Gary is the CEO and Co-founder of Water.org and WaterEquity, nonprofit organizations dedicated to empowering people in the developing world to gain access to safe water and sanitation. (Water.org is the resulting organization of the July 2009 merger between WaterPartners, co-founded by Gary in 1990, and H2O Africa, co-founded by actor Matt Damon). Gary developed Water.org’s WaterCredit Initiative, creating new financing options for poor populations to meet their water supply and sanitation needs. Gary also developed and now leads WaterEquity, the first-ever impact investment manager dedicated to ending the global water crisis in our lifetime, with an exclusive focus on raising and deploying capital to water and sanitation businesses that serve the poor throughout Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
Over the past 25 years, Gary’s entrepreneurial vision has driven innovations in the way water and sanitation projects are delivered and financed, innovations that now serve as a model in the sector.
Gary is a leading advisor in the water and sanitation space, counseling organizations such as the Skoll Foundation, Bank of America Foundation, PepsiCo Foundation, IKEA Foundation, and the Caterpillar Foundation on responses to the global water crisis. Gary is a founding board member of the Millennium Water Alliance and Water Advocates.
Gary was selected as a Skoll Foundation Social Entrepreneur in 2009 and a Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur in 2012. In 2011, he was named to the TIME 100 list of the world’s most influential people. In 2014 he was named to the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Water. In 2017 Gary received the Forbes 400 Lifetime Achievement Award for Social Entrepreneurship.
Gary’s educational credentials include three degrees in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Missouri University of Science & Technology.