Water Blogged

H2O for Life Hires Doug Niemela As New Executive Director

Posted by Nick Coughlin on April 28



MINNEAPOLIS – H2O for Life has selected Doug Niemela as its next Executive Director. Niemela succeeds Christy Andacht, who led the organization since 2017.

Niemela, a native of White Bear Lake, Minnesota, where H2O for Life is headquartered, has spent over a decade in various leadership roles with environmental nonprofits. He brings an entrepreneurial approach to executive leadership and has a passion for H2O for Life’s work developing, inspiring, and empowering young people to help solve the world’s water crisis.

“Doug is energetic and passionate about our mission. He has the skill set to bring H2O for Life into the future as we continue to grow and expand our impact on young people and the global water crisis. Doug is a person who wants to make the world a better place and we believe he will direct our organization to maximize our impact,” said H2O for Life Board Member Nicole Kettwick. “With Doug’s skills and experience, he can come in and hit the ground running. He brings a listening ear, eager to learn more about what has worked in the past, a curiosity to ask the right questions, and energy to help us continue to grow.”

Prior to joining H2O for Life, Niemela served as an executive director taking on issues from climate change to renewable energy to playing a lead role in the fight to protect the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness from sulfide ore copper mining. He also participated in numerous leadership cohorts within the outdoor industry and the Twin Cities entrepreneurial communities where he gained valuable insights in communications, marketing, and narrative-based motivation.

“This is an organization that has been so well-positioned to take the next steps to end the world water crisis. I am excited to grow awareness for the critical importance of our work by introducing H2O for Life to new audiences, and to work with our great staff and supporters to increase our capacity to make sure that every school in the world has access to clean water and sanitation,” Niemela said. “I believe that ending the world water crisis is the most critical work that we can be doing. To have the opportunity to lead an organization with the history and success of H2O for Life is an amazing honor and one I approach with humility and gratitude.”

As Executive Director, Niemela will work closely with staff and the H2O for Life Board to ensure the organization embodies a nimble, innovative approach and continues to adapt to the changing educational landscape. One of his first acts as Executive Director will be to oversee Spring Splash, H2O for Life’s first-ever virtual event that aims to garner new supporters and build momentum around the movement to activate children in the fight against the global water crisis.

About H2O for Life
H2O for Life’s service-learning opportunities are designed to engage, educate, and inspire youth to become global citizens. Our innovative school-to-school approach helps young people develop a concern for others by taking a major global crisis and scaling it down to a manageable size; one water project in the developing world. Through the service-learning opportunity we provide, students learn that they can make a tangible difference for the students in their partner school. In all, our partner schools have sent over $3.5 million to schools in need. For more information, please visit www.h2oforlifeschools.org

H2O for Life
1310 Highway 96 E, #235
White Bear Lake, MN 55110
651-756-7577 | info@h2oforlifeschools.org

Nick Coughlin, Director of Communications
Phone Number: 651-377-1094 | Ext: 104
Email: ncoughlin@h2oforlifeschools.org


Download a PDF version of this release here.

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