Staff and Board

Susana Canseco

Board Member

Susana Canseco, a board member at Texas Water Trade, is an attorney and rancher living in San Antonio, Texas. 

Susana grew up in Del Rio, Texas and Acuña, Coahuila, Mexico, where she helps run her family’s multi-generation cattle ranch.  In her legal practice, Susana specializes in water-rights and real estate transactions and administrative practice.  She has represented land and water owners, as well as groundwater conservation districts, and regularly writes and speaks on water law.  Following law school, Susana clerked for the Honorable United States District Judge Lee Yeakel of the Western District of Texas.

Jay Kleberg

Board Member

Jay Kleberg, a board member at Texas Water Trade, is a conservationist and a documentary filmmaker.

Jay Kleberg is the co-founder of Explore Ranches, connecting travelers with more than 500,000 acres of historic ranches in the American West. He is also the producer of an upcoming natural history documentary, Deep in the Heart, and was part of a team that produced the feature-length documentary The River and the Wall. Jay previously served as Associate Director and Director of Conservation Initiatives for Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation. Prior to his work in Texas, he co-founded a Brazilian-based adventure travel outfitter and conservation organization. Jay is a graduate of Williams College, holds an MBA from the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas and lives in Austin with his wife and three daughters.

Jeff Leuschel

Board Member

Jeff Leuschel, a board member at Texas Water Trade, specializes in public finance law and is a partner at the law firm of McCall, Parkhurst & Horton L.L.P.

He currently represents numerous entities in the financing of public infrastructure projects, including the Texas Water Development Board, the Oklahoma Water Resources Board and the Cities of Austin, Dallas and Fort Worth. Among his many accomplishments is the development of the State Water Implementation Revenue Fund for Texas (SWIRFT) bond financing structure.

Missy Mandell

Board Member

Missy Mandell, a Texas Water Trade Board member, is a seasoned policy and business consultant and political strategist with more than 40 years in governmental relations, public policy development, alliance building, community networking, and issues management in both the public and private sectors. DRAFT

In 2008 she founded Mandell and Associates, a strategic consulting firm based in Austin, Texas. Mandell currently works with electric and water utilities, and with clients in energy and environmental industries to create successful business development strategies that range from policy development to legislative advocacy to communications and public outreach campaigns. Mandell graduated from The University of Texas at Austin. She has been involved in many community activities in Central Texas, including Friends of the Children, the American Heart Association, and the Center Child Protection. She and her husband have three children.

Donald Perkins 

Chair of the Board of Directors

Donald Perkins is Chair of the Board of Directors at Texas Water Trade.

He has served as the Gulf of Maine Research Institute’s President/CEO since 1995. Since 2013, he has served as the Executive Director of the Harte Charitable Foundation, developing their investments in the stewardship of and sustainable development of the Gulf of Mexico. The Harte Charitable Foundation provided catalytic financial support for the launch of Texas Water Trade.

Dean Robbins

Board Member

Dean Robbins, a Texas Water Trade Board Member, is the former General Manager of Texas Water Conservation Association (TWCA).

Previously, Robbins worked for the Texas Natural Resources Conservation Commission (now the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality) where he last held the position of Deputy for the Office of Water with broad responsibilities for many of the State’s water programs. Dean has a degree in civil engineering from the University of Texas. He continues to consult through his company Robbins Advocacy.

Carlos Rubinstein

Board Member

Carlos Rubinstein, a board member at Texas Water Trade, is a founding member of RSAH2O, a water advisory group, and a Senior Advisor to Poseidon Water.

He served as Chairman of the Texas Water Development Board from 2013-2015. He also served as Commissioner of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality from 2009-2013. Prior to that appointment, he served as Deputy Executive Director of TCEQ and as Rio Grande Watermaster.

Sarah Schlessinger

Treasurer of the Board of Directors

Sarah Schlessinger is Treasurer of the Board of Directors at Texas Water Trade.

She is the Executive Director of the Texas Water Foundation and worked previously on groundwater policy and regulation as Executive Director of the Texas Alliance of Groundwater Districts. She has extensive experience with international nonprofits working on water issues.

Stephen L. Tatum Jr.

Board Member

Stephen Tatum Jr, a board member at Texas Water Trade, is an attorney at Cantey Hanger.

He’s recently returned to his native Fort Worth after nine years in Austin working for and representing the State of Texas. He served as Deputy Commissioner to Commissioner Toby Baker at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, and as an Assistant Attorney General under Attorney General Greg Abbott. He advises clients on state and federal environmental, energy, government, and regulatory matters.