Geneva, 22 January 2018 – Mr. Rolf Luyendijk, a well-respected international development professional who has served as Chief of Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) for UNICEF in Afghanistan, and as UNICEF’s Senior WASH Statistics and Monitoring specialist, will be the new Executive Director of the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) as of 1 March 2018.
“I am very excited to join WSSCC and its many partners in their efforts to accelerate progress on sanitation and to make a difference especially in the lives of the most marginalized and disadvantaged peoples, and to support girls’ education through menstrual hygiene management as an entry point for empowerment and life-long learning,” Mr. Luyendijk said.
“WSSCC holds a unique mandate within the United Nations system as the only UN body fully dedicated to sanitation and hygiene, and I see it as my role to make the most of that position by facilitating national platforms for collaboration with governments, civil society partners, other UN agencies, the Sanitation and Water for All partnership, faith-based organizations and interested foundations and private sector initiatives to reach Sustainable Development Goal target 6.2 on sanitation.”
Mr. Brad Herbert and Ms. Ebele Okeke, Co-Chairs of WSSCC’s governing board, the Steering Committee, said: “Rolf has a proven track record at UNICEF and elsewhere as both a leader and a manager. We look forward to the leadership he will provide as WSSCC moves forward to deliver under its Strategic Plan.”
Over the past 20 years, Mr. Luyendijk has worked with several UN organizations in Afghanistan, Laos, Mexico and the United States (New York) and has lived as well with his family in Morocco and North-Sudan while on assignment. As the lead from UNICEF on the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Program for Water Supply and Sanitation (JMP), Mr. Luyendijk was responsible for monitoring progress towards the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) drinking water and sanitation targets. During his final years at the JMP he was instrumental in mobilizing a diverse set of WASH sector partners around the formulation of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) targets on water supply and sanitation. In November 2014, he returned to the field as Chief of WASH with UNICEF in Afghanistan.
Mr. Luyendijk is a citizen of the Netherlands and has Masters degrees in public health and environmental sciences from the Netherlands School of Public Health and Wageningen University, respectively. He is married with two children.
Mr. Luyendijk will be based at WSSCC’s Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland. He succeeds Mr. Chris Williams, who served as Executive Director from November 2012 until 31 December 2017. Mr. David Shimkus, Programme Director of the Global Sanitation Fund at WSSCC, is Acting Executive Director/Officer-in-Charge until 1 March 2018.