Cindy Lowry (she/her)
Executive Director

Cindy has been the executive director of ARA since 2007. She was promoted to the leadership position after serving two years as Watershed Leadership Coordinator. In that role, Cindy met and rallied with river protectors all across Alabama and developed a truly remarkable ability to see all the many moving pieces and gather them together to craft strategic plans for statewide advocacy.


She grew up in Oneonta, near the Locust Fork River. She followed in her family’s footsteps and went to Auburn University, where she earned her BS degree in Wildlife Science. She spent some time after graduation in Appalachia serving rural communities by helping to weatherize homes and leading volunteers. Cindy returned to Alabama where she earned her masters in public administration from UAB. Cindy’s thesis was about citizen participation in public policy and she continues to advocate for public participation in policy development and for transparency and justice from our decision-makers. 


She developed her foundation for all things non-profit while serving as the Development Assistant at the Alabama Wildlife Center before finding her place in the river movement. Now, with more than 20 years experience in the conservation non-profit sector, Cindy has received many awards and special recognition for her dedicated work, including: “Wonderful Outstanding Woman” from the Metro Birmingham branch of the NAACP,  one of the “Women Who Shape the State” from, Alumni Spirit of Sustainability Award from Auburn University and more. She has also been inducted in UAB’s MPA Hall of Fame. 


In her free time, she continues advocating and providing her leadership and expertise. She is the former President of the Board of Directors for Alabama Arise and was a long-time member of the Board of Directors for the Friends of the Locust Fork River. She also served as President of the League of Women Voters of Greater Birmingham’s Board of Directors and is an active member of Alabama Forward. She decompresses by watching Hallmark movies in winter, running on Birmingham’s awesome urban trails, and spending time outdoors with her husband.