Barbara Frost on the rise and rise of WaterAid | Source: Third Sector, April 22 2016 |
The chief executive has led the charity for a decade of almost uninterrupted success and has escaped the fire directed at others.
In 1972 Barbara Frost left Keele University after two years studying psychology and social sciences, and went on what was intended to be a gap year. She took the so-called magic bus to Istanbul, continued by public transport on the hippy trail to India and Nepal, and ended up living in a commune in Australia. She didn’t come back to England for 24 years.
During that time she made rapid progress in public service jobs, developed homecare services in New South Wales and worked for Oxfam, Save the Children and ActionAid in Mozambique and Malawi. And when she finally returned to England in the mid-1990s it was to head the charity Action on Development and Disability – based, by coincidence, where she grew up, near Frome in Somerset.
She’s now been chief executive for a decade of one of the UK’s most successful and highly regarded charities, which works to provide water, sanitation and hygiene in 31 developing countries. Since 2010 she has also led WaterAid International, the federation set up to coordinate the UK charity’s relations with WaterAids that have sprung up in the US, Canada, Australia, Sweden and India.
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