George Greene III, PE, Ph.D. Co-founded the Global Water Center and Water Mission

Charleston SCFebruary 8, 2024 — The Global Water Center (GWC) and Water Mission honor George Greene III, PE, Ph.D., on his 80th birthday. Dr. Greene co-founded both nonprofits with his late wife Molly Greene. Both global humanitarian organizations are based in N. Charleston, and each has complementary objectives focused on ending the global water crisis that affects more than 2 billion people.

For more than 25 years, Dr. Greene has been dedicated to showing God’s love to people in need through lifesaving safe water solutions. In 2001, Dr. Greene and Molly co-founded Water Mission, a Christian engineering nonprofit that builds sustainable safe water solutions for people in developing countries, refugee camps, and disaster areas. Over the next 23 years, Water Mission served more than 8 million men, women, and children in 60 countries. They then created the GWC to drive standards, provide training and monitoring, and to foster collaboration with other water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) organizations. The GWC is positioned as a go-to resource for safe water implementors in the rural water sector

“George cares deeply for those around him. Remarkably, he cares just as deeply for people he will never meet, particularly for the 2 billion people who lack access to safe water,” said Thomas Johnston, Chief Operations Officer of GWC. “Dr. Greene is highly focused, incredibly intelligent, committed to excellence, and loves engineering standards. All of this comes wrapped up in a very humble and compassionate persona. He lives out his faith every day inspiring others to come alongside him in this shared purpose to bring safe water to everyone in need.”

Retirement looks different for Dr. Greene compared to most Americans. He remains an active servant leader as the CEO of GWC and is a long time Water Mission board member after previously holding the Water Mission CEO and Board Chair roles.  Prior to founding Water Mission and GWC, Dr. Greene started his professional career in Germany with an international engineering company before returning to the United States and joining Exxon Research and Engineering. In 1981, he moved his family to Charleston to build General Engineering Laboratories, (now known as GEL Group.) Together with Molly, the business grew to become one of the largest single site privately owned environmental laboratories in the U.S.  Dr. and Mrs. Greene sold the business in 2001 to the leadership team and used proceeds to start Water Mission.

In honor of his dedication to saving lives, Dr. Greene has received numerous awards, including Order of the Palmetto, South Carolina’s highest civilian award, and Rotary International’s Service Above Self Award. Dr. Greene was also awarded an honorary Doctor of Public Service from Charleston Southern University. In 2022, Dr. Greene was inducted into the South Carolina Business Hall of Fame for his accomplishments as a business leader and humanitarian.

“As we celebrate my father’s 80th birthday, we are celebrating a life of faithfulness that started with his parents planting seeds of faith, grounded in the values of love, excellence, and integrity,” said Water Mission CEO and President George Greene IV, PE. “The seed took root in his late twenties and from that point on, faith became the priority in his and my mother’s life. In their for-profit business, faith manifested itself in the way they ran the organization, treating others the way they wanted to be treated.  As the business grew with amazing success, little did they know that it was all in preparation for something bigger, and in 2001 they felt a calling to leave the for-profit world and start Water Mission and eventually GWC.  Outside of the focus on business and ministry, George III intentionally poured into his family, instilling the same values in me and my sister and encouraging the instilling of those values in the lives of his grandchildren today. With this very brief summary of a life well lived, please join us in celebrating today!”

About Global Water Center

Global Water Center, in collaboration with Water Mission, CAWST, and UNICEF, has trained water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) professionals in more than 67 countries. The purpose of GWC is to serve the global WASH community to rapidly scale the world’s effort to bring safe water to everyone in need. Through collective action, training, and technical support, GWC drives accountability and adherence to standards, ensuring access to safe water for millions of people around the world.

About Water Mission
Water Mission is a Christian engineering nonprofit that builds sustainable safe water solutions for people in developing countries, refugee camps, and disaster areas. Since 2001, Water Mission has served more than 8 million people in 60 countries, sharing safe water and the message of God’s love. Water Mission’s global headquarters is in N. Charleston, S.C., and the organization has more than 400 staff members based in Africa; Asia; and North, South, and Central America. Charity Navigator has awarded Water Mission its top four-star rating 17 years in a row, a distinction shared by less than 1% of the charities rated by the organization.