Alison Hill has leveraged the philanthropic success of LifeStraw to take safe water programs to scale, providing more than 4.6M kids with safe water for a year. Congratulations to Alison for being selected as the YPO Global Impact Regional Honoree for the Northeastern U.S. Region.
For every LifeStraw product sold at retail, a child in need receives safe water for an entire school year. In addition, in 2020, her teams and products have helped provide safe water access to over 136,000 people following natural disasters in more than 18 countries. LifeStraw has provided more than 38 million LifeStraw Guinea worm filters to the Carter Center over the last 25 years in continuous support of their Guinea worm disease eradication program. LifeStraw also has a strong commitment to the planet; it is a carbon neutral company, offsets hundreds of millions of single use plastic water bottles through its products and ensures sustainable packaging and water stewardship throughout its end-to-end manufacturing and operations.
Under Alison’s leadership, the LifeStraw business has grown more than 80 percent in the last five years in the outdoor sports and emergency retail markets and, in 2019, the company entered the household market. The growth of LifeStraw’s retail business drove the launch and success of one of the largest private investments to provide kids around the world with safe drinking water. And, recently, the brand reached a milestone to provide over three million kids safe drinking water for a year through its give back initiative.
Alison began her career living in Zambia, Africa, focused on the HIV/AIDS epidemic, aiming to gain experience in infectious disease work. After four years leading a staff of 100, caring for more than 600 patients at any given time, she concluded that she could make a greater impact by influencing public health. She returned to the states and got a Master’s in Public Health and an MBA from John’s Hopkins University.
In 2009, Alison joined Vestergaard, the parent company of LifeStraw, focusing initially on innovative financing for health programs. She spearheaded the first program ever to link carbon finance to safe drinking water – providing water filtration to 4.5 million people in Africa. In 2012, Alison was named Managing Director of Vestergaard’s water business-LifeStraw. She drove LIfeStraw’s entry into the retail space but kept the brand true to the company’s humanitarian DNA. In 2020, she was officially named CEO.
At 40, Alison has emerged as one of a handful of women business leaders successfully managing an international brand that brings together retail, social good and public health, and she has infused the company with female leaders at all levels of the value chain.