Our People

Michael A. Reuter

Director, Midwest Region

St. Louis, Missouri

Headshot - Michael Reuter

MIchael A Reuter Michael A. Reuter is the Director of The Nature Conservancy’s Midwest Division. © Dana LePoidevin


Global Freshwater, Mississippi River, Great Lakes, Regenerative Agriculture, Systems Thinking


Isabel Morales


Seven years ago my colleagues and I formed the Midwest Region of The Nature Conservancy to amplify our efforts to create a world where nature and people thrive together. We increased our focus and impact on protecting our globally significant freshwater systems, including the Great Lakes and Ohio-Mississippi River systems. We sponsored a growing North America Regenerative Agriculture Program. We initiated efforts to restore buffalo on Indigenous lands across North America, and we fostered partnerships to mitigate and adapt to a changing climate.

This work builds on my more than 30 years in conservation where I have been most inspired by bringing together diverse groups of people to identify creative yet practical solutions that benefit both people and nature. I grew up in the Midwest, playing and canoeing in the muddy Mississippi as well as working on farms, detasseling corn and weeding soybeans. I came away with a deep reverence for the natural world as well as a profound respect for the farmers, riverboat pilots and other people who work our lands and waters for the benefit of us all.

To enable bold thinking and deepen collaboration across the region, we have more than doubled overall fundraising and grew our financial support for critical global programs by threefold. We have also been deeply committed to developing a culture that is inclusive, diverse and equitable for all staff and trustees as well as partners.

I have worked on freshwater systems around the world and thrive on their complexity. I am always ready and inspired to paddle “my rivers” in the Ozarks or Northwoods of the Midwest. I love that throughout my career I have kept one foot in the Mississippi River, helping found America's Watershed Initiative (AWI) in 2009, and bringing together more than 400 organizations to build a shared vision and spur collective action for the people and wildlife who depend on this vital freshwater system.

On a personal level, I am a longtime advocate for my daughter with special needs and am deeply committed to the value that stems from increasing the diversity of voices in our work. In my free time, I enjoy hiking, biking and canoeing with family and friends. I recently hiked around the Mount Blanc region in Europe, through the Andes in South America, and participated in the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI), covering 534 miles in seven days.

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