Larry Siegel

Larry Siegel

Executive Director, Safe Water International

Larry Siegel is Executive Director of Safe Water International, an all-volunteer, Santa Barbara-based non-profit that works to improve drinking water and sanitation in poor rural villages.

Larry grew up in California and attended Saint Mary’s College of California.  He has a master’s degree in international relations from Georgetown University.

It was in Vietnam, of all places, that Larry’s interest in drinking water began.  He served there on a U.S. Army civil affairs team that was frequently asked to dig water wells or find ways to provide drinking water to rural villages.  When he returned home, Larry worked in Washington, D.C. as a legislative assistant in the U.S. House and Senate.  One of his earliest tasks was to help draft the “Safe Drinking Water Act of 1973”.  He also worked on passage of the “Rural Drinking Water Act” to address the 3 million Americans who in the early 1970s did not have indoor drinking water.

Larry later worked as a Washington, D.C. lobbyist for IBM and, after relocating to California in 1993, as local government manager and a fund raiser for several non-profit organizations.

In 1994, Larry and a few who had collaborated on federal drinking water policy established Safe Water International ( to learn if the commercial marketplace could help address the 1.5 billion people then estimated to have  only contaminated water to drink.  With help from private donors and Rotary Foundation funds, SWI has since undertaken drinking water projects in Mexico, Bolivia, Cambodia, Malawi and Guatemala. 

Larry currently lives in Miami, FL with his wife, Carol Ann.  They have three grown children.  He loves fly-fishing.