Liz Williams Russell


Coastal Community Resilience Director

Liz Williams Russell manages the development and implementation of strategies to support communities and economies influenced by land loss and relative sea-level rise across coastal Louisiana. With a background and training in architectural design, landscape systems, and urban planning, Liz incorporates the complexities of the developed urban ecosystem to promote equitable opportunities in areas altered and affected by land change. Liz directs the activities of the Foundation for Louisiana’s Coastal Resilience Leverage Fund, managing coastal grant-making areas with community based advisors, allies and relevant partners while improving and increasing opportunities for regional collaboration. Liz continues to accomplish this work by encouraging communication and coordination among networks across parishes, coastal basins and statewide.

The Fund acknowledges and reinforces the work done by resident leaders and community based organizations, working to provide opportunities for those most impacted by environmental risks to be key decision makers in how to address them. Liz’s role underscores the foundation’s unique ability to provide both technical and grantmaking support in order to catalyze local skillsets and resources, to bolster a range of regional organizational strengths, and to integrate related and interconnected activities towards comprehensive statewide response to coastal change.

Risk mitigation and resilience-based programs require an awareness of and participation with these transitioning watersheds. In order to better provide opportunities, establish and cultivate partnerships, and advocate for informed and diverse public engagement, Liz supports fundraising initiatives and guides the common campaign and funding plan across Foundation for Louisiana’s Coastal Resiliency Leverage Fund.

Liz previously has worked as a Research Fellow and Affiliate with the Coastal Sustainability Studio at Louisiana State University. In this role she led and collaborated with cohorts of civil engineers, urban planners, coastal scientists, and landscape architects alongside economic, legal, and cultural advisors. Each project engaged a set of unique conditions within the coastal landscape and proposed developments through which residents and communities might advance and thrive in a future with evolving challenges.

In addition to early years of experience within traditional architecture practice, Liz has held a range of academic positions. She has taught within the School of Architecture at LSU, the Department of Architecture and Landscape within the University of Greenwich in London, London College of Contemporary Art, and Birmingham City University in the UK.

Contact Liz at [email protected]