The Water Environment Federation (WEF) is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Eileen O’Neill as WEF Interim Executive Director following the resignation of Executive Director Jeff Eger.
“While the Board joins the staff and some 36,000 WEF members in thanking Jeff for his leadership and commitment to clean water over the past two and a half years, we are fortunate to have such a capable leader to step in,” said WEF President Cordell Samuels. “With more than 20 years of WEF service, Dr. Eileen O’Neill’s in-depth knowledge of the organization, its programs, and its staff, combined with her wisdom and understanding of the water sector, will facilitate a smooth transition and continued momentum toward achieving our goals.”
O’Neill was most recently WEF deputy executive director and focused on pursuing innovation opportunities and global and academic relations as well as supporting the executive director in his responsibilities. Prior to that assignment, she was WEF’s chief technical officer with oversight of technical programming and development for WEFTEC®, the world’s largest annual water quality conference and exhibition. O’Neill’s WEF career began in 1991 as manager of industrial programs, and her responsibilities steadily increased through a succession of positions including industrial programs director, director of international programs, and assistant deputy executive director.
Prior to joining WEF, O’Neill was a professor at a college of agriculture in the United Kingdom and worked for various environmental consultants in the United States and the UK. She has a B.S. in Soil Science from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne (UK) and a Ph.D. in Soil Science from the University of Aberdeen (UK). O’Neill also undertook a post doctoral traineeship in Environmental Toxicology at the University of Wisconsin—Madison and is the author of multiple book chapters, magazine articles, peer-reviewed papers, and other scholarly works.
“The WEF Board is very enthusiastic about the programs currently underway at WEF and the initiatives planned for the coming year,” Samuels said. “With the ongoing support of our volunteers, Member Associations, and partner organizations plus Dr. O’Neill’s extremely competent leadership, we will continue to drive innovations in water, build public awareness of this most vital resource, and enrich the expertise and ability of water professionals to be successful in their field.”