Water For People Announces New Co-CEOs
DENVER, March 14, 2022 — Water For People, a global nonprofit working to help develop lasting quality water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services in Latin America, Asia, and Africa, is pleased to welcome Samson Hailu Bekele and Mark Duey as Co-CEOs effective on March 28, 2022.
Water For People’s Board of Directors initiated a global search when Eleanor Allen announced she was stepping down as CEO in October 2021. "We were surprised and thrilled to receive the Co-CEO application from Samson and Mark. They recognized each other’s complementary strengths and felt strongly about the importance of working together to achieve the 2030 vision of Water For People. Both long-term Water For People leaders, together they bring the perfect mix of vision, credibility, and global experience to the role. This is essential as we look towards delivering our ambitious Destination 2030 strategy and positively impacting more than 200 million people with sustainable services" said Board Search Committee Chair, Bill Roe.
"I feel honored and excited to share this very important responsibility with Mark! We are both absolutely focused on continuing to enhance the impact of Water For People and our highly valued partners. I look forward to working closely with our entire talented team of global colleagues to achieve our ambitious Destination 2030 impact and revenue targets," said Samson Bekele.
"I could not be more excited about the opportunity to co-lead the organization with Samson! I also feel grateful for this show of support from our Board of Directors, which is evidence of their strong belief in the tremendous positive impact we are creating in this world," shared Mark Duey
This collaborative leadership structure reflects the partnerships and collaboration Water For People aims to further accelerate in order to reach 200 million people with WASH services by 2030.
Samson Hailu Bekele
Samson joined Water For People as the Africa Regional Director in 2017. He has deep experience in strategic planning, managing finances and programs, strengthening fundraising, managing grant processes, and mentoring people. He has visited or worked in 25 countries – 18 in Africa. Samson is based in London and savors time with his two children and playing competitive table tennis. He holds an MBA from Strathclyde Business School, a postgraduate diploma in business analysis from Lancaster University, and a BA in Accounting from Addis Ababa University.
Mark joined Water For People in 2008 as coordinator of a school WASH program across Central America. He later became Latin America Regional Director, Chief Programs Officer, and is currently Water For People’s Chief Operating Officer. Mark was a consulting engineer and then a Peace Corps Volunteer in Honduras before joining Water For People. He holds an MS in Economics, Finance, and Management from the Barcelona Graduate School of Economics and his BS is in Civil Engineering from the University of Nebraska. Mark is based in Denver and enjoys strong family ties to Central America where his wife and two of his three children were born.
Eleanor Allen will join the Water For People board once she is no longer an employee of Water For People. The Board of Directors is grateful to her almost seven years as CEO and her continued commitment to Water For People.
About Water For People:
Founded in 1991 in Denver, Colorado, Water For People is a global nonprofit working across nine countries in Latin America, Asia, and Africa to achieve lasting access to clean water and sanitation services. Water For People brings together communities, local entrepreneurs, and governments to build, operate, and maintain their own systems so that every family, health clinic, and school has access to safe water and sanitation that will last for generations to come. This impact model is called Everyone Forever. Learn more at www.waterforpeople.org.