Eleanor Allen is a professional engineer with experience in water and sanitation
Denver-based water and sanitation nonprofit Water For People (WFP) announced the appointment of Eleanor Allen as its new CEO. Allen comes to WFP from Arcadis, an international global design engineering and consultancy firm, where she ran its global water business of more than $450 million as the global director of water.
As a professional engineer, Allen has experience in water and sanitation, and has built a network in both the public and private sectors. She began her career in the Peace Corps as a water and sanitation volunteer in the Dominican Republic. Since then she has worked around the world leading multi-cultural teams, winning and delivering water infrastructure programs and projects, and managing regional and global water businesses.
“I am honored and thrilled to begin my journey to lead Water For People,” Allen said. “WFP is at a tipping point. We are on track for numerous districts to reach full coverage for everyone and we have a line of sight to take our Everyone Forever model national in several countries. We know our model works and we are primed for continued success as we scale for greater impact. I look forward to working with the WFP team and partners to expand and enhance the incredible work already being done.”
Prior to joining Arcadis, Allen spent 16 years at CH2M, another global engineering consultancy. Her experience with CH2M includes Latin America director of water, Rio 2016 Olympics Infrastructure Integrator Program Management bid, chief of staff to the CEO, program management of the Guanabara Bay Sewer Program (Rio de Janeiro), program manager for the Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority Capital Improvements Program and Non-Revenue Water Reduction Program, Kind County (Wash.) Brightwater Wastewater Treatment Plant, Seattle Cedar Water Treatment Plant, and numerous projects in California.
Allen’s appointment came after an extensive search by the WFP board.
“Eleanor’s passion for WFP’s mission, her international expertise in water and sanitation, leadership experience, and business acumen make her the perfect fit to take WFP to the next level as our new CEO,” said Mary Kay Kaufmann, interim CEO and vice chair. “We are confident that under Eleanor’s leadership, WFP can solidify its position as the premier organization in the sector.”
In her first year, Allen plans on building WFP’s network of donors and partners. She also will focus on developing a long-term strategic plan to scale Everyone Forever—WFP’s model for bringing water and sanitation access to every family, every school, and every clinic in the districts where WFP works and building local capacity to operate and maintain the systems forever.