Chief Executive Officer
The Everglades Foundation
Eric Eikenberg is a seasoned political strategist and environmental policy expert who leads one of the country’s most prestigious and respected environmental non-profits – The Everglades Foundation, which has an annual operating budget of more than $10 million.
As CEO, Eikenberg oversees a team of nationally recognized scientists, educators, lobbyists, and
communications and development professionals. These esteemed colleagues work together to achieve a decades-long campaign to restore America’s Everglades – roughly three million acres of endangered habitat that is vital to Florida’s economic and environmental viability.
Appointed CEO by the Foundation’s Board of Directors in 2012, Eikenberg has extensive policy and political experience in Tallahassee and Washington, D.C. He previously served as Chief of Staff to former Gov. Charlie Crist and former U.S. Rep. E. Clay Shaw, Jr., the latter who authored the landmark $8.4 billion Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP).
A sought-after public speaker on the importance of preserving one of America’s most unique natural habitats, Eikenberg is a regular OpEd columnist. He also is a widely quoted source for national and local media outlets, including National Public Radio, CNN, The Associated Press, U.S. News & World Report, Politico, The Miami Herald, and many others.
In 2020, Eikenberg was named one of Florida’s Most Influential People in Florida Politics by Influence Magazine for his advocacy work. In 2020 and 2019, he was named one of Florida’s 500 most influential business leaders by Florida Trend, and he was recognized by South Florida Business & Wealth magazine with a 2019 APOGEE Award for his leadership in the non-profit sector. Furthermore, he was selected to the 2019 panel of 50 Influential Floridians as part of an initiative led by The Miami Herald, El Nuevo Herald, and The Bradenton Herald to address pressing statewide issues like the environment, climate change, healthcare, and transportation.
On Earth Day 2019, Eikenberg was selected as Chair of the Ocean to Everglades campaign by the Miami Super Bowl Host Committee for Super Bowl LIV to lead a diverse group of partners focused on educating the public on the issues facing the oceans and America’s Everglades.
Eikenberg currently serves as Chairman of the Zoo Miami Foundation Board of Directors. Following the 2018 election cycle, Eikenberg served on Gov. Ron DeSantis’ Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture Transition Team, where he participated in a process that led to Gov. DeSantis outlining a bold, comprehensive environmental agenda.
Eikenberg has been a long-time champion for expediting Everglades restoration, with a knack for innovation and engaging partners in the corporate, philanthropic, and political arenas. This included, most recently, leading an intense public awareness campaign that ultimately led to the passage of critical state and federal legislation authorizing construction of a $1.7 billion reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee – a critical component of Everglades restoration.
During Eikenberg’s tenure as CEO, The Everglades Foundation has provided scientific, technical, and policy support to numerous decision-makers in executing the aforementioned CERP. Eikenberg’s team helped bring widespread attention to the perennial toxic algae crisis in Florida and across the globe, and they have been a leading voice on the need to incentivize technological solutions to these problems that threaten our waterways, our livelihood, and our health. With Eikenberg at the helm, The Everglades Foundation also launched and expanded a K-12 Everglades Literacy Program that now reaches tens of thousands of students across Florida.
A graduate of The American University, Eikenberg, his wife Tonya and four children reside in Palmetto Bay, Florida.