Growing up in hot and dry Austin, Texas gave Michael Murphy (MBA/MAIEP ’08) a deep-rooted understanding of the value of water as a resource and how stressed many of our water sources are. In true Monterey Institute fashion, Michael has made global and local water challenges the focus of a highly specialized career that also relies heavily on his skills in developing community connections.
After working on water supply and sanitation issues for the World Bank for several years, Michael has now taken on the high profile task of leading efforts to build the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ nascent water technology cluster—a $4 billion dollar sector “poised for strong growth” according to the National Law Review. His role is to bring together the nearly 300 organizations, companies, and institutions working within state borders on water technology, with the goal of transforming the disjointed cluster into a world-class hub of water innovation.
“It is very exciting and humbling,” Michael says, noting happily that it has already led to exponential growth of his professional network. “I feel very fortunate to get to work on water, policy, and business in a position that also includes international development components—it combines all of my professional interests!”
Michael came to the Monterey Institute after spending two years in Bolivia, where he specialized in water resources as a Peace Corps volunteer, planning and building water wells. He quickly connected to the community, finding the knowledge and experience of his fellow students invaluable and working closely with faculty on several long-term projects. But perhaps the most meaningful lessons came from serving as the second co-director of Team El Salvador (’07-’08), the winter term development practicum he says had “tremendous, tangible value.”