GWP Appoints New Executive Secretary

The Global Water Partnership (GWP) Steering Committee announced the appointment of Mr Darío Soto-Abril (pictured) as GWP Executive Secretary, effective March 1, 2021. Soto-Abril joins GWP after serving as Global CEO at Fairtrade International since February 2017.

Soto-Abril spent the first part of his career as a corporate lawyer before moving to The Trust for the Americas, the non-profit affiliate of the Organization of American States (OAS) where he spent 14 years as the Deputy Executive Director/Chief Operating Officer. 

“Dario brings to GWP extensive experience of a network whose dynamics are similar in many ways to ours,” said Mr Howard Bamsey, GWP Chair, in announcing the unanimous decision to appoint Soto-Abril. “He has a proven track record of successful resource mobilisation, motivating staff across five continents, and leading change.”

In addition to increasing the flow of fundraised resources at Fairtrade and strengthening Fairtrade partnerships with businesses, governments, and international organisations, Soto-Abril led a process of transformation that resulted in a greater focus on impact priorities, delivering positive change for more than 5 million people in agricultural communities around the globe. 

During his time at The Trust/OAS, he led the expansion from three to 22 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, building coalitions and public-private partnerships around free trade, workers’ rights, and human rights. 

“Water is the most important resource humanity has and is key to our survival,” said Soto-Abril in accepting the position. “GWP’s mission and its new strategy call us to double our efforts in securing access to water for all, while recognising water as a fundamental human right. By anchoring our work in the Sustainable Development Goals, and connecting it with a strong response to the COVID crisis, GWP is uniquely positioned to lead, inspire, and mobilise new partners to join us in this endeavour.”

Bamsey noted that Soto-Abril would be taking over as the GWP network is in the early years of its 2020-2025 strategy, Mobilising for a Water Secure World. “Dario showed that he has been working with civil society, governments, and the private sector to achieve inclusive economic growth and wellbeing – an excellent alignment with the way GWP works to achieve its strategy,” said Bamsey. 

GWP, a global action network focused on the sustainable management of water resources, is served by a secretariat in Stockholm, Sweden – the Global Water Partnership Organisation (GWPO) – hosted  by the Swedish government. The GWP Executive Secretary serves as CEO of GWPO. 

Soto-Abril, a Colombian, has a Law degree from Universidad Javeriana (Colombia), a Masters of Law from Tulane University (New Orleans), and a Masters in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Soto-Abril enjoys sailing and has a deep love of animals, having done philanthropic work in animal shelters in Colombia.