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ZOOM Meeting

Richard Mewhinney, Chair of Rotary District 7070's Areas of Focus Action Committee and Rotary District 7070 Past District Governor Ron Denham (Chair Emeritus of WASH RAG - Water, Sanitation & Hygien Rotary Action Group) invite you to join our keynote speaker, John Oldfield, the former Managing Principal with Global Water 2020. Ryan Rowe of HANWASH (Haiti Clean Water., Sanitation &Hygiene Strategy) will also be speaking.

TOPIC: WASH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene): A Foundation for Successful Sustainable Progress For Many Related Challenges

Safe drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) is a fundamental development challenge in and of itself. Often overlooked, however, are the many contributions that successful WASH programs make to early success and sustainable progress on related development challenges, including health, education, the empowerment of women and girls, and even democracy itself. Please join us as John, as he details these linkages with an eye to encouraging governments across the globe to significantly accelerate progress. 



John Oldfield is currently the Policy and Advocacy Advisor to the Global Advocacy Fund of the Swiss Water and Sanitation Consortium, funded by the Government of Switzerland. Until June 2020, John was a Principal at Global Water 2020, with two decades of experience in the nonprofit and private sectors. An internationally recognized expert in global water security and global health, he has testified before the U.S. Congress several times and has been published and interviewed in The Hill, Forbes, NPR, New Security Beat, Circle of Blue, The Guardian, and Inside Philanthropy. John is a frequent speaker and has lectured at the Skoll World Forum, Clinton Global Initiative, Singularity University, Rotary International, CEO Water Mandate, National Defense University, and several colleges and universities.


Previously, John was the CEO of Water 2017, an effort to encourage the entire U.S. government to elevate and integrate global water security across the U.S. foreign policy and national security architecture. A primary goal of this effort was to position global water security, public health, climate change, and the international role of women and girls as leadership opportunities for the United States across the globe. At the helm of this organization, John led a team that developed and disseminated strategic policy, personnel, and programmatic recommendations for the President, National Security Council, Federal agencies, Congress, and private-sector stakeholders.


John also served as the CEO of WASH Advocates where he was instrumental in the drafting and passage – with strong bipartisan support – of the Senator Paul Simon Water for the World Act of 2014. He and his team have been key to significantly increasing its annual appropriations from under $100M to the current level of $450M. He also successfully influenced the Intelligence Authorization Act of 2020, requiring the U.S. intelligence community to “report on the implications of water insecurity on the national security interests of the United States.”  


Prior to his time in global water security, John was Vice President at a New York private equity firm specializing in leveraged buyouts and corporate divestitures. In previous lives, John researched science, technology, and economic policy at the National Academy of Sciences, and acquired extensive international experience managing U.S. Agency for International Development and U.S. Department of State contracts, including training programs for election officials and civil society leaders, and civil/military communication projects in post-conflict countries. He was a staff member of South Africa’s Electoral Commission in 1994, during that nation’s first free election. His claim to fame is having danced a jig with President-elect Nelson Mandela at his victory party in Johannesburg, South Africa, on April 26, 1994.


John graduated from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and was one of General Wesley Clark’s early hires on his presidential campaign in 2003-2004, running a statewide campaign in an early primary state (Delaware). John’s hobbies include underwater archaeology in the Potomac River and abroad, working for the Maryland Historical Trust, the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association, and the Pentagon’s Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency.