Welcome our new Policy Analyst

Bayou City Waterkeeper
August 21, 2023

Join us in welcoming our new staff member, Usman Mahmood, BCWK’s Policy Analyst.

What is the last waterbody that you visited?

I visited Lake Travis in Austin. Despite the triple-digit weather, the water was cold as ever! Also, I’m pretty sure I saw a Texas Toe-Biter.

Tell us about your background.

I grew up in a Muslim Pakistani family and have lived in Texas for 15 years. Although born in the U.S., I spent some years in Pakistan as a child before returning to Texas. Those formative years helped shape my cultural and political perspectives.
I studied Government at UT Austin and was involved with non-partisan organizations that were all about getting students engaged in voting. Austin was a unique place to explore politics — I got my hands on grassroots campaigns and teamed up with advocacy groups to back up local initiatives and leaders. On campus, I was involved in independent research and policy programs, which helped me connect the dots between policy and real action on the ground. Now, I’m pursuing a Master’s degree in Public Administration to dive deeper into local government and public management. 
What part of your job do you think you will nerd out about? 

I’m looking forward to engaging with community members, collaborating with partners on policy action, executing advocacy projects, and researching environmental affairs in Houston. 

How do you think your work as Policy Analyst will impact our community?

I hope to help craft smarter policies that tangibly improve water quality, flood resilience, and environmental health. Through extensive research, analysis, and community engagement, I aim to support policies and programs that protect our waterways while uplifting community voices.

Why is Houston special? 

Despite the traffic, Houston’s cultural diversity gives opportunities for creative, collaborative solutions. As a coastal industrial city, Houston can shift gears and become a model of climate resilience.