Farewell to Lori Pottinger

Peter Bosshard
Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Lori Pottinger joined International Rivers in 1995 as the editor of World Rivers Review, and soon thereafter added our Africa program work to her plate. Over 20 years, she nurtured, developed, curated and honed our flagship publication. She has grown World Rivers Review from a slim black-and-white publication to a proud, full-color magazine with passion, skill and tenacity. On April 22, Lori moved on to become the communications manager of the new Water Policy Center at the Public Policy Institute of California.

Lori has covered a broad range of topics for International Rivers, from the impacts of dams on public health to the vulnerability of dams to climate change. From the beginning, she has consistently put the spotlight on the many positive alternatives to large dams, and has invited Southern activists to raise their own voices in World Rivers Review. The fate of people affected by dams in the Lesotho Highlands, along the Nile, the Zambezi and Ethiopia’s Omo River are particularly close to her heart.

Lori not only published World Rivers Review, she also edited and produced countless reports, fact sheets, video and website features at International Rivers. She has left her mark on all our outreach tools as a meticulous comma queen and a stubborn defender of good editorial style.

Lori is the longest-serving staff member International Rivers has ever had. Throughout her tenure, she has mentored numerous partners, staff members and interns. She has opened her house to visitors and friends of International Rivers, and has offered us a never-ending supply of recipes and travel tips. Lori Pottinger has been the team mother and good soul of International Rivers.

“Rivers are for sharing, for protecting, for loving,” Lori says. “That’s why the notion of walling off a river with a huge dam breaks our hearts.” We are grateful to our team mother for having poured her heart and soul into her work for International Rivers. And if the quotation marks at the beginning of this paragraph have been turned into proper American style, you will have seen our watchful editrix at work one last time.