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Transforming suffering into compassion and action, Ned leads an organization that brings water, and visibility, to villagers around the world who have otherwise been passed over.
One of the miracles of human existence is that even terrible suffering can be transformed. Ned was sexually, physically and emotionally abused by his own father, and betrayed by his own mother, who did nothing to stop the abuse. Despite the abuse and betrayal, Ned found safety, and love, in a growing family of friends and allies whom he encountered, sometimes in the most unexpected places. And crucially, he met Lindsey, his high school sweetheart with whom he has shared the past 32 years.
The safety and love that he discovered in these relationships allowed Ned to confront the pain and darkness that he kept sealed in an inner box for decades. A therapist stood with him as he opened the box, releasing Ned to experience greater trust and less aloneness.
Ned is the CEO of Water for People, a US-based non-profit that works to provide access to safe drinking water for everyone, everywhere. Its work spans three continents. But Ned will tell you that the mission of Water for People is both simpler and deeper than to provide safe drinking water. Its mission is captured in two words: Everyone Forever. “The underlying core principle of everyone forever is that you can’t leave anyone behind, and you have to see them. And what I think it comes from is, as every survivor knows, we’ve felt unseen. And so our work is designed around a view of humanity that says no one gets left behind and everyone gets seen.”