Eileen O’Neill Becomes WEF’s New Executive Director

February 3, 2014

Featured, WEF Resources & Efforts

Water Environment Federation (Alexandria, Va.) introduces Eileen O'Neill as executive director.

Water Environment Federation (Alexandria, Va.) introduces Eileen O'Neill as executive director.

With more than 20 years of experience at the Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.), Eileen O’Neill formally steps into the role of WEF executive director. O’Neill has been serving as interim executive director since July 2013.

O’Neill has been instrumental in creating national and international thought-leadership programming at the annual WEF Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC®). With a diverse knowledge of the water sector based on both domestic and international experience, she has a proven record for delivering successful technical programming, increasing revenue, and building partnerships, said Sandra Ralston, 2013–2014 WEF president.

“Dr. O’Neill has consistently led WEF operations to be more strategic and data-driven, which aligns WEF with industry trends and the changing needs of utilities and global professionals. She has worked for an enhanced and more forward-looking volunteer experience,” Ralston said. “Her sincere appreciation of and partnership with the volunteer leaders is inspiring.”

In 2011, O’Neill became WEF’s deputy executive director. Before this she served as chief technical officer with responsibility and oversight of WEF’s technical, international, and communications programs. Before joining WEF, O’Neill worked as an academic and environmental consultant in the United States and Europe. She has a bachelor’s degree in soil science from Newcastle University (Newcastle Upon Tyne, England) and doctorate in soil science from the University of Aberdeen (Scotland). She also conducted a postdoctoral traineeship in environmental toxicology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

“I am honored by this appointment to a leadership role in such a great organization,” O’Neill said. “It is especially exciting to serve the water profession and sector in such a time of change and opportunity. The vital role that water services play in communities is becoming increasingly clear and the need for innovative thinking and practices more widely recognized. I have no doubt that the collective talents of our members and volunteer leaders working with WEF’s dedicated staff will allow WEF to play a key role in ensuring that the promise of these new approaches is realized.”

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