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Betsy Lopez-Wagner

AFFILIATION: Lopez-Wagner Strategies

TITLE: Principal

LOCATION: Michigan, California

LANGUAGE: English, Spanish

EXPERTISE AREA: Climate Change, Conservation, DEIJ, Environmental Education, Environmental Justice, Environmental Racism, Hispanic/Latine/a/o Communities, Ocean Justice, Outdoors/Recreation


Betsy López-Wagner launched López-Wagner Strategies in 2020 and serves as its principal. The award-winning multilingual team is stacked with visionaries, strategists and climate justice advocates. Betsy is co-chair of NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries Business Advisory Council, a national 15-member council, and serves on the board of directors for the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. She also serves on the ComNet SF Leadership Team, a network of communications professionals who believe in the power of smart communications to improve lives.

She has co-devised strategies alongside grassroots activists to ensure their power is seen, heard, and felt from regional to national and international levels by developing a culture of storytelling that elevates authentic personal narratives to emotionally connect with audiences and inspire action.

She’s led strategic, bilingual and equitable communications initiatives on climate action and ocean justice throughout her career, including at the Packard Foundation, LCV, and Earthjustice, as well as alongside her López-Wagner Strategies colleagues in a successful advocacy campaign to stop the California Coastal Commission’s permitting of a dirty desalination plant, as facilitators for the Ocean Justice Forum, supporting Azul and its first-of-its-kind U.S. Latinos and the Ocean commissioned polling, and in authoring an award-winning environmental justice curriculum for EarthEcho educators and in advancing equitable partnership and grantmaking strategies for various organizations.

She’s a trainer, storyteller and anti-racism practitioner with deep sci-comms grantmaking, language justice, partnerships and community organizing experience with an anti-oppression, racial justice lens. She’s partnered with Wonder Strategies and Goodwin Simon Strategic Research to support communications trainings on Heartwired to Love the Ocean, as well as Heartwired storytelling for reproductive rights in Latin America — an extension of her climate justice work — and has supported the Colorado Health Foundation, Fondation CHANEL and Namati alongside her Wonder colleagues. Her work is motivated by the community she was born and grew up in, a neighborhood outside of Chicago surrounded by industrial facilities.

During her tenure at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation she led Ocean Communications on the most pressing issues in global ocean conservation. She advised and introduced opportunities to move over $2.5 million dollars to new grantees representing organizations led by people of color and women of color, and focused on ocean-climate journalism, and was one of three co-founders of the Foundation’s first affinity and employee resource groups. She served as Communications Director for LCV’s Chispa and was the first Bilingual Press Secretary (Spanish) at Earthjustice, a nonprofit environmental law firm. Prior to her work in the nonprofit sector, Betsy worked for media outlets in Illinois, California and was an award-winning journalist and freelance writer. Nearly two decades ago, her work in Public Affairs began at the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie. She is a Columbia College Chicago graduate and has a leadership certificate in Diversity and Inclusion from Cornell University.

She embraces her neurodivergence as her superpower. She and her husband, a stay-at-home parent, gardener and environmental education advocate, are the parents of Liam the Lepidopterist, a youth moth and butterfly enthusiast and founder of Amigos for Monarchs. A transplant to West Michigan, she is growing a small sustainable farm with her family. She is also actively involved in grassroots organizing and community projects.


Contact Betsy Lopez-Wagner at

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