IWMI Announces the appointment of five new members of the IWMI Board of Governors and Program Committee

New members’ expertise will be invaluable as the institute works towards water systems transformation in the critical years ahead. 

New members’ expertise will be invaluable as the institute works towards water systems transformation in the critical years ahead. 

1 June 2023, Colombo, Sri Lanka – The International Water Management Institute (IWMI) announced today the appointment of five new members of the IWMI Board of Governors and its Program Committee. Each will play a key role in guiding IWMI’s growth and development in the years to come. They have been appointed by the IWMI Board to replace members whose terms have ended or will end in 2023, and to add independent expertise to the Board’s Program Committee.

IWMI welcomes:

Akiça Bahri. Professor Bahri, a national of Tunisia, is well known to IWMI, having served on the IWMI Board in 2003-4 and as IWMI’s Director for Africa, based in Accra, Ghana, from 2005 to 2010. The holder of a Doctor-Engineer degree from the Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse, France, and a PhD. in Water Resources Engineering from Lund University, Sweden, Prof. Bahri was the winner of the 2018 IWA Women in Water Award and the 2009 Prof. C.N.R. Rao Prize for Scientific Research. She was Coordinator of the African Water Facility at the African Development Bank, and Professor and Director of Research at the National Research Institute for Agricultural Engineering, Water, and Forestry in Tunis. Prof. Bhari is a former Minister of Agriculture, Water Resources and Fisheries of Tunisia. She joined the IWMI Board effective 1 April 2023.

Julien Harou.  Professor Harou, a national of Belgium, is an internationally recognized expert on modelling water resource system planning and management including economic drivers of water use and allocation, water trading, infrastructure portfolio optimization and planning of water supply under uncertainty. Prof. Harou is a recipient of the NASA Launch Innovator award for his group’s contributions to open-source water management software. He has served as Chair in Water Engineering at the University of Manchester since 2013.

Previously, he was a lecturer at University College London. He holds a PhD in water resources engineering and economics from the University of California Davis and a Master’s degree from Cornell University. Prof. Harou joined the Program Committee of the IWMI Board of Governors as an independent member effective 1 April 2023.

Dhesigen Naidoo. Mr. Naidoo, a national of South Africa, is Commissioner and Climate Adaptation Lead for the South African Presidential Climate Commission, as well as Senior Research Associate at the Institute for Security Studies. He serves as President of the global non-governmental organisation Human Right 2 Water, and is a founding member of the Water Policy Group. Mr. Naidoo was Chief Executive Officer of the Water Research Commission, South Africa’s dedicated national water and sanitation, innovation, research and development organization from 2011-2020. He has previously served in senior positions in the South African government and at South African universities, having begun his career as a medical scientist in a specialist children’s hospital. He is a councillor of the National Advisory Council on Innovation and a Fellow of the Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection. Mr. Naidoo will join the IWMI Board on 1 January 2024.

Veena Srinivasan. Dr. Srinivasan, a national of India, is Executive Director of Water, Environment, Land and Livelihoods (WELL) Labs in Bengaluru, India. She is well-known as an innovative leader who integrates interdisciplinary research and grassroots collaboration to create science-based solutions for land and water sustainability with social impact at scale. Dr. Srinivasan received the 2012 Water Resources Research Editor’s Choice Award from the American Geophysical Union, the 2015 Jim Dooge Award from the European Geophysical Union and was honored as a Teresa Heinz Scholar for Environmental Research. She was previously Director of the Centre for Social and Environmental Innovation at the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment, and received her PhD from Stanford University’s Emmet Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources. Dr Srinivasan will join the IWMI Board on 1 January 2024.

Patricia Wouters. Professor Wouters, a national of Canada, is the founding Director of the International Water Law Academy at the China Institute of Boundary and Ocean Studies (CIBOS) of Wuhan University. Prof. Wouters, a former practicing litigation lawyer in Canada, has 30 years’ experience in the field of public international law, specialising in transboundary water cooperation. She was founding director of the Dundee UNESCO Centre.

for Water Law, Policy, and Science, which grew out of the International Water Law Research Institute, established by Prof. Wouters in 1997 at the University of Dundee, Scotland. She has published extensively on the rules of international law that govern transboundary freshwater, served on a number of international advisory boards (public and private sector) and provided expert inputs to many international and national organisations, including the United Nations, World Bank, Global Water Partnership, and World Economic Forum. She has consulted directly on transboundary water issues across Asia, Africa, and North America. Prof. Wouters joined the IWMI Board effective 1 April 2023.

“I am delighted that such outstanding global leaders in the water arena are joining the IWMI Board,” said Roberto Lenton, IWMI Board Chair. Simi Kamal, Vice-Chair of the IWMI Board, remarked: “All five individuals are exceptionally well qualified and will bring a wealth of experience and new ideas to the Board.” She continued: “IWMI is extremely lucky to be able to count on their knowledge and experience in the years ahead, especially when bold water action is a priority now more than ever.” 

Media Contact: Niroshini Fernando, Communications Specialist: n.fernando@cgiar.org

About IWMI

The International Water Management Institute (IWMI) is an international, research-for-development organization that works with governments, civil society and the private sector to solve water problems in developing countries and scale up solutions. Through partnership, IWMI combines research on the sustainable use of water and land resources, knowledge services and products with capacity strengthening, dialogue and policy analysis to support implementation of water management solutions for agriculture, ecosystems, climate change and inclusive economic growth. Headquartered in Colombo, Sri Lanka, IWMI is a CGIAR Research Center with offices in 14 countries and a global network of scientists operating in more than 30 countries.

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