The Board of Governors of the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) is pleased to announce the appointment of Simi Kamal as incoming Chair of the Board, effective 1 January 2024.
Kamal is the Founder and Chairperson of the Hisaar Foundation, Pakistan and co-founder of the Panjwani-Hisaar Water Institute at NED University in Karachi. She has founded and led several other for-profit and non-profit organizations and networks. Educated at the University of Cambridge, she is a geographer with 40 years of experience in the water sector, gender equality and women’s empowerment, poverty alleviation, food security, climate change and environment.
“I feel honored and privileged to chair the Board of IWMI—an organization that was instrumental in mentoring me in my early professional growth in water, food and agriculture. I have great respect for IWMI’s global scientific research and its hands-on support at the grassroots through its country programs. I look forward to contributing to its strategic positioning and continuing growth as we move forward on our new strategy in tandem with One CGIAR,” said Kamal.
Kamal’s professional experience includes work across Pakistan, and also South Asia, Asia-Pacific, Middle East, Europe and Africa. Her experience ranges from grassroots institutions and projects to major national and international water, development and poverty reduction programs. She is a former member of the Technical Committee of the Global Water Partnership and is currently a member of the Board of Trustees of WaterAid UK and CABI UK. She is also on the board of one of Pakistan’s leading microfinance banks.
“Simi has been instrumental in guiding IWMI’s strategic direction and organizational growth as a member of the IWMI Board since 2018. We are greatly looking forward to working under her leadership as we now move toward implementation of IWMI’s new 2024-2030 strategy and the next stages of One CGIAR integration,” said Mark Smith, Director General of IWMI.
Kamal succeeds the current Chair, Roberto Lenton, whose term finishes on 31 December 2023.
“I am delighted that Simi has agreed to be the next Board Chair of IWMI. This will ensure that the IWMI Board—which was considerably strengthened earlier this year with the appointment of five new members of the IWMI Board and Program Committee—is in safe and experienced hands going forward,” said Lenton.
Kamal has served as a member of the IWMI Board since February 2018, Chair of the IWMI Program Committee since 2019 and Board Vice Chair since 2021.
Congratulating Lenton on the completion of his term, she said, “