Kimberly Worsham (United States)
NYC H20, United States
Master of Integrated Water Management
From a Bachelor of Science, Business Administration and a Master of Public Administration, International Development, Kimberly has learned a great deal about general business management and data manipulation through her studies. Her professional career has given her skills in data analysis, program management, and effective communication to local and global stakeholders, leading her to a love of teaching.
She has consulted for a WASH NGO in India, as well as worked in women's education and leadership in Rwanda, and in strategy and funding procurement for public education in water and sanitation for NYC H2O.
She is currently working as a Director at NYC H2O, and recently worked as a Performance Manager for The City of New York on the Jobs-Plus Program.
Helping to shift the future of the WASH dialogue
I have taken the time over the last few years to reflect on my interests and better understand how I want to direct my career in water management. This past year in particular has solidified my desire to drive change in the relationship between people and water systems by becoming an educator and researcher.
I have helped with water stewardship causes in my area by joining the board of a water education NGO, NYC H2O, with whom I've volunteered since 2011. I work with the founder to create and secure grant funding for public education events that help elucidate our city's relationship with water and sanitation. It has been a rewarding experience seeing the light bulb go off inside the heads of children and adults alike during our programs.
I volunteered at charity:water for a research project, where I worked to help staff develop a deeper understanding of the water management context in their grantee countries. My research and analysis helped the grant managers and decision makers determine the most beneficial programs with the biggest desired impact.
My love for water and sanitation work was fully realised when I worked on a consulting project for a WASH NGO in India in 2009. My team and I looked at how they could expand their impact as an organisation, both in East India and beyond and provided recommendations for the NGO and further clarity to the WASH industry as a whole.
Looking back at my involvement in the WASH world, I see that my leadership could be best used to help others understand how people comprehend and interact with their community's water cycle – from municipal policies to the impact of our daily water use.
As an educator and passionate expert, I see myself as being a vital resource that can help shift the future of the WASH dialogue.
The many-sided die of water discussions
It is essential to learn about water management in a holistic way, as it touches all aspects of life, and needs to be approached in a way that takes into account its enormity. At NYC H2O, we've seen our interdisciplinary approach to the education programs give the public a more useful picture on how the water system in the city works, as well as engage more people and answer more questions.
It was prudent that we work with historians, environmentalists, hydrogeologists, teachers, sewage plant engineers, and government officials for our tour programs. Each discipline gives important feedback for each facet. Civil engineers describe the science and technologies; policy makers illustrate the many different lobby and stakeholder parties involved; environmentalists bring up the concerns that are an integral part of the water cycle and dictate how our activities on the planet affect the natural world; and economists and business people lay out the framework of the benefits and costs pertaining to creating systems.
I find the interdisciplinary nature of our work to be vital in this field. I need to visualise the many-sided die of water discussions in order to feel comfortable making decisions. Knowing all of the many different pieces that fit together and are a part of the world of water is essential to improving water management.
Shaping water management globally
I believe that the MIWM program will help me develop my professional capacity and a more integrative knowledge of the water world.
I know that working with the faculty in the MIWM program and their interdisciplinary backgrounds, as well as the hands-on experiences from the many field trips included in the program, will help me comprehend the practical needs and impacts in the water sector. It will also help clearly map out where my work can contribute to the real changes being made internationally.
I believe learning about the integrative ways to manage water will bring me to a place where I can pursue my PhD in water and sanitation. Ultimately, MIWM will better enable me to become an expert researcher and educator who can shape our future water experts and stakeholders in further creating sustainable improvements to the water management of global communities.
Kimberly has written a review of the Master of Integrated Water Management program for the GoAbroad website: http://www.goabroad.com/interviews/kimberly-worsham-2015-program-participant