October 2021

Rachel Peletz takes over as Interim Executive Director

Welcome, Rachel Peletz as our new Interim Executive Director at Aquaya.

Aquaya recently received the REAL-Water grant from USAID, which will evaluate strategies for expanding access to safe, equitable, and sustainable rural water across the developing world.  With the start of this new grant, Ranjiv Khush is transitioning out of his role as Executive Director to his new role as Project Director for REAL-Water. Jeff Albert will join him as the Deputy Director.

We are enormously grateful for Ranjiv’s leadership over the past 13 years as the Executive Director, and the past 16 years since co-founding Aquaya. We are confident that, under Ranjiv’s and Jeff’s leadership, the REAL-Water project will be a great success that will showcase Aquaya’s tremendous strengths and abilities.

With Ranjiv transitioning to his new role, we are delighted to share that the Board unanimously voted to approve Rachel Peletz as the Interim Executive Director effective immediately.


Rachel has been with Aquaya for over 9 years and has taken on increasing leadership roles over the years. With over 30 peer-reviewed publications, she brings an interdisciplinary research approach that combines engineering, public health, nutrition, microbiology, and economics. Having served as a Director of Research and Programs for the past 5 years, Rachel has become deeply involved with research and operational decisions and is in a prime position to serve as the Executive Director.

I hope you join me in celebrating these important milestones in Aquaya’s continuing journey of excellence and impact, and in supporting both Rachel, Ranjiv, and Jeff in their vital new roles.

Brief thoughts from our leadership on this change:

Rachel Peletz


This is an exciting time for Aquaya, and I’m thrilled to lead Aquaya through the next steps of our journey. It is an honor and privilege to work with such brilliant, passionate, and dedicated individuals. I want to particularly commend Ranjiv and Jeff for creating and guiding Aquaya over the past 16 years. As we start this new chapter, I look forward to growing Aquaya’s team and continuing to build Aquaya’s success!

Ranjiv Khush


Managing REAL-Water is a return to the specific activities that first motivated me to start Aquaya with Jeff: building successful global collaborations that address critical development challenges. I’m also convinced that this is the time for a new generation of Aquaya leaders: better, faster, stronger!


The opportunity for Aquaya to lead a multi-year USAID grant of this scale feels like a dream come true, and something that I could barely have imagined not too long ago. Ranjiv, of course, knows when to aim high – far higher than we ever have before. Along those lines, we are not shying away from the REAL Water objective: to find and promote the best ways to expand and sustain delivery of basic water supply services to the most vulnerable populations on earth.

I am also so proud of the Aquaya transition to new leadership. While Ranjiv and I will be steering the REAL Water program, we are both thrilled and relieved that Rachel is taking over the helm of the organization, with the support of the best research, innovation, and operations team we’ve ever had in place.

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