Maureen O’Neil appointed as chair of WaterAid international board

O’Neil will replace current chair Rob Skinner on 1 August

WaterAid has appointed Maureen O’Neil as the chair of its international board.

O’Neil has more than 30 years’ experience in international development and healthcare, and will replace current chair Rob Skinner on 1 August.

She will leave her role as president of the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement to take up the post, having previously held senior positions at the International Development Research Centre, the North-South Institute, and the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development.

The WaterAid international board governs the global federation of WaterAid organisations, which is made up of the UK charity and its sister organisations in Australia, Canada, India, Japan, Sweden and the US.

Skinner is stepping down after four years in post, but will remain on the WaterAid international board for a further year as he continues to chair the board of WaterAid Australia.

“With Maureen’s wonderful leadership, I have no doubt WaterAid will go from strength to strength, ensuring we continue to play a critical role in responding effectively to the water, sanitation and hygiene issues faced by vulnerable communities,” said Skinner.

O’Neil has previously chaired several not-for-profit organisations, represented Canada on the UN Commission on the Status of Women, and was made an Officer of the Order of Canada for public service for her contributions to international development, gender equality and human rights in 2011.

"I have admired WaterAid’s efforts to bring clean water and decent toilets to millions of people for a long time, and I’m excited to continue this fantastic work to reach everyone, everywhere," O'Neil said. 

“With three billion people still having nowhere to wash their hands with soap and water at home as the world tries to prevent the spread of Covid-19, now more than ever, getting water, sanitation and hygiene to vulnerable communities is urgently needed."

Cecilia Chatterjee-Martinsen, interim executive director, WaterAid international said she was delighted to welcome O’Neil to the board.

“Her wealth of experience in leading international development organisations and her dedication to improving the lives of vulnerable people will be invaluable in our work," she said. 

Chatterjee-Martinsen added: “I am deeply grateful to Rob for his superb leadership, dedication, and passion over the years.”

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