The Water Leadership Institute Class of 2019, the eighth class of the Institute, includes 54 water professionals representing 28 states, Canada, El Salvador, and the Cayman Islands. The graduates join 237 alumni of the program.

WLI Group Cropped 800.jpg

The Water Leadership Institute (WLI) program is aimed at educating and training emerging leaders and providing them with opportunities to build strong, lasting relationships within the water sector. The intensive program enables participants to engage in management training and leadership development through a blended learning approach that includes examining complex challenges facing the water and wastewater industries and networking with public and private sector practitioners.

“The depth and range of talent in the Water Leadership Institute Class of 2019 is a glimpse into the future of the water sector,” said WEF Executive Director Walt Marlowe.  “We look forward to seeing the individuals in this remarkable group continue to advance the profession.”

The class of 2019 was recognized at a ceremony on Sunday, Sept. 22 during WEFTEC 2019. The 2019 graduates are 

  • Eddie Abisaab (Newport News, Va.)
  • Mike Anderson (Coeur d'Alene, Idaho)
  • Noelle Anuszkiewicz (Millersville, Md.)
  • Yulyan Arias (Miami, Fla.)
  • Morgan Brown (Alexandria, Va.)
  • Eric Bunke (Milwaukee, Wis.)
  • Adriana Caldarelli (Alexandria, Va.)
  • Sajana Chitrakar (Fairfax, Va.)
  • Melissa Darr, (Tempe, Ariz.)
  • Shea Dunifon (St. Petersburg, Fla.)
  • Amy Eberhardt (Columbus, Ohio)
  • Ahmed Elsheshtawy (George Town, Cayman Islands)
  • Roberto Escalante (San Salvador)
  • André Garcés (Dallas, Texas)
  • Marilyn Hall (Athens, Ga.)
  • Aleah Henry (Hamilton, Ontario)
  • Steve Hill (Fredericksburg, Va.)
  • Connie Ho (Chino Hills, Calif.)
    Jessica Hou (Virginia Beach, Va.)
  • Mitch Klein (Lincoln, Neb.)
  • Ryan Lacharity (Wellesley, Ontario)
  • Yesher Larsen (North Haven, Conn.)
  • Megan Livak (Alexandria, Va.)
  • Jennifer Loudon (Flemington, N.J.)
  • Paige Lux (North Charleston, S.C.)
  • Matthew Magruder (Oconomowoc, Wis.)
  • Rishab Mahajan (Oak Brook, Ill.)
  • John McGettigan (Alexandria, Va.)
  • Joe Navas (Henderson, Nev.)
  • Abbye Neal (Fort Collins, Colo.)
  • Dan O'Sullivan (Buffalo, N.Y.)
  • Padma Paan (Clayton, Mo.)
  • Teresa Penunuri (San Diego, Calif.)
  • Paige Peters (Milwaukee, Wis.)
  • David Quinby (Surprise, Ariz.)
  • Aaron Rivard (Montrose, Mich.)
  • Chris Roberts (Tacoma, Wash.)
  • Nathan Roberts (Albuquerque, N.M.)
  • Nadine Robertson (Harvey, La.)
  • Katherine Schaad (Dublin, Ohio)
  • Amanda Scott (Boulder, Colo.)
  • Daniel Scott (Boone, Iowa)
  • Laura Shields (Norfolk, Va.)
  • Pooja Sinha (Pasadena, Calif.)
  • Kristi Steiner (Portland, Ore.)
  • Ellen Stitt* (Woodville, Ontario)
  • Lindsay Swain (Roanoke, Va.)
  • Sarah VanFrank-Affrunti (Hamilton, Ohio)
  • Robert Warden (Farmington, Ark.)
  • Christopher Waul (Milwaukee, Wis.)
  • Bruce Weckworth (Chesapeake, Va.)
  • Ariana Wilfley (Torrance, Calif.)
  • Craig Williams (Angola, Ind.)
  •  Matthew Wooten (Fort Wright, Ky.)

*denotes George S. Hawkins Scholarship recipient

As part of the 2019 WLI program, the graduates, with input from WLI alumni, developed a series of webcasts on the workforce issues.

Webcast 1

Embracing Workforce Diversity to Lead from Where You Are
October 9, 2019
11:00 AM – 1:00 PM EST

Webcast 2
Reliable and Responsive Service During Times of Change
October 16, 2019
11:00 AM – 12:30 PM EST

Webcast 3

Go with the Flow – Making the Water Sector the Employer and Profession of Choice
October 22, 2019
11:00 AM – 12:30PM EST

Webcast 4

Taking the Plunge: Educating the Public on Science-Based Solutions and Clean Water Careers
October 30, 2019
11:00 AM – 12:30PM EST


The application period for the 2020 Water Leadership Institute will open in November. Get more information about the program:

Water Leadership Institute

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