The Millennium Water Alliance Convenes and Influences Governments, the Private Sector, and Non-Governmental Organizations to Accelerate Global Progress in Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene

 

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Staff

Global Team

Keith Wright, Executive Director

Keith Wright joined the Millennium Water Alliance as Executive Director in 2018.  Mr. Wright brings a track record of leadership and innovation to the challenge of global WASH access.  Mr. Wright has more than 25 years of strategic and operational leadership of complex humanitarian and business enterprises in the U.S., Africa, Asia, and Latin America. His experience includes serving as president of Food for the Hungry, Inc, filling national and regional operational leadership roles in Africa, launching an innovative business to accelerate business solutions to poverty, and governance leadership in one of East Africa’s leading financial institutions. He earned a M.Sc. degree in economic development from Eastern University and a B.A. degree in political science from the University of Mary Washington.

John D. Sparks, Director of Advocacy and Communications

John D. Sparks joined MWA in 2010 as the organization’s first Director of Advocacy and Communications. Mr. Sparks has more than 25 years of experience in Washington and New York in legislative lobbying, coalition building, public policy, media relations, and nonprofit leadership. Prior to MWA, he was Director of Campaign Finance Reform at the public interest group Common Cause, and previously was Vice President for Government and Public Affairs at the American Symphony Orchestra League, the national association for orchestras.  Previous assignments include senior lobbying and coalition building positions at two public affairs firms in Washington DC where he worked on regulatory and legislative issues in transportation, energy, and human rights;  two national advocacy coalitions in the nonprofit sector; press secretary for two members of the U.S. House of Representatives; and professional positions in several Congressional campaigns and two Presidential campaigns. Some of them were even successful.

 

Jason Lopez, Deputy Director

Jason Lopez joined MWA in September 2022 as Deputy Director. Mr. Lopez has worked in water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) since 2009, implementing programs and working as a technical advisor in Latin America, Southeast Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa, in both development and emergency contexts. Previously, Mr. Lopez managed and oversaw the construction of medical facilities and served in the United States Peace Corps in Peru as a WASH volunteer. He received his master’s degree in Global Environmental Health from the George Washington University. Mr. Lopez then went on to work in Liberia with Oxfam developing innovative public-private partnerships for the operation and maintenance of public latrines and water systems. Later, working at Catholic Relief Services, Mr. Lopez led the establishment of a WASH response for refugees in Uganda and worked in Laos and Tanzania on WASH for Nutrition and Education. Most recently, Mr. Lopez worked as a technical advisor with Save the Children in WASH and infection prevention and control in Bangladesh, India, Uganda, Sierra Leone, Ghana and Guatemala and WASH for Nutrition in Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Mozambique. 

Violet Moenga, Global Finance Director

Violet Moenga was appointed Global Finance Director for MWA in January 2021, after nearly 15 years as Finance and Administration Manager for MWA Kenya.  She joined MWA in August 2005 as the finance manager for the first MWA USAID-funded program in Kenya. Previously, she worked for World Vision Kenya. She is a certified public accountant. Ms. Moenga received her undergraduate degree from Kenyatta University and her accounting degree from Strathmore University.

Allan E. Elvir, Senior Legal Consultant

Allan Elvir joined Millennium Water Alliance in April 2011. He has 15+ years of professional legal experience working for the public and private sectors in the U.S., Latin America, and Africa regions. Some of his previous professional experiences are working as a Clerk for the Supreme Court of Honduras, Corporate Associate for the Central American law firm Lexincorp, and Commercial Counselor for the Embassy of Honduras in Washington, D.C. Elvir holds a law degree (LLB) from the National University of Honduras, a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of San Pedro Sula, Honduras, and two Masters of Laws (LLM in International Legal Studies/Business and LLM in Law & Government) from American University – Washington College of Law. Elvir is admitted to practice law in Washington D.C., New York, and Honduras.

Ethiopia Team Members

Tamene Chaka

Tamene Chaka Geletu joined Millennium Water Alliance as Country Representative and Program Director for Ethiopia in November 2022. Mr. Chaka has tremendous knowledge and experience in WASH sector for more than 20 years. Before joining MWA, he was Country Coordinator for WASH Alliance International (2011-2022). He has also worked as National Coordinator of RiPPLE (2007-2011), hosted by Water Aid. He holds a Master’s in Science degree in Project Management from Hohai University.

Mussie Tezazu, MWA-Ethiopia CQI and MEL Manager

Mussie Tezazu joined MWA in March 2015 as a Continuous Quality Improvement and Monitoring & Evaluation Manager. He received his B.A. in Planning and Management and his M.A. in Social Work and Social Development from Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia. He has more than fifteen years of experience in strategic planning, executing WASH, and sustainable development program management. From 2009 -2015, Mr. Tezazu worked at the Catholic Relief Service in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where he served as the Program Officer for Monitoring and Evaluation, and Water, Sanitation, and Communication. In this position, he specialized in WASH communication, project design and management, proposal development, and community managed disaster risk reduction (CMDRR).

Yisehak Leta Guttema, MWA-Ethiopia Grants Manager

Yisehak Leta Guttema was born in Nekemte, in western Ethiopia. As a child from farming family, he worked in many areas of agriculture, including growing coffee and raising cattle and other livestock. Mr. Guttema earned a degree in biology at Kotebee collage of teachers education in July 1990, and taught in public Secondary School. He also earned a BA in accounting at Addis Ababa University in July 1999. He has worked at Ethiopian Assurance Corporation as junior auditor, and at CARE Ethiopia for nearly 11 years in different positions, such as Project Accountant, Area Finance Head, Senior Internal Auditor, Audit Officer, and Grant, Contract and Budget Specialist. He came to MWA-EP as the Grant, Contract and Budget Manager in July 2014.

