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Gary White

CEO and Co-Founder, Water.org

Skoll Awardee

Biography

Gary White is chief executive officer and co-founder of Water.org, a nonprofit organization 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 International, co-founded by White in 1990, and H2O Africa, co-founded by actor Matt Damon). Gary’s entrepreneurial vision has driven innovations in the way water and sanitation projects are delivered and financed, and these innovations now serve as a model in the sector. At this point in time Water.org has served over 3 million people.

Since 1994, White has led Water.org through more than twenty years of sustained growth, while positioning the organization as an innovative leader in the global water supply and sanitation space. He developed the organization’s WaterCredit Initiative, creating new financing options for poor populations to meet their water supply and sanitation needs.

In 2010, Gary was named the Kansas City Global Citizen of the Year by the mayor of Kansas City, MO. In 2011 he was named to the TIME 100 list of the world’s most influential people. Also in 2011 he was named one of 28 Alumni of Distinction among a pool of more than 50,000 living graduates of Missouri University of Science and Technology. Gary received the World Social Impact Award from the World Policy Institute as well as being named one of the Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneurs of 2012. In addition to being elected as nominee for the 2015 Global Citizen Award, Gary received the Henry W. Bloch School of Management 2015 Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Gary is currently a leading member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Water.

White’s educational credentials include three degrees in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of NC-Chapel Hill and the University of Missouri-Rolla (now Missouri University of Science & Technology).