WaterAid Australia Announces Appointment of Tom Muller as CEO

3 min read
Tom Muller CEO
Image: Tariq Hawari

WaterAid Australia is delighted to announce the appointment of Tom Muller as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Effective immediately, Mr. Muller will assume the leadership position previously held by Rosie Wheen, bringing with him a wealth of experience and a deep commitment to WaterAid's mission.

Having served as Acting CEO of WaterAid Australia, Mr. Muller has demonstrated exemplary leadership, solidifying his position as the ideal candidate for the role.

With over eight years of dedicated service as the Director of Policy and Programs, he has played a pivotal role in shaping the organisation's strategic direction. Notably, Mr. Muller recently spearheaded the development of the completed regional five-year strategy, which outlines WaterAid Australia's ambitious goals through to 2028.

Karlene Maywald, Chair of the WaterAid Australia Board, expressed her excitement about Mr. Muller's appointment, stating:

"Tom has been appointed following a highly competitive external recruitment campaign. He has been an integral part of WaterAid for the past eight years, serving as a valuable member of the Senior Management Team. His deep knowledge and connection to WaterAid's programming in Cambodia, Papua New Guinea, and Timor-Leste make him exceptionally well-suited for this position."

Maywald continued, "During the selection process, the Board was impressed by Tom's comprehensive understanding of our business, his visionary approach, his ability to empower others, and his unwavering dedication to championing gender equality, diversity, and country program leadership. We are thrilled about the expertise and passion he will bring to our team and the remarkable impact he will have in communicating our vision and mission to our corporate and donor partners."

Throughout his tenure as the Director of Policy and Programs, Mr. Muller has actively led WaterAid's efforts to promote the human right to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), as well as advancing gender justice and climate resilience. Reflecting on his appointment, Mr. Muller shared:

"It is a true honour to be appointed as the CEO of this extraordinary organisation, whose mission I am deeply passionate about."

He continued, "The injustice of millions of people lacking access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene and the subsequent health and social consequences for women and children, drive me to create change and collaborate with partners to find solutions. My experiences working in Afghanistan early in my career, witnessing the impact of water scarcity and poor sanitation and hygiene on individuals and communities, sparked the passion that led me to join WaterAid over eight years ago.

My focus has been on achieving community-wide access to WASH services, developing climate-resilient solutions, and supporting teams to address the gender injustices that exacerbate these issues."

Mr. Muller emphasised his leadership at WaterAid would be about accelerating progress towards universal access to WASH, stating:

"With only seven years until the end of the SDGs, now more than ever we need to be collaborating with corporate and government partners, and local and regional civil society organisations to catalyse new momentum.

As Chief Executive of WaterAid, it is my intention to strive for new partnerships that let us make a bigger impact and ensure the most vulnerable and marginalised populations where we work are not left behind. To do that, we have to keep working through local systems, we have to keep partnering with women’s rights organisations, and we have to keep innovating to respond to the impacts of climate change".

Karlene Maywald concluded:

"Beyond WaterAid, the Board was impressed by the breadth of Tom's experience in development, policy and program management, and senior leadership roles both within Australia and internationally. He stood out as the exceptional candidate, and we are thrilled that he has accepted the position."

WaterAid Australia warmly welcomes Tom Muller as the new CEO and eagerly anticipates the positive impact his leadership will have in driving the organisation forward, empowering communities and transforming lives.