Mr Chris Williams, a development practitioner with over twenty-five years of experience in international organizations in Africa, Asia and the Americas and with training in economics and sociology, will take up office as the next Executive Director of the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) in October 2012.
Professor Anna Tibaijuka, Chair of WSSCC, welcomed Mr Williams, saying “The issues of sanitation and hygiene that WSSCC deals with are crucial to improving health and development. We need strong global leadership and bold ambitions to expand the good work that is already being done. I am confident that Mr Williams will be able to deliver in both these areas.”
Speaking of his new challenge, Mr Williams said, “I am delighted to have been appointed to this post. For me, sanitation is a strategic entry point for social and economic development. Targeted investments channelled through national coalitions will enable large numbers of people to improve their living and working conditions. I am particularly interested in working with social movements, private companies, and government to identify ways to align efforts to achieve better sanitation and hygiene. I’m also keen to see how we can attract more support for the Global Sanitation Fund, so that it can leverage additional resources and finance innovative work in even more countries.”
Mr Williams is moving to WSSCC from UN-Habitat where he held senior posts in global fund management, advocacy, fund raising and policy research, and worked on programmes to upgrade water, sanitation and shelter in settlements. He collaborated with Professor Tibaijuka, who was the Executive Director of UN-Habitat during part of his time there. Prior to UN-Habitat, Mr Williams worked in Africa and the United States promoting community economic development. His work with homeless shelters, community organizations, financial intermediaries, and community lending institutions gave him exposure to private, civil and public sectors. He has studied economics, public policy and sociology, and holds a Ph.D. from the Graduate Faculty of the New School for Social Research.
WSSCC has a small Secretariat in Geneva, where Mr Williams will be based. Mr Williams succeeds Mr Jon Lane, who finished as WSSCC’s Executive Director on 3 August. Ms Amanda Marlin, WSSCC’s Programme Manager for Advocacy and Communications, will be providing interim leadership to WSSCC until Mr Williams takes up office.