WSUP Chief Executive Neil Jeffery to step down

Themes: WSUP governance

After eight years leading Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP), Neil Jeffery has announced his intention to step down from the role of Chief Executive.

Neil has been a driving force behind the organisation’s growth in recent years, overseeing the organisation as it has increased the numbers of under-served people in cities that it has supported. The organisation recently reached the milestone of having improved the lives of 30 million low-income urban residents by establishing or enhancing water, sanitation or hygiene services, 26 million of which were achieved in the last seven years.

Lord Boateng, chair of WSUP, said: “I’d like to thank Neil for his incredible contribution to the organisation. Over the last eight years WSUP has cemented its position as one of the global leaders in helping cities improve access to water and sanitation for the poorest, and that is in no small part due to Neil’s exceptional leadership.”

“The Board is now beginning its search for a new CEO. WSUP’s work remains more vital than ever, with the global pandemic showing the importance of water, sanitation and hygiene as a first line of defence against health crises and climate change wreaking havoc on safe water systems.”

Neil said: “It has been an immense honour and privilege to lead the business since 2014, and I am very proud of the impact achieved and the improvement to people’s lives that together we have been able to deliver. The growth that we have seen over the past few years is testament to the quality of our work with national partners, the dedication of our global staff and the effectiveness of our model.”

“I now feel that the time is now right for me to hand over the reins and make way for someone new who will continue to drive forward progress in our 2020-2025 Business Plan and beyond. I am confident that I will be handing on a stable and highly impactful social enterprise with extremely talented and well supported staff.”

Particular highlights of initiatives completed under Neil’s leadership include: developing the first sanitation waste collection service in Bangladesh which reaches the poorest in a financially viable manner; supporting Kenya’s national regulator to introduce reporting requirements around pro-poor services; and introducing a comprehensive change process for utilities, known as the Utility Strengthening Framework.

Neil will remain as Chief Executive until 30 June 2022. The WSUP Board has appointed Saxton Bampfylde to lead the search for WSUP’s new CEO, and more details about the application process are available on its website.