Leslie Reed is now a partner at Brightwater Strategies Group.
Brightwater Strategies Group is the consulting shop launched by owner Jennifer Valenstein last year. The firm also includes her husband, former Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary Noah Valenstein, who serves as managing partner.
Reed bolsters Brightwater’s expertise in agricultural and environmental policy. She comes to the firm from DEP, where as Chief of Staff she served as second-in-command under Noah Valenstein during his time leading the department.
At DEP, Reed oversaw the agency’s administrative, financial and legislative activities. She also managed the department’s information technology, legislative affairs and intergovernmental affairs divisions.
Reed also has served as Florida’s representative on the RESTORE Council, which manages funds from the multistate settlement following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. She was originally appointed to the council by former Gov. Rick Scott and was reappointed by Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Before DEP, Reed held positions at the Suwannee River Water Management District and the Florida Public Service Commission.
At SRWMD, she managed the agency’s strategic planning initiative and Surface Water Improvement and Management Plan. At the PSC, she assisted with need determinations for investor-owned electric companies, carrier-to-carrier telecom issues, and other matters.
Reed earned a law degree from Florida State University and a bachelor’s degree in environmental policy and planning from Virginia Tech.
Brightwater Strategies Group was founded after Noah Valenstein resigned as DEP Secretary in June. He had held the position since 2017, when he was appointed by then-Gov. Scott.
In the months since he left DEP, Valenstein has become a senior adviser to the American Flood Coalition been named to several environmental boards, including The Nature Conservancy’s Florida board, the Bonefish and Tarpon Trust, and the board of Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. He was also appointed by the Governor to the new Biscayne Bay Commission, which he now Chairs, and the Florida Communities Trust.