Kalkidan Wubshet, Program Assistant

Kalkidan Wubshet joined MWA Ethiopia in June 2022 as a Program Assistant. She received her BA Degree in Management from Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia. Ms. Wubshet has three years of experience in customer service in operations management. From 2019 – 2021, she worked at Easy Technologies plc. as project assistant and as a customer service supervisor. She later joined G2G IT Solutions Tech company in 2021 as operations manager.

Kenya Team Members

Styvers Kathuni, Kenya Program Director and Country Representative

Styvers Kathuni joined the Millennium Water Alliance as Program Director and Country Representative for Kenya in January 2022. Styvers has worked for over 11 years in design and management of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) activities in Africa. Prior to joining MWA, he worked at SweetSense Inc. as the Regional Director for Africa. Styvers has also worked for Caritas Embu, Save the Children and Catholic Relief Services – in Kenya and South Sudan, where he held various positions – Technical Supervisor, WASH Engineer, Project/Program Manager and Technical Advisor. He was also seconded to the Ministry of Roads and later the Ministry of Water and Irrigation in Kenya to support European Commission and IFAD funded projects. Styvers earned his Masters in Water Supply and Sanitation at Kenyatta University and BSc in Water and Environmental Engineering from Egerton University. 

Ismail Abdi Abdille, Rangeland & Integrated Water Resource Management Intervention Manager and Specialist

Dr. Ismail Abdi Abdille joined MWA in February 2022, with more than 16 years of experience in rangelands, livestock and livelihoods/food security in development and humanitarian contexts in the region. He has expertise in dry lands rangeland management, livestock disease surveillance, livestock production systems, market system resilience and development, livestock marketing and value chain development, economic growth programs, Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and nutrition. Dr Abdille has worked in the Horn of Africa in various capacities with VSFSuisse, Mercy Corps, ICRC, IRC, MWA and RTI International. He has worked in programs funded by USAID, UN, and the European Union. Most recently, he has been working on a technical advisory role for the USAID-funded Growth Enterprises Employment and Livelihoods (GEEL) Project in Somalia. He holds a Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery from The University of Nairobi and is currently undertaking a masters in Veterinary Epidemiology and Economics from The University of Nairobi.  

Bonface Ombima, Finance and Administration Manager

Bonface O. Ombima joined the Millennium Water Alliance as the Finance and Administration Manager in January 2022, bringing more than 11 years of experience in audit, financial and grants management in Kenya and South Sudan. Prior to joining MWA, he worked for ACROSS-South Sudan as the Finance Specialist based in Juba. Mr. Ombima has also worked for Crowe Erastus as an Audit Associate, and is a Certified Public Accountant registered with ICPAK. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Nairobi and master’s in business administration (Finance and Project Management) from Africa Nazarene University, Kenya.

Emmanuel Olela, Monitoring & Evaluation Specialist

Emmanuel Olela has more than  seven years of experience in Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning (MEAL) for donor-funded projects in WASH, Agriculture, Nutrition, Rangelands, Climate Change and Health sectors. Prior to joining MWA, Mr. Olela worked for Catholic Relief Services-Kenya as a Senior MEAL Officer.  He is not new to MWA , as he worked as the MEAL officer for Kenya RAPID in Isiolo County for five years. Prior to that, he worked for other organizations, including JHPIEGO, CAP YEI, and Plan International. He has expertise in development and management of M&E systems, mobile phone based data collection, data analysis using various statistical software, and has a passion for telling the story behind the programs. He holds a Bachelors in Sociology with Information Technology from Maseno University and a Masters in Project Planning and Management from Nairobi University.

June Samo, Water Intervention Manager & Markets Systems Specialist

June Samo joined MWA in April 2022 as the Water Intervention Manager and Market Systems Development Specialist. June has a background in water engineering and policy and has over six years’ experience in enhancing access to water and sanitation in rural and urban settings. Prior to joining MWA, she worked as a development consultant at EED Advisory where she engaged in various assignments for the World Bank, Oxfam, GIZ, UNICEF, the Kenya Water and Sanitation Civil Society Network and the African Development Bank (AfDB) among others. Before joining EED, Ms. Samo worked at Kenya Markets Trust (KMT) – a development organization specializing in market system development approaches. At KMT she worked on programs focused on improving the performance of selected urban water utilities in Kenya through the reduction of non-revenue water and improving water service delivery in rural areas. Ms. Samo holds a masters in Water Science, Policy, and Management from Oxford University (UK) and a BSc. in Soil, Water and Environmental Engineering from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (Kenya).

Vera Maswage, Procurement and Information Technology Officer

Vera Maswage joined MWA in August 2022 as the Procurement and Information Technology Officer. She has vast experience in end-to-end supply chain and IT, including strategic sourcing, contract management, logistics and inventory management, and has worked for donor-funded projects for more than four years.

Prior to joining MWA, Ms. Maswage worked for Concern Worldwide as the Logistics and Administration Officer. Previously she was at World Vision – Kenya as the Grants Supply Chain Officer supporting implementation of WASH grants. She is an accredited member of The Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply, and holds a BSc. in Procurement and Contract Management from the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.