Elizabeth McManus


Elizabeth McManusElizabeth is a talented analyst, and a designer, convener, and facilitator of collaborative processes, routinely helping groups find common ground and define meaningful, durable outcomes. She works mostly at the intersection of science and policy, where her ability to quickly get to the heart of complex problems and synthesize technical information helps groups gel.

Elizabeth grew up on Puget Sound and has worked extensively on Puget Sound and salmon restoration and recovery including leading the Puget Sound Pressure Assessment, which used a combination of expert elicitation and geo-spatial analysis to rank pressures on Puget Sound and lay out an associated management regime, and a collaborative review of the watershed-level governance structures developed for Puget Sound recovery with recommendations for improvements. Elizabeth currently coordinates and facilitates the Alliance for Healthy South Sound, an organization of county and tribal governments working on Puget Sound recovery at the local level, where she recently worked with a team of local scientists and technical experts to develop the South Sound Strategy.

Elizabeth is also a sought-after advisor on clean up and hazardous waste policy, creating logical and practical approaches to interrelated cleanup programs and requirements, and working to shift historically waste-focused programs towards toxics reduction and sustainable materials management approaches. Her most recent work in this area focused on facilitation of the Washington State Toxics Reduction Strategies workgroup, which made consensus recommendations on how to reduce toxics throughout materials and product lifecycles.

Elizabeth has worked successfully with diverse stakeholder groups on projects related to brownfields program creation and assessment, water allocation in the Columbia River, watershed characterization, alternative approaches to aquatic mitigation, invasive species policy and funding, forest health, allocation of salmon funding, salmon hatchery policy in the mid-Columbia, pharmaceutical waste management, and cleanup of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

Elizabeth joined Ross Strategic in 2000 after ten years working on state/federal relationships and hazardous waste cleanup policy for the Washington State Department of Ecology and the US EPA in Seattle and Washington, D.C.. Her experience working in state and federal governments and in both policy development and implementation gives her insight into the workings of government and the practical challenges that policy makers face.

Outside of work Elizabeth drives her nine-year-old son around for soccer games and bird-watching trips, grows a little bit more of the food they eat each year, and paints, and paints, and paints their 100-year-old 5,000 square foot dairy barn. She thinks a lot about rowing and occasionally still gets out on the water to row.