Peter Thum


Peter Thum is an entrepreneur, perhaps most recognizable for founding Ethos Water, a socially conscious brand that was sold to Starbucks. Thum's mission is to build brands and businesses that tackle global problems. Currently, he is CEO and co-founder of Fonderie 47.

In 2000, Peter witnessed firsthand the devastating effects of the world water crisis on women and children while working in Africa. At the time, little attention was paid to the problem. In response, Peter had the idea to start Ethos Water to fund water provision and to raise awareness around the world of the issue. Beginning in 2001, he built the company as its President, and sold it to Starbucks in 2005 where he led the brand for three more years as Vice President of Starbucks and a Director of the Starbucks Foundation. To date, over 400,000 people have gained water and sanitation access through Ethos and millions of Americans have learned about the water crisis for the first time through the brand. Peter continues to work on the water crisis through Giving Water, the not-for-profit he founded toward this purpose, which has helped over 1,000 children in Kenya to get water access.

Since 2009, Peter has led the development of Fonderie 47 with the mission to significantly reduce the number and impact of assault rifles in Africa. Fonderie 47 transforms AK47s from conflict zones in Africa into rare jewelry, watches, and accessories. In turn, the sale of these pieces funds the destruction of more assault rifles in Africa. Each customer personally becomes an agent of weapon destruction. To date, Fonderie 47 has destroyed over 25,000 assault rifles in Africa.

Thum also serves on the boards for several companies and organizations focused on service, including: The Global Fund for Human Rights, The Center for Human Rights Leadership at Claremont McKenna College, The Dean's Council of the NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, and Impossible to Possible Ultra-Athletic Adventures.

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