Behind the Scenes: The Project WET Foundation Board of Directors

Although our Board of Directors is always actively involved in what we do here, we only get to spend time with them in person once a year. Starting Sunday, our annual face-to-face Board meeting gets underway, offering us the chance to report, discuss, strategize and otherwise interact with the talented folks who make up our Board. If you haven't had the chance to check out the Board page, you can meet the members virtually below:

Tom Cooper, Chair, PWF Board of DirectorsTom Cooper (Chair): As the Senior EHS Manager for Lam Research Corporation, Tom is responsible for developing and implementing Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance programs to ensure sustainable and ethical impacts of Lam’s semiconductor fabrication equipment. Mr. Cooper has 30 years of experience working with Environmental, Health and Safety programs for major industrial corporations and institutions including Intel, Lockheed-Martin, GE, PG&E, NASA-Ames Research Center and Chemical Waste Management. He earned a B.S. in Environmental & Systematic Biology from California Polytechnic State University and an M.S. in Environmental Management from the University of San Francisco. Tom joined the Project WET Foundation Board of Directors in 2010 and became Chair of the Board of Directors in 2014.

Ricky ArnoldRichard R. Arnold, II: Richard R. “Ricky” Arnold is a Mission Specialist and Educator Astronaut who has explored both under the sea and above the Earth. After completing Astronaut Candidate Training in 2006, he went on to tackle aquanaut training, serving on a 2007 joint NASA-NOAA mission where he lived and worked in and around Aquarius, the world’s only undersea laboratory. In 2009, he was a part of the 36th flight of the space shuttle Discovery, traveling to the International Space Station and completing two spacewalks. Before joining NASA, Mr. Arnold taught science and mathematics around the world, working in the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe. He earned a bachelor’s degree and teacher certification at Frostburg State University in Maryland and a master’s degree in Marine, Estuarine & Environmental Science from the University of Maryland. Ricky joined the Project WET Foundation Board of Directors in 2011.

Thomas R. Atkins: As an Area Director for USDA Rural Development, Tom Atkins oversees Rural Development activities such as loans, technical assistance and community empowerment in 14 Montana counties. Overall, USDA Rural Development has a $115 billion loan portfolio and is set to administer $20 billion in loans, loan guarantees and grants through its programs during this fiscal year. Mr. Atkins began his career in banking, working primarily in rural Montana and North Dakota before moving to Bozeman, Mont.; to join USDA. He studied at both Montana State University in Bozeman and MSU-Billings, formerly Eastern Montana College. He has served on the Project WET Foundation Board of Directors since 2010.

Elaine Dorward-KingElaine J. Dorward-King: With 25 years of leadership and management experience in strategy and implementation of sustainable development, safety, health and environment in the mining, chemical and engineering consulting industries, Elaine Dorward-King is currently the Executive Vice President of Sustainability & External Relations for Newmont. Before that, Dr. Dorward-King was Managing Director of Richards Bay Minerals in South Africa and global head of Health, Safety and Environment for Rio Tinto, a role she held for eight years following other roles of increasing responsibility. Dr. Dorward-King has also worked for an engineering consulting firm, Ebasco, and for Monsanto Chemical Company, in the agricultural products division. Dr. Dorward-King graduated from Colorado State University with a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry and from Maryville College in Tennessee with a B.A. magna cum laude in chemistry, with emphasis in biology and mathematics. She joined the Project WET Foundation Board of Directors in 2010.

Joe KittsJoe Kitts: Joe Kitts is an expert in international development, specialist in global education, with 29 years of experience in program management and oversight in low-income countries. He has been posted in Morocco, Cambodia and South Africa and has field experience in over 20 African and extensive experience working in conflict countries, including Pakistan, South Sudan and Cote d’Ivoire. He is a recognized expert in multi-sector programs, post-conflict settings and public-private partnerships and a proven innovator in non-traditional delivery of educational services through technology. Joe has a thorough knowledge of U.S. government procurement and implementation practices. He is proficient in French and Moroccan Arabic. He recently retired from United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Africa Bureau within the Office of Sustainability, Education Division where he managed a portfolio of over ten activities with an annual budget of close to $20 million dollars. Mr. Kitts lead the development of partnerships and collaboration with key strategic partners including other U.S. government agencies, Congress, the White House, multilateral organizations, other donors, the private sector and foundations and African regional bodies. During his tenure with USAID he also guided and mentored junior and mid-career education officers in the Africa region. Joe joined the Project WET Foundation Board of Directors in 2011.

Heidi PaulHeidi J. Paul: Heidi Paul has been involved with Project WET since 1998 and was the Chair of the Project WET Foundation Board of Directors from 2006 to 2013. As Vice-President of Corporate Affairs for Nestlé Waters North America between 2000 and 2016, Heidi Paul was responsible for all aspects of the company’s corporate communications and community relations. Prior to taking on the VP position, Ms. Paul served in various brand marketing roles for Nestlé Waters, overseeing the marketing of many of America’s most successful spring water brands, including Poland Spring, Arrowhead, Calistoga, Deer Park, Ozarka and Zephyrhills as well as the leading international brands Perrier and S.Pellegrino. Ms. Paul holds an MBA from Columbia University and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania.

Alan Rimer: With a varied, 46-year career in environmental engineering, Dr. Alan Rimer (PhD, DEE, P.E.) has been involved with planning and design for a variety of water reuse, water resources, wastewater treatment, solid waste management and environmental management projects for local, state and the federal governments, as well as a wide variety of industries, across the United States, Asia, Europe and South America. He recently retired from Black & Veatch and joined with a friend to start a consulting firm where he will continue his reuse work. A specialist in water reuse, Dr. Rimer has been involved in every stage of the reclaimed water business, and his work in the area of water resources has ranged from water supply and nonpoint source master planning studies to water treatment plant design, distribution design and rate studies. Dr. Rimer earned a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Duke University, an M.S. in Environmental Engineering from the University of North Carolina and a Ph.D in Environmental Engineering from Duke University/Kennedy Western University. He joined the Project WET Foundation Board of Directors in 2012.

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