We are thrilled to welcome Lauren Butler as our Global Program Director for Central America. In this new role, Lauren will be responsible for overseeing strategic and tactical Central American program operations, creating new strategic partnerships to collaborate and increase our impact in rural communities, and help us achieve the ambitious targets we set in our new five year strategic plan.
Lauren has over a decade of experience working with developing communities and nations to increase access to safe water. Her specialization is in water quality and the complex systems through which information about water gets stored, analyzed, and used to improve projects, programs, policies, and products that can save lives and improve livelihoods.
Originally from the Chicago area, Lauren studied Mechanical Engineering at the University of Minnesota. After receiving her degree, Lauren moved to Bolivia to work with the not-for-profit Engineers In Action and manage water projects in rural communities for three years. Wanting to learn more about how water use fits into environmental sustainability, Lauren received a master’s degree at Columbia University in Earth and Environmental Engineering with a concentration in water resources and climate change. Lauren’s research with the Columbia Water Center, first as a graduate student and then as staff, brought her to Peru many times to conduct basin-level data analysis of heavy metal contamination in mining regions.
Lauren then returned to work with Engineers In Action at a global level, initiating a new service learning program for water and sanitation improvements in Latin America and Africa with a government-centric approach. She lives (mostly) in Antigua, Guatemala and has been working as an independent consultant on projects like transboundary water resources monitoring, proposal creation for multilateral funding, and water filter testing. For a couple months a year she returns to New York City to teach the course Engineering for Community Development at Columbia University.
“I found EOS by seeking to learn about organizations doing the ‘coolest’ and most impactful work in water quality and monitoring in Latin America and have been so impressed as I’ve learned about the programs. I’m thrilled to be jumping into what can best be described as a dream job, and to serve the EOS teams and partner communities through this role.” – Lauren Butler
Some Fun Facts About Lauren:
- Lauren was a professional dancer and started a dance company in NYC that does choreography all about her favorite topic: water!
- Lauren and her partner have an incredibly fluffy dog in Guatemala named Luna
- Favorite book genre: historical fiction
- Favorite place: rustic cabins on Manitoulin Island, Canada where she has gone nearly every summer, a tradition started by her great-grandparents
- Favorite make-believe game as a child: playing “inventor”
Photos (L-R): Research site visit to the Antamina mine in Ancash, Peru. Conducting diagnostic well tests in Konani, Bolivia. On a hike in Quiche, Guatemala with Luna. Testing water quality in Madidi National Park.