Around the world, our network of dedicated staff and local partners make our work happen.

In the UK, that includes our President, Vice President, Board of Trustees and Chief Executive.

Together, every decision they make ensures our work is efficient, effective and sustainable, and takes us closer to our goal: making clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene a normal part of everyday life for everyone, everywhere.

Making change happen on a global scale

WaterAid UK is part of a global federation, alongside six other members: America, Australia, Canada, India, Japan and Sweden. Together, we work with partners around the world, including the Sukaar Foundation in Pakistan, who support girls with good hygiene practices.

School girls in Pakistan get advice on maintaining good hygiene during their periods. WaterAid/Mustafah Abdulaziz

Meet our President

WaterAid was founded in 1981. We welcomed HRH The Prince of Wales as President in 1991, and since then he has seen the impact of our work first-hand in Uganda and Tanzania. He is passionate about finding sustainable solutions to the water crisis, particularly in light of the current threats to our climate, which are already negatively impacting freshwater supplies in the countries where we work.

His Royal Highness Prince Charles visits our work in Tanzania.WaterAid/Jake Lyell

Meet our Vice President

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey has been Vice President of WaterAid since 1997. She was Minister for Africa from 1986 to 1997, and Minister for Overseas Development from 1989 to 1997. She’s been an independent advisor on Africa and development to a number of businesses in Britain and Africa and to the World Bank since 1997. Today her many roles include:

  • Chair of Africa Matters Limited, an advisory company on development partnerships
  • Chairman of the Board of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
  • President of the Southern Africa Business Association of British Executive Services Overseas
  • President of Transparency International UK
  • Honorary Vice President of the British Red Cross
  • Trustee of the African Medical and Research Foundation
  • President of Practical Action

Meet our Chair

Before joining WaterAid, Tim Clark was a Senior Partner of leading international law firm Slaughter and May. He is a member of the boards of various charitable organisations including Paul's Cancer Support Centre and the Geoffrey de Havilland Flying Foundation.

Tim is also a member of the Audit Committee of the Wellcome Trust and the Development Committee of the National Gallery. His other roles include:

  • Senior Adviser to Chatham House
  • Chair of the Trustees of the Economist Trust
  • Chair of the Board of HighTide theatre
  • Director of Big Yellow Group PLC
  • Trustee of WaterAid international
"I am excited by WaterAid’s ambition to deliver lasting change and its commitment to supporting the world’s poorest communities."
Tim Clark, Chair of WaterAid
Tim Clark, Chair of WaterAid WaterAid/Sam James

Our history

We started in 1981, when several UK water companies came together at the Thirsty World Conference. Determined to find a solution to a global crisis that had left billions without water, toilets or hygiene, the idea for WaterAid was born.

A photograph of the founders of WaterAid.

Meet our Chief Executive

WaterAid UK's Chief Executive Tim Wainwright.WaterAid/James McCauley

Tim Wainwright became Chief Executive of WaterAid UK in May 2017, succeeding Barbara Frost.

Tim believes water, sanitation and hygiene underpin all progress in development and is committed to WaterAid’s global strategy to transform lives by ensuring everyone, everywhere is reached with services that last. In today’s challenging world, this requires renewed energy and collaboration with partners from civil society, governments and the private sector.

Before joining WaterAid, Tim spent six years as Chief Executive of ADD (Action on Disability and Development) International, an NGO working to promote independence, equality and opportunity for disabled people in poverty in Africa and Asia. Tim also served as the Chair of Bond, the consortium of UK international development agencies, for three years.

He spent two years as Director of the English Regions for the Equality and Human Rights Commission in the UK, and before that held a range of senior roles with Oxfam and VSO in the UK, Beijing and Bangkok.

Tim began his career at British Airways, spending eight years in operational research and marketing roles, after completing a degree in maths at Cambridge and a masters at Lancaster.

Tim lives in Oxford with his wife and two daughters, where he has been a school governor and, when time permits, removes the larger weeds that grow between the vegetables in his allotment.

Meet our Trustees

What makes our Trustees so special? They give up their time and energy for free, to help us make a bigger impact and change millions more lives.

Myriam Sidibe, WaterAid Trustee. WaterAid/Sam James

Myriam Sidibe

Myriam joined the board in 2015. Originally from Mali, she has a background in public health and behaviour change and is now Hygiene and Nutrition Social Mission Director, Africa at Unilever, where her focus has been on ‘creating a movement to change the handwashing behaviours of a billion people’. Watch Myriam’s TED talk on the simple power of handwashing >

Steve Vaid, WaterAid Trustee. WaterAid/Sam James

Steve Vaid

Steve joined the board in 2015 and has both a corporate sector and NGO background. He is Deputy Chief Executive at Guide Dogs, has worked in Rwanda for VSO, and brings a skill for great strategic thinking at a senior level. He also has a passion for equity and inclusion and an understanding of issues of social exclusion through his work with disabled people, bringing new insights to the Board.

Rosemary Carr, WaterAid Trustee. WaterAid/Sam James

Rosemary Carr

Rosemary was elected to the Board in 2011. She is an independent consultant specialising in brand, marketing and business planning. After graduating from Oxford University, she spent 23 years working in commercial and marketing roles in the footwear industry. She was Brand and Marketing Director of Clarks International and has been involved in a range of charity projects and local community initiatives.

