Magdalene Matthews Ofori-Kuma leads implementation of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation’s Safe Water Initiative. Prior to joining the Hilton Foundation, she served as water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) officer with the United Nations Children’s Fund Regional Office for Eastern and Southern Africa based in Nairobi, Kenya, where she was responsible for providing technical assistance and oversight to 21 countries in the region, translating the organization’s global WASH strategy and the broader Sustainable Development Goals targets into implementable programs at country level.
Matthews also served as program manager and water quality specialist on a multi-million dollar, USAID-funded water infrastructure rehabilitation project in Liberia, West Africa, driving policy action and building capacity in the nation’s war-stricken WASH sector at a crucial time in its recent history—during post-conflict, post-Ebola recovery. She spent several years working with the United Nations Development Programme’s Office of the UN Resident Coordinator, playing a strategic coordination and advisory role across the 25 UN mission, agencies, funds and programs which were actively engaged in Liberia’s national rebuilding process. Matthews holds a master’s degree in environmental health from the Harvard Cyprus International Institute for Environmental and Public Health in Limassol, Cyprus, and post-graduate certification in public management from the Florida International University, along with several other certifications in WASH in schools and WASH in health care facilities programming from Emory University.