1999 Scholar Profiles

Dr. Ku McMahan

  • Hometown:
    High Point, NC
  • High School:
    T.W. Andrew High
  • College:
    Duke University
  • College Major:
    Environmental Science & Policy
  • Graduate School(s):
    UNC - Chapel Hill School of Public Health

Research Interests: Global Water, Sanitation and Hygiene; Environmental Microbiology; Drinking Water Quality; Diarrheal Disease

For the last five years, Dr. McMahan has studied household drinking water testing and treatment as a mechanism to improve household drinking water quality and reduce diarrheal disease. In addition, he has developed a simple, low-cost water quality test for developing countries and emergency situations. His travels to Vietnam, Peru, Laos, and Thailand taught him that “clean water is of the highest importance not only for their physical health, but it also impacts their emotional and economic well being, whether it’s the local head of the People’s Water committee, an average worker in Saigon worrying about their water, or village fishermen and farmers, everyone thinks about clean water every day.”

Dr. McMahan is Program Executive Officer for the West Africa Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Program in GLOWS. In addition, he is currently working with USAID to incorporate his team’s water quality test into country-wide demographic health surveys in Peru, Africa and Asia. Dr. McMahan received his PhD in Environmental Sciences and a MPH in Environmental Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill under a NSF and EPA STAR fellowship. He received an A.B in Environmental Sciences and Policy as a B.N. Duke scholar from Duke University.

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