The International, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Foundation, charitable arm of The International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials, has promoted Seán Kearney to the role of IWSH managing director.
Since joining The IAPMO Group in 2015, Kearney has overseen development of the international Community Plumbing Challenge program, which has grown into the flagship initiative of the IWSH Foundation today. Over the past five years, he has directed projects launched in India, South Africa, Indonesia and most recently the United States.
Following his education at the National College of Art & Design and Trinity College, both in Dublin, Ireland, Kearney represented the Emerald Isle as a competitor in Graphic Design Technology at the WorldSkills international competition in 2005. His participation led to work with WorldSkills, initially as a volunteer before employment as a workshop manager, secretariat and project developer, gaining project management experience in countries across Europe, Asia, Africa and South America.
He worked for the WorldSkills Foundation during its start-up period from 2013-15, during which time the Community Plumbing Challenge concept was established, alongside several other skills showcase projects and sustainability initiatives that Kearney has continued to develop under IAPMO’s WorldSkills Global Partnership to this day. Most notable of these was the recent Plumbing and Heating “Champions” initiative, presented in Kazan, Russia, last year, which resulted in the international skills competition providing new toilet and washrooms to a local orphanage for special needs children.
In his new role, Kearney will provide additional strategic and organizational leadership across the IWSH team, as the Foundation further grows its reputation and expands its impact in the international water, sanitation and hygiene sector. He continues to provide guidance to the design and delivery of other international programs and partnerships of The IAPMO Group.
Previous IWSH Managing Director Dain Hansen was promoted to IAPMO executive vice president of government relations but will remain integrally involved in the foundation’s work as part of the management team.
In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the IWSH Foundation has been reaching out to the people who have welcomed its teams into their communities and homes over the past four years. To launch these efforts, IWSH joined forces with the current Community Plumbing Challenge Indonesia host partners in Untia Village, Makassar, South Sulawesi — Kampung Nelayan Untia and BSN Makassar — to design and build two new public hand-washing stations for the Indonesian village, provide hand soap and face masks to all households and supply new personal protective equipment and respirator masks to the local clinic, which is serving as a COVID-19 testing center.
For more info, visit www.iwsh.org.