Cortney Koenig Worrall
Cortney Koenig Worrall is president and CEO of the Waterfront Alliance with national expertise in climate resilience policy, organizational development, campaign planning, community outreach, storm water planning, and public participation processes. In her tenure she has redefined Waterfront Alliance’s strategy, leading to national and state level victories in comprehensive flood risk disclosure laws, the securing of new national clients of Waterfront Alliance’s WEDG® (Waterfront Edge Design Guidelines) program, and influencing state and city policy for climate resilience including comprehensive strategies for Flushing Corona Meadows Park in Queens, New York, one of the largest and most at-risk parks in the region. She currently serves as a member of the New York City Bureau of Coastal Resilience Expert Advisory Group, the New York City Sustainability Advisory Board, and the Hudson Canyon National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council, and is a leadership advisor to The Climate Exchange at Governors Island.
Prior to the Waterfront Alliance, Cortney led the National Parks Conservation Association’s (NPCA) northeast office where she developed and led comprehensive mechanics and political strategy for the challenging and complex campaign for Stonewall National Monument, designated by President Obama in June 2016. She crafted NPCA’s northeast execution of the campaign to reduce the $12B maintenance backlog affecting national parks—one of the nationally executed campaigns that led to the passage of the Great American Outdoors Act in 2020.
Prior to NPCA, Cortney was second in leadership in the earliest start-up years of the Waterfront Alliance from 2009 to 2013. During that time, she established the fundamentals of start-up strategies including all operations, fundraising, human resources, and program direction. She developed waterfront policy for the 2010 New York City Comprehensive Waterfront Plan, executed the Waterfront Alliance’s strategy for five-borough ferry service for New York City, and launched the development of the award-winning WEDG® (Waterfront Edge Design Guidelines) for the New York-New Jersey Harbor. Early in her career, Cortney worked in engineering consulting, specializing in state and federal stormwater regulations for the trucking and railroad industries and municipalities in the state of Georgia.
Cortney earned her Bachelor of Arts in environmental policy from Mount Holyoke College and her Master of Public Administration in advanced management from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. Cortney enjoys open water swimming; camping; exploring topics in climate change, human evolution, earth science, and U.S. history; wine; sewing; and spending time outdoors with her partner, Gary Weiss, and two daughters, along with her nephews and cousins.