Event affirms water is a women’s issue, and will recognize worldwide actions of women in water

Water For People has announced that the program of the Inaugural Water For People Gala to Recognize Women in Water – a charity event to be held in Washington, D.C. on Monday, June 13, at the National Museum of Women in the Arts – will feature women’s advocates and prominent water leaders as keynote speakers.

Intended to highlight contribution of women in water, this inaugural gala, hosted by the Washington, D.C. Water For People Committee, one of 56 committees helping Water For People improve quality of life in developing countries by supporting the development of locally-sustainable drinking water resources, sanitation facilities and hygiene education programs, will bring together humanitarians, utility managers, industry leaders and the nation’s policy-makers who are on the forefront of making a positive impact on global water issues to recognize the accomplishments of women in water from around the world – from the women and girls who carry water from remote sources in developing countries, to those who design and maintain sustainable systems, to those at the forefront of improving access to and the provision of clean drinking water and sanitation.

The compelling speakers listed will offer their personal experiences in working with women in developing countries to provide water to their local villages and communities:
  • Cynthia Hartley, chairperson, Washington, D.C. Water For People Committee. Hartley, Business Information Manager at Chemonics International, has been involved in international development for more than eight years. She has been volunteer with Water For People since 2003, first serving as the chairperson of the New Jersey Water For People Committee, then from 2005 to 2009 on Water For People's Board of Directors.  She currently is a member of the Federal Water Quality Association's Board of Directors.  Prior to joining Chemonics in 2009, Hartley was the Business Development Manager at MWH where she helped to build the company's portfolio of USAID and Millennium Challenge Corp. funded infrastructure projects in Africa, the Middle East and Eastern Europe.

  • Elisa Speranza, president, CH2M HILL -- Operations & Maintenance Business Group. Speranza is president of the board of the global non-profit, Water For People, which helps people in developing countries obtain and sustain clean water and sanitation solutions. She has served as an officer of the American Water Works Association (AWWA), and is a member of the Water Environment Federation (WEF) and National Association of Water Companies (NAWC). She’s past director of the New England Water Works Association, and in 2007, she received AWWA's Outstanding Service award.

  • Diana Maritza Betancourt, regional manager, Central America for Water For People. Betancourt has vast experience in the public sector, especially in the areas of Water and Sanitation and Environmental Management Plans and Policies. Betancourt has been working in the water supply and sanitation sector of Honduras since 1988, and with Water For People since 1998. She is co-founder of Beinsa Consultores, a consulting company that specializes in providing sanitation and environmental solutions to the public and private sector.
Gala attendees will enjoy live Andean and Bolivian music performed by the folk band, Itumiray, and sample cuisine typically served in Water For People’s service areas – Latin America, Africa and India.

Visit http://www.waterforpeopledc.org/womeninwatergala.html to purchase tickets, the proceeds of which benefit Water For People, and to learn more about the event sponsors.