Breslaw to Lead NRECA International FoundationBy Victoria A. Rocha | ECT Staff Writer Published: August 19th, 2014
Marc Breslaw has seen firsthand how electricity can transform people’s lives.
“I have seen the effect of one light and what it can do for people,” Marc Breslaw said of the scene he witnessed in a Ugandan refugee camp several years ago.
“Just the presence of one outdoor street light meant that women could go to the latrine at night and not fear for their safety. Kids were able to come home after walking miles to school, and after doing their chores they could gather under the light and do their homework. Do that for a whole village and the possibilities are endless.”
As executive director of the NRECA International Foundation, Breslaw will lead the effort to expand the foundation through greater contributions from within the NRECA membership, as well as from outside donors.
“I look forward to having Marc join the international team and am confident that his skills and background will further solidify NRECA and electric cooperative leadership in rural electrification programs overseas,” said Dan Waddle, senior vice president of NRECA International Ltd.
A former executive at organizations focusing on international economic development, health, clean water and clean energy programs—and now rural electrification—Breslaw said each area of need depends on the other.
“None of these initiatives are siloed, whether it’s health care, education or electrification. Each one impacts every other aspect of political, social and economic development.”
“Electrification is a door opener,” Breslaw continued. “It’s a means for better education, improved health outcomes and for raising the level of everyone’s prosperity.”
NRECA CEO Jo Ann Emerson said Breslaw will be an asset. “His experience will help us create more opportunities to broaden our reach around the world, strengthening our mission to provide people in developing countries with access to safe, reliable and affordable electricity.”
Before coming to NRECA, Breslaw was director of external relations at Global Rights, a human rights advocacy organization working in Afghanistan, Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America. Prior to that, he was executive director of the U.S. Association for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, as well as its chief fundraiser. In addition, Breslaw serves on the board of the Greater Washington chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.
He is also a member of Rappahannock Electric Cooperative in Fredericksburg, Va.