Mentoring Connections Program

The US Water Alliance’s Mentoring Connections Program develops the six essential One Water leadership capacities through one-on-one mentoring relationships between Rising Professionals and exceptional leaders in the field. The program is open to all US Water Alliance members.  


Applicants who meet the following criteria are welcome to apply:  

  • 5 – 10 years of experience in the water sector or adjacent field.
  • Personal and professional commitment to advancing One Water.
  • Membership at the US Water Alliance.
  • Approval and support from supervisor to participate in the program.
  • Active participation in three virtual peer exchanges, up to three virtual one-on-one mentoring sessions, and the Emerging Leaders Delegation at the One Water Summit from September 12-15, 2022 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (travel costs will be provided by the Alliance).
  • Willingness to help shape a peer dialogue on One Water Leadership at the Summit.
  • Completion of a written Insights Memo at the end of the program.

Applications for the 2022 Mentoring Connections Program cohort have closed. Rising Professionals will be notified of selection in June, and the program will run approximately July through December.

About Mentoring Connections 

The Mentoring Connections Program selects 10 Rising Professionals and pairs each with a well-regarded One Water leader, or Changemaker, in the US water sector. Rising Professionals work directly with Changemakers to help advance their leadership capacities. This will include virtual mentoring sessions, peer learning exchanges with other emerging leaders, and opportunities to meet and work with peers and Changemakers at the One Water Summit. Changemakers for the 2022 program will be announced soon. 

Virtual Mentoring Sessions 

The Mentoring Connections Program provides a unique opportunity to learn from and work directly with established One Water leaders. Each mentoring pair will meet for several one-on-one virtual mentoring sessions to discuss leadership paths, capacities, and brainstorm around how to address One Water challenges that Rising Professionals are currently facing. There will be a particular focus on developing the leadership capacities identified in the US Water Alliance report One Water Change Leadership: The Six Essential Capacities. Together, these six capacities are an effective framework that can grow current and future One Water leaders: 
  1. Set the Vision 
  2. Shape the Culture 
  3. Foster Possibility Thinking 
  4. Enable Innovation 
  5. Build Trust and Collaborate 
  6. Adapt and Learn  

Virtual Peer Exchanges 

The Mentoring Connections Program also offers opportunities to expand and deepen peer networks across the sector. The cohort will participate in three dynamic virtual peer learning exchanges facilitated by US Water Alliance staff and with guest speakers as appropriate. Peer learning exchanges will address key priorities and questions identified by the cohort, provide a safe space to improve mentoring sessions and relationships, and collectively advance progress and transformation to One Water throughout one’s career. 

US Water Alliance Support 

In addition, selected Rising Professionals will have access to regular check-ins with US Water Alliance staff throughout the program. Check-ins can help identify mentoring goals, strategies to make the most of sessions, and reflect on learnings from the peer exchanges.   

One Water Summit: Peer Dialogue, Networking, and Delegation Activities 

Rising Professionals will attend the One Water Summit from September 12 – 15, 2022, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and participate in an Emerging Leaders Delegation. Airfare, registration, and up to three nights' stay in a hotel will be covered for selected participants. The cohort will have opportunities to work together, meet other emerging leader peers, help develop a peer-led dialogue on One Water leadership, and attend potential in-person meetings with their Changemakers and other leaders. 

Previous Cohorts

Meet the Fall 2020 Rising Professionals Cohort!

Background on One Water Change Leadership

In January 2020, the US Water Alliance released One Water Change Leadership: The Six Essential Capacities. The report identified key capacities—knowledge, skills, and attitudes—that enable the One Water transformation we see taking root in utilities and organizations across the nation. Together, these six capacities are an effective framework that can grow current and future One Water leaders.
The US Water Alliance believes anyone can be a One Water leader—and in fact, everyone must be a One Water leader in order to secure our nation’s water future. Change leadership is a practice that is grown and exercised. It is not a position on an organizational chart or a job title. To accelerate the change leadership needed to advance One Water, we are encouraging the development of these essential capacities in rising professionals working on our most pressing water challenges and driving change in their organization through an exciting mentorship opportunity.
Questions or feedback? We’d love to hear from you!
Please contact Morgan Brown, senior program manager, at | 202-601-9762