A respected leader in the water sector, Marla is a civil engineer who brings 25 years of hands-on field experience with water supply and sanitation projects in developing countries. Prior to founding Water 1st, she was a consulting engineer with positions at USAID in Honduras and CH2M, where she led a team to develop the Water Master Plan for the City of Cairo, Egypt. She was also a Co-Founder and Director at WaterPartners International (now water.org). In her career, she has overseen the implementation of over thousands of community water projects in Latin America, Asia and Africa benefiting over 300,000 people.
Marla has remained steadfast to her mission to advocate for and support effective international development—supporting local, long-lasting solutions to the water and sanitation crisis—the first step out of poverty toward transformation. She is an expert in identifying and partnering with on-the-ground implementing organizations and has a unique ability to communicate the world water crisis and the stories of our project beneficiaries and inspire us to take action in effective ways.