Acacia is Co-Founder of the U.S. Drowning Research Alliance, where she serves as Director of Research & Innovation and Co-Chair of Policy & Partnerships. Acacia is a public health researcher, consultant, and MPH candidate in California. She is a passionate water safety education/drowning prevention advocate and aquatics educator dedicated to policy change in the aquatics space across the Spectrum of Prevention.

Some of her research is centered on children age 5/under:
1) the percentage of children who drown during non-swimming times;
2) downstream effects of attaching flotation device use in pools;
3) the effects of swimming instruction/swimming skills on drowning prevention/resiliency.

On the latter front, Acacia’s research focuses on breathing — specifically nose exhalation and developmentally appropriate practice for different age groups/skill levels.

Acacia’s professional experience includes educational technology development and international relations/policymaking (U.S. Department of State) where she worked in both Washington, D.C. and abroad in Mainland SE Asia and South America. She is a former nationally ranked competitive swimmer and U.S. National Championships title holder (4 x 100m free relay, 1997). Acacia held numerous Pacific Swimming records and was selected for the National Select Camp at the U.S. Olympic Training Center three times. She is a three-time Senior National qualifier and High School All-American. Acacia is a former collegiate water polo player, former head coach of two youth swimming teams, as well as current USA Swimming Coach and USMS swimmer.

Acacia is a member of IDRA (International Drowning Research Alliance) and serves on the Institutional Review Board at SJSU. She is a Swimming Saves Lives instructor and a Swim Angel with Swim Across America. In her spare time, Acacia enjoys traveling and doing multiple water sports with her three intrepid water-loving children.