Former Los Angeles Councilmember Ed Reyes Named Next Executive Director of River LA


Reyes Chaired the Los Angeles River Ad Hoc Committee; Secured More than $3 Million Bringing Renewed Focus to the Once-Ignored River

LOS ANGELES, CA (November 26, 2019) - The River LA Board of Directors voted this week to name Ed Reyes the next Executive Director of River LA. As a former Los Angeles Councilmember and long-standing advocate for the revitalization of the LA River, Reyes will bring nearly 20 years of momentum knitting together community members, government, and other non-profits in support of the Los Angeles River. Reyes joins River LA following a national search, which surfaced  dozens of qualified candidates, to find an executive who could accelerate the ongoing plans to transform the Los Angeles River and take River LA to new heights.

“The Los Angeles River has always been a passion of mine and one that I had the opportunity to work on directly while serving on the LA City Council” incoming Executive Director of River LA Ed Reyes stated. “Now I have the chance to bring that passion together with my targeted experience revitalizing portions of the River and apply it to the 51-mile approach River LA has been focused on. It’s an exciting mission to be a part of and one I’m honored to have been chosen to lead.”

“We are thrilled to see someone of Ed’s stature and work history take on the role of Executive Director,” Board Chair Harry Chandler stated. “It’s an honor to have him on our team as we continue the great momentum to date in reimagining the LA River. We are thankful to our interim Executive Director Lou Pieh for his unwavering support and work over the past six months, and excited for the one of the key founders of the revitalization of the river to be leading our team.”

Ed Reyes brings two decades of experience working in the public sector and improving the quality of life for all Angelenos. During his tenure on City Council, Reyes chaired the Council’s Planning and Land Use Management committee where he expanded Los Angeles’ affordable housing stock. Further, he led efforts to strengthen the city's rent control ordinance making living more affordable for everyone. Reyes also took strides to improve public transit for the city, spearheading efforts as chair of the Metro Gold Line Authority to ensure that the $750 million Gold Line project be completed on time and on budget.

Most notably, as chair of the Los Angeles River Ad Hoc Committee, Reyes brought a renewed focus to the once-ignored Los Angeles River and secured more than $3 million to create a neighborhood-driven plan that included enhancing water quality, environmental protection, increasing open space and improving flood control.

“Ed is an experienced, effective champion for the L.A. River who understand its limitless potential and the steps necessary to restore its natural beauty,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “I’ve had the privilege of working with him for the better part of 20 years, and I know he will bring the right ideas and strategies to the work of revitalizing this remarkable resource.” 

“The 51 miles of the Los Angeles River is a local treasure, one with tremendous potential to breathe new life into our communities. As we continue to work with our partners to build a stronger, healthier, more accessible and equitable future for residents along the LA River, it was crucial that River LA find the best person to serve as its Executive Director,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis. “Ed Reyes is an ideal choice to take the community-designed vision of the LA River and turn it into reality for the benefit of local residents and visitors for generations to come. I look forward to working with him to build a better LA River for our communities.”

“I share Ed Reyes’ passion for making the LA River a source of regional pride,” said Assemblymember Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood). “We’ve already been working in my district on ways to transform the use of our section of the river. I look forward to working with Ed to unite the groups working to build this new vision for the entire river.”

Ed Reyes will commence work as Executive Director in December, replacing Angela Barranco who was appointed as undersecretary of the California Natural Resources Agency. Reyes’ official introduction as Executive Director will come at River LA’s Urban Garden Party, a one-of-a-kind fundraiser and networking event with engaged civic leaders, community members, influencers and changemakers, on Sunday, December 8, 2019.


River LA is a nonprofit committed to its mission to integrate design and infrastructure to bring people, water and nature together along all 51 miles of the Los Angeles River. River LA is working to build a healthier, more vibrant and resilient Los Angeles County for generations to come. To learn more about River LA’s work along all 51 miles please visit our Facebook, Twitter, and website.

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