WEF Appoints Deputy Executive Director, New Chief Technical Officer
Eileen O’Neill, Ph.D., assumes No. 2 position and Matthew Ries heads technical programs
The Water Environment Federation (WEF) is pleased to announce the promotion of Eileen O'Neill, Ph.D., to the position of deputy executive director and the promotion of Matthew Ries to chief technical officer. The announcement comes as the organization aligns resources to support emerging initiatives.
As deputy executive director, O'Neill will focus on pursuing innovation opportunities and global and academic relations, as well as supporting WEF Executive Director Jeff Eger in his responsibilities. Serving most recently as WEF’s chief technical officer, O'Neill joined WEF in 1991 as manager of industrial programs and steadily increased her responsibilities through a succession of positions including industrial programs director, director-international and assistant deputy executive director.
O'Neill has a bachelor's degree in soil science from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne and a Ph.D. in soil science from the University of Aberdeen. O’Neill also undertook a post-doctoral traineeship in environmental toxicology at the University of Wisconsin at Madison and is the author of more than 25 book chapters, magazine articles, conference papers and peer-reviewed scientific papers.
In the new assignment as chief technical officer, Ries will fulfill many of the responsibilities formerly held by O'Neill. This will include oversight of technical programming and development for WEF’s Annual Technical Exhibition and Conference, also known as WEFTEC, as well as educational, training, periodicals, publications and web-based initiatives.
While at WEF, Ries has been instrumental in launching WEF's sustainability and storm water initiatives. In addition, his staff serves as liaisons to more than 20 technical committees and three communities of practice.
Before joining WEF in 2005 as managing director of technical and educational services, Ries was a consultant in the planning, design, construction and startup of water, wastewater, storm water and industrial facilities. A registered professional engineer, Ries holds a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from Valparaiso University, a master's degree in environmental engineering from the University of Notre Dame and was recently admitted to the doctoral program at the University of South Florida.