Brian Chaffin

Executive Director
(406) 550-5503

Joined 2024

Brian has dedicated his career to the health and wellbeing of rivers and river communities worldwide. Prior to joining CFC, Brian was a professor of water policy in the W.A. Franke College of Forestry & Conservation at the University of Montana. His teaching and research projects focused heavily on the Clark Fork River watershed, guiding students through explorations of the challenges of managing water supplies in a changing climate and amid shifting social values. Prior to university service, Brian worked as a wilderness river guide, a river ranger for the U.S. Forest Service, and a research fellow at the U.S. EPA. He and his wife Jenni also founded a non-profit dedicated to supporting the health and strength of the professional outdoor guiding community. Brian holds a Ph.D. from Oregon State University where he studied water resources geography and gained skills in water conflict management and transformation. Since arriving in Montana, Brian has leveraged his training to support Clark Fork River communities in pursuit of win-win projects that both protect water quality and support basin livelihoods. Brian and Jenni live in Missoula with a pack of mischievous dogs and cats. When not advocating for the future of the Clark Fork watershed, they enjoy year-round outdoor activities from the desert southwest to the arctic tundra. It’s likely you’ll see Brian on a river or behind binoculars somewhere in the Five Valleys.