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Ned Breslin  

CEO, Water For People

Edward D. (Ned) Breslin joined Water For People as its Director of International Programs in January 2006, and was appointed as Chief Executive Officer in 2009.  In 2011, Breslin received the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship for his commitment and proven work with Water For People.

Ned was first introduced to the challenges of water supply when living in the Chalbi Desert of northern Kenya in 1987, linked to a Lutheran World Relief program through his university – St. Lawrence.  He subsequently worked for a range of local and international water and sanitation sector NGOs in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique, including positions at the Mvula Trust and as Country Representative for WaterAid in Mozambique, before joining Water For People.

Ned strongly believes that conventional approaches to water supply and sanitation are not scalable or sustainable – helping some but not others and often failing shortly after implementation.  Finding this unacceptable, he has led innovative programmatic efforts that demand greater accountability of water and sanitation programs so that lives for Everyone are truly transformed, not temporarily but Forever, and without the continued dependence upon charitable organizations.  The “Rising Tide” blog will focus on sustainability issues that attempt to move away from the PR that dominates the sector by asking hard questions on long-term impact.

The “Rising Tide” name comes from Ned’s passion for the University of Alabama’s Crimson Tide football team – he had little choice as a child as his house was full of ‘Bama gear, his first dog was named Bear, and the Crimson Tide is a critical link between him and his extended family.

Ned’s insights and experiences were fundamentally enriched in partnership with his wife Lindsey, whose dedication to HIV/Aids, and women and children in difficult situations, has inspired him for over 2 decades.  Lindsey and Ned are the proud parents of two beautiful girls born and raised in Africa whose outlook on life and the world is somewhat different and compelling.


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