About Ann Hayden

Ann Hayden

Interim Vice President, Climate Resilient Water Systems


Areas of expertise:

Water policy, adaptive management and watershed resilience, strategic planning, stakeholder engagement, environmental markets, riparian and wetland habitat, river and delta systems.


Ann leads EDF’s California Water program as interim vice president, climate resilient water systems. The California Water program focuses on advancing incentive-based approaches that ensure adequate water for ecosystems, improve agriculture’s resilience to climate change and address the needs of disadvantaged communities. In particular, Ann leads EDF’s initiatives to help farmers transition to a future with less groundwater while taking into account the needs of disadvantaged communities and ecosystems. By fostering relationships with state and federal agencies, nonprofit partners, landowners, local stakeholders and the private sector, Ann has developed an inclusive approach to resource management that considers a wide array of perspectives and disciplines.


For more than 17 years, Ann has been building broad coalitions to advance pragmatic solutions that benefit both people and the environment. She is an expert in the development and implementation of environmental markets that help enhance healthy freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems. Throughout her career, Ann’s work has focused on finding the right balance between ecosystem protection and the prosperity of communities.

At EDF, Ann has been instrumental in advancing smart, incentive-based water management strategies in California. She also has played a major role in the establishment of the Central Valley Habitat Exchange, which was developed to incentivize farmers and ranchers to restore important habitat on their land while maintaining, or even increasing, agricultural productivity.


  • M.A., Environmental Science and Management, UC Santa Barbara
  • B.A., Marine Biology, UC Santa Cruz