News Releases

December 30, 2016

WQA Board names Pauli Undesser new Executive Director
Water industry veteran brings experience and energy to job

LISLE, Ill. – The Water Quality Association (WQA) Board of Directors today voted to name Pauli Undesser as the Association’s new Executive Director. Her new role officially begins January 1, 2017.

“The Board was unanimous in its decision to see Pauli advance to this leadership role at WQA,” said WQA Board President Don McGhee. “This is a well-deserved appointment for Pauli, who brings a wealth of experience and energy to this position.”

Undesser joined WQA in 2007, and was named Deputy Executive Director in May 2014. Prior to that, she served as WQA's Director of Regulatory and Technical Affairs and Water Quality Research Foundation Coordinator.

Undesser succeeds David Westman, who has been serving as interim executive director since November, 2014. “WQA is absolutely in great hands with Pauli Undesser as the new executive director,” said Westman. “She is respected not only at WQA and the water community but more broadly within the association world, as well.” 

Under Undesser’s leadership, WQA successfully coordinated a coalition to re-write and simplify industry product certification laws in California, launched an unprecedented capital campaign for its foundation and developed an internal toxicology program. 

“Pauli is not only an expert in water treatment technologies, standards, codes and regulations, but she also has high-level project management skills,” McGhee said. “She is the right person for the job at such a pivotal time for our industry.” 

Undesser holds a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a master’s degree in Biochemistry from Northern Illinois University. She was recently honored as a recipient of the Association Forum of Chicago’s Forty Under 40 Award which recognizes outstanding association and nonprofit professionals for their professional accomplishments, commitment to the industry and leadership skills. 

WQA is a not-for-profit trade association representing the residential, commercial, and industrial water treatment industry. Since 1959, the WQA Gold Seal certification program has been certifying products that contribute to the safe consumption of water. The WQA Gold Seal program is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Standards Council of Canada (SCC). 

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