Wainwright will succeed the current chief executive Barbara Frost when she retires in May. For the past six years he been chief executive of Action on Disability and Development International, an NGO working to promote independence, equality and opportunity for disabled people living in poverty in Africa and Asia.
His career has also included senior roles at the Equality and Human Rights Commission, VSO and Oxfam as well as time in the corporate sector. He currently chairs BOND, the UK membership body for organisations working in international development.
Commenting on his appointment, Wainwright said: “After many years of admiring WaterAid’s work, I feel privileged and incredibly excited to be taking up the role of chief executive.
“Water, sanitation and hygiene underpin so many other aspects of development and I look forward to working with the team at WaterAid, along with supporters and partners, to help bring these basic essentials to everyone everywhere by 2030 – ensuring that no-one is left behind.”
WaterAid UK chair Tim Clark said: “I am delighted that Tim Wainwright is joining us as chief executive. He brings a wealth of relevant knowledge and experience of international development gained, in particular, through his work with ADD, VSO and Oxfam.”
Clark continued to say that the organisation was also “naturally very sad to be saying goodbye to Barbara Frost”. He praised Frost’s contribution to WaterAid, and to the challenge of water, sanitation and hygiene, over the last 11 years as “outstanding”.
“She leaves a wonderful legacy of success at WaterAid and we thank her enormously for all she has achieved,” he said.
Wainwright will take up his new role, based in Vauxhall, on 2 May.
WaterAid was established by a consortium of UK water companies in 1981 to tackle the challenge of delivering clean water and sanitation to disadvantaged communities around the world. Today the UK’s water companies continue to support the charity’s work in a variety of ways including fund raising and the provision of staff and resources for projects.