Heather Skilling, WaterAid Trustee WaterAid

Heather Skilling

Heather joined the Board in 2017 and has 20 years’ experience working in international development as a Water, sanitation and hygiene expert.  She has previously worked for the World Bank and USAID and is now Principal Specialist in WASH at DAI Consulting – based in Washington.

Anna Segall, WaterAid trustee WaterAid

Anna Segall

Anna was elected to the Board in 2013. A human rights lawyer with 25 years' experience with international organisations, the United Nations, government and the private sector, Anna is Director of International Standards and Legal Affairs at UNESCO, Paris. Her previous roles include Director of Legal Affairs at the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and acting Director of UNRWA Operations, Jordan.

Peter Newman, Honorary Treasurer WaterAid

Peter Newman

Peter was elected to the Board as Honorary Treasurer in 2013. He has significant financial reporting experience, having worked for Deloitte and Arthur Andersen over many years. Since retiring from Deloitte in 2009, Peter has held several non-executive roles in the corporate and charity sectors. He served as Treasurer of the Energy Institute until 2008 and is currently a member of the Finance Committee for the Royal Geographic Society.

Professor Mala Rao OBE, WaterAid trustee WaterAid

Professor Mala Rao OBE

Mala joined the Board in 2017. She is Senior Clinical Fellow at the Dept of Primary Care and Public Health, Imperial College London and has extensive experience in strengthening health systems and workforce development for public health in the UK, India and SE Asia. She is a campaigner on the health aspects of climate change and is passionate about the integration of WASH and health policy and delivery, which are key elements of WaterAid’s Global Strategy. 

Christopher Loughlin, WaterAid Trustee. WaterAid/Sam James

Christopher Loughlin

Chris was elected in 2012. He has been Chief Executive of the Pennon Group (and formerly of South West Water) since 2006 and was Chair of WaterUK from 2008 to 2012. Chris started his career as a Consulting Engineer. Following a period in engineering contracting he held a variety of roles at British Nuclear Fuels, was a main Board Director of BNFL plc and became Executive Chairman of Magnox Electric.

Heidi Mottram OBE WaterAid

Heidi Mottram OBE

Heidi joined the Board in 2017. She has been Chief Executive Officer of the Northumbrian Water Group since 2010. The Group delivers water and waste water services serving a population of 4.2m. Prior to that she was Managing Director of Northern Rail, the UK’s largest train operation company. Heidi has considerable experience at Chief Executive level of strategy development and is a great advocate for and supporter of WaterAid.

Manuel Alvarinho, WaterAid Trustee. WaterAid

Manuel Alvarinho

Manuel joined the Board in 2017. Until recently he was President of the Water and Sanitation Regulatory Council of Mozambique. The majority of his career was spent working for the Mozambican Government in water supply and sanitation. Manuel has vast international experience through his work with the World Bank, WHO and UNICEF and through his presidency of Aquashare – a network of water professionals from across Portuguese-speaking countries.


How do you choose your Trustees?

Our Trustees are recruited through an open application process. Our aim is to always make sure the Board:

  • is diverse and gender-balanced
  • reflects the professional skills and experience we need to operate effectively and sustainably
  • reflects our origins in the UK water industry

We actively encourage people with international development experience and those of African or Asian origin to apply.

How long are Trustees elected for?

Trustees are elected for a three-year term that may be renewed for another three years. Occasionally this is extended further, to make sure specific skills are represented on the Board.

Who chooses your Chief Executive?

Our Chief Executive is appointed by our Trustees. Along with our Directors, the Chief Executive is responsible for managing our five departments: International Programmes, Policy and Campaigns, Communications and Fundraising, Finance and Information Services, and People and Organisational Development. Our Internal Audit function also reports directly into our Chief Executive.

How do we set staff pay levels?

Our approach to pay aims to enable us to recruit and retain staff with the right skills and  experience to achieve our mission, while also ensuring effective stewardship of our resources. We aim to remunerate and to review remuneration in a fair and transparent way.

Good performance management is integral to our reward system. We believe that basing an element of pay on performance demonstrates our commitment to value for money, accountability to our stakeholders, and reinforces the importance of high standards of performance for all staff.

Pay scales for all staff are set with reference to market conditions, comparing ourselves with similar not-for-profit organisations. Market pay is determined using recognised salary surveys specialising in the Charity and International Development sector. 

Pay ranges for the Chief Executive and Directors are set with reference to market data for each individual role, benchmarked using at least three relevant remuneration surveys.

Each year we consider an increase to be awarded on 1st April. Increases are determined taking into account the benchmark data, individual performance and affordability.

The Remuneration Committee of the Board provide assurance that WaterAid’s global remuneration policies and principles are being applied. The Committee reviews all proposed increases for Directors and recommends the remuneration of the Chief Executive for approval
by the Board of Trustees.

Our annual reports

Our annual reports let you meet the people changing their lives, and see how your support is making a lasting difference around the world.

Value for money

We ensure our resources are put to the best possible use so we can transform even more lives with clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene.

Our fundraising promise

We couldn't do the work we do without you, which is why we value your trust so highly. It's also why we make this promise to you.

WaterAid's Gender Pay Gap statement

We are committed to fairness and transparency in managing the salaries of staff.