In the News

Stockholm Water Prize Winner, Rita R. Colwell, Ph.D., Joins Safe Water Network's Board Of Directors

Safe Water Network is pleased to announce the appointment of Rita Colwell, Ph.D., D.Sc. to its Board of Directors. The former Director of the National Science Foundation and a distinguished Professor at both the University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Dr. Colwell brings considerable scientific experience to the Board. 

Among her considerable accomplishments, she helped create and lead the field of bioinformatics, combining biology, computer science and information technology to advance understanding, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of waterborne diseases. Through this work, Dr. Colwell was the first to link the incidence of cholera, a waterborne pathogen that infects up to five million people and leads to an estimated 120,000 deaths each year, to climate change. 

“Dr. Colwell brings both scientific and practical field experience to our organization. Her research to demonstrate the effectiveness of filtering water through folded sari cloth exemplifies her interest in implementing practical solutions that reduce disease burden for populations in need,” says Kurt Soderlund, CEO Safe Water Network. 

As National Science Foundation Director, Dr. Colwell served as Co-chair of the Committee on Science of the National Science and Technology Council. Previously she was the President of the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute and Professor of Microbiology and Biotechnology at the University of Maryland. Her interests include global infectious diseases, water, and health. She has co-authored 16 books and more than 700 scientific publications. She earned her Ph.D. in Oceanography at the University of Washington, Seattle. 

Dr. Colwell is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Stockholm Water Prize in 2010, widely recognized as the world’s premier award for water-related research and policy work.