National Security Language Initiative for Youth

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Charlotte Cherry

National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y), Morocco, 2011-2012

Charlotte Cherry is currently a master’s student in water resources engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She has an interdisciplinary background with a bachelor’s degree in science, technology, and international affairs from Georgetown University.


Charlotte worked for the Environmental Defense Fund in California where she was involved in numerous projects focused on sustainable groundwater management in the Central Valley. Prior to returning to graduate school, she spent three years working for ICF, an environmental consulting firm. As a part of the Climate Adaptation and Resilience team, she worked primarily with federal agencies and state and local governments to conduct climate risk assessments and develop adaptation plans.


Her current research focuses on water security in Latin America. She is working with stakeholders in Guanajuato, Mexico, to assess opportunities for improving agricultural water use. In particular, she focuses on economic and hydrological modeling to support decision-makers who are evaluating opportunities to invest in the water system. She plans to continue working in climate adaptation, water management, and the agriculture space going forward.


Charlotte is an alumna of the National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y), participating in the program during a gap year between high school and college. She lived in Marrakesh, Morocco, studying Arabic. During that time, she took the opportunity to explore her budding passion for water resource management issues. Traveling the country, she saw ample examples of water-stressed environments and she volunteered at two international conferences on environmental and water management issues., hosted in Marrakesh.