington, VA); and developing shipboard solid and plastic waste handling and processing equipment for deployment on Navy ships (Annapolis, MD).
Upon moving inland to the Rivanna watershed, Middleton founded the Rivanna Watershed Center, a community-based non-profit promoting watershed conservation and collaborative watershed education and protection.
Prior to coming to the Rivanna River Basin Commission, Leslie was the Virginia Director of the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay in Richmond, coordinating multiple programs in Virginia.
Service on the commission
As the Commission's first Executive Director, Leslie is responsible for the strategic development of the organization and building partnerships within the basin, the Commonwealth, and the Chesapeake Bay watershed. In her spare time, Leslie can be found (outside) volunteering for Rivanna Master Naturalists and StreamWatch, sailing with her husband on the Bay and its tidal tributaries, or (inside) writing about these experiences.