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Peter Thum

Founder, Ethos Water and Fonderie 47

Peter Alan Thum is an American social entrepreneur, business executive, and humanitarian. He is the founder of the social venture Ethos Water and the non-profit organization Giving Water.

Thum had the idea for Ethos Water in 2001 while working for McKinsey & Company on a project in South Africa where he saw water issues firsthand. Thum led Ethos as President through its acquisition by Starbucks in 2005. From 2005 to 2008, he managed Ethos and other businesses as a vice president of Starbucks and guided its philanthropy as a Director of the Starbucks Foundation.

Starbucks donates US$0.05 per bottle sold to the Ethos Water mission. To date, Ethos Water has generated more than $6.2 million for water programs around the world, helping more than 420,000 people get access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene education.

Thum’s current venture is called Fonderie 47, which buys up AK-47s in Africa, smelts the metal down to make jewelry.