Meet Ms Hind Khatib-Othman, WSSCC Chair

Date: 16th July 2019

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Ms Hind Khatib-Othman is currently the Chair of the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) having assumed this role in late 2018.

Ms Khatib-Othman spearheads high-level international experts in the Steering Committee who are elected from WSSCC’s membership, representatives of UN agencies and partners from civil society.

Ms Khatib-Othman brings extensive leadership capabilities and a deep knowledge of international development work to the role, including grant making and programme finance operations. Since joining she has been keen to reinvigorate WSSCC’s engagement with high-level international partners and introduce strategic experts to the WSSCC Secretariat and Governance.

Ms Khatib-Othman was elected in late 2018 to assume the Chair of WSSCC during the meeting of the Steering Committee, WSSCC’s governing body.

“We couldn’t have asked for a better chair than Hind,” says Ms Sue Coates, WSSCC Executive Director ad interim. “Under Hind’s leadership, we are well placed to support the global achievement of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 Target 2 on sanitation and hygiene, including Menstrual Hygiene Management, and head into the new era of a more efficient, cost-effective strategic plan with a strong focus on equality and leave no one behind.”

“It is an honour to serve as WSSCC’s Chair,” said Ms Khatib-Othman. “In many ways, there are similarities between WSSCC and the Gavi Alliance, Global Fund and UNAIDS. They all aim for impact at scale, support nationally-led development programming, and advocate for preventative and life-saving issues. My experiences from these organisations will benefit WSSCC.”

Until June 2019, Ms Khatib-Othman had served as Managing Director at the Gavi Alliance. At the Gavi Alliance, she led diverse multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary teams which have helped the organization deliver vaccinations for 65 million children in 2017 – 3 million more than in 2016.

Prior to joining the Gavi Alliance in 2012, she had worked for UNAIDS as Regional Director in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. She had also directed country programmes at the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. There, she managed some 80 national Global Fund grants, a portfolio of more than USD 3 billion. She also has a background in UNICEF.

“I look forward to first achieving the important targets laid out in the current strategy to improve people’s well-being through our sanitation and hygiene interventions, then to positioning our new strategy through our compelling identity and clear complementarity across the SDGs. And in every possible engagement, I will advocate for WSSCC’s ‘leave no one behind’ agenda,” Ms Khatib-Othman said.

According to the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme on Drinking Water and Sanitation, 4.2 billion people do not have safely managed sanitation services and 673 million defecate in the open. This impacts their health, social and educational development, environment and economic growth; every year, 297 000 children under 5 years die due to diarrhea linked to inadequate water, sanitation and hygiene.

Ms Khatib-Othman attended the WSSCC Steering Committee meeting in April 2019.

Founded in 1990, WSSCC’s mission is to ensure sustainable sanitation, better hygiene and safe drinking water for all, with a focus on the poorest and most marginalized members of society in Africa and Asia. In 2018, among other results, WSSCC’s grants-financing work enabled 14,000 new communities in 12 countries to become nationally certified as Open Defecation Free (ODF). This represents 4 million people living in newly certified ODF environments – 23.8 million since 2011.

Ms Khatib-Othman is Jordanian-Swiss, married and has two children.

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