Robert “Bob” Sinkler serves as the director of water infrastructure for The Nature Conservancy’s North America Water Program. In this position, he and his team focus on shifting national investment in water infrastructure to a basin-scale systems approach that incorporates natural solutions and sustainable design—particularly with the nation’s large river systems, watersheds, wetlands and lakes.
Much of Bob’s work helps ensure investments and management plans for water resources are made at scale, and based on water resource region, or basin-wide, perspectives in order to optimize the wide range of benefits to both people and nature that this nationally significant natural water infrastructure provides.
Prior to joining the Conservancy, Bob completed a highly successful 30-year career with the U.S. Army, and most recently served as the strategic initiatives chief for the Commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. In this role, he assisted in setting the strategic direction for the Corps, the world’s largest public engineering, design and construction management agency. He also previously served as the chief of the Army’s environmental programs in the Pentagon.
Bob is uniquely qualified for working to improve investments in water and river infrastructure. From 2009 to 2011, he commanded the Corps’ Hurricane Protection Office, where he oversaw the completion of the construction of a hurricane storm surge system for the areas of greater New Orleans hardest hit by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005. He also served as commander of the Corps’ Rock Island District, where he led the planning, operations, maintenance and construction to support over $30 billion of infrastructure that supports or benefits flood protection, navigation, hydropower generation, recreation and wildlife habitat in parts of five Midwestern states.
Bob joined the Army as a Corps of Engineers officer in 1983, and during his career he commanded the 5th Combat Engineer Battalion in Iraq supporting the Army’s 4th Infantry Division.
In addition to higher education degrees in strategic studies and military art and science obtained during his military career, Bob holds a masters in administration from Central Michigan University, a masters in geographic information systems, or GIS, from Kansas State University, and a bachelors degree in geology from Eastern Illinois University.
Bob and his wife of more than 30 years live in the Quad Cities on the Mississippi River. He spends his spare time on the golf course, fishing, enjoying the great outdoors, and supporting our veterans and their families.