We invite you to take a few minutes and get to know Matt Korn, PWW’s new Executive Director.
How did you learn about Pure Water for the World?
I have been in the non-profit sector my entire professional career and became familiar with the work of PWW through various WASH-sector alliances where PWW has a strong and respected presence.
Why did you choose to accept the role as the new ED?
First off, it’s a tremendous privilege to have been selected as the new ED of PWW. The decision was an easy one as it was so clear, through conversations with the board and staff, how committed the team is to transparency and empowerment through WASH programming. And the areas where PWW operates, Haiti and Central America, have played a significant part in my professional growth. It seemed like a great fit aligning my passions with a respected organization rolling up their sleeves and doing life-changing work.
What inspires you the most about this organization/this work? What makes you jump out of bed each morning to dive into work?
Water is life is such a true statement. We know that clean water, hygiene and sanitation help reduce illnesses, hospitalizations, missed school days, malnutrition, violence against women and girls, and the list goes on. To be able to get up each day and be part of a team working to make families and communities safe is humbling and motivating.
What has been the path you’ve taken to get where you are today?
I’ve always had a passion for learning about other cultures and understanding, at a local level, how people live and the challenges they face. These interests led to a career in international development where I’ve worked domestically and globally on a multitude of development approaches reaching marginalized communities.
What are your priorities in your first few months with PWW?
In my first two months, I’ve been fortunate to have met many of our generous supporters from around the country. Hearing the stories of how our donors came to be partners in our work is always inspiring. Continuing to get to know our donors and dedicated team is high on my list.
What do you see as PWW’s greatest strengths right now?
That’s an easy one! The staff, board and supporters. Without their generosity and commitment, our work would not be possible. It’s the people behind the work that has allowed PWW to reach thousands of families in some of the hardest to reach communities in Haiti and Honduras.
What do you see as PWW’s greatest opportunities for growth?
PWW has continued to grow as an industry leader in the WASH sector. In fact, just recently, the Honduras Ministry of Education validated (through their office, DECOAS) a new chapter on climate-resilient water, hygiene and sanitation, designed by UNICEF and PWW, giving teachers the opportunity to integrate WASH training into the school day. It’s innovative efforts like these that allow PWW to reach exponentially more people, and it’s innovative ideas from our teams and supporters that will allow us to scale our impact.
What is the first thing you would say to a donor(s), partner, or company who is interested in investing in and supporting PWW’s work?
When you invest in Pure Water for the World, you are investing in a safer and healthier future for families. We have the stories and data backing up our 20+ years of impact…but better yet, we invite you to join us on a trip to see first-hand how your support is changing lives.
What are your favorite activities to do outside of work?
Outside of work, you’ll find me on trails hiking, running and biking, at the beach, traveling or at a ballgame. And I caught the aviation bug when I was in grad school and haven’t been able to let it go. I still get up in the air as often as possible.
How many countries have you visited? What are your three favorites?
I’ve been fortunate to have visited close to 40 countries. Each has been very special, full of wonderful and welcoming people (and delicious food!) but, if I have to choose some favorites, top of the list would be Republic of Georgia, Zambia, Vietnam, Ethiopia and Ecuador. Sorry, I know you asked for three!
Do you have a personal mission statement?
I’m a big believer in the principle that when you’ve been given much, much is expected in return, and strong relationships are the driving force behind creating transformational impact.
Please join us in extending a warm welcome to Matt. We are very excited to have him leading PWW into the future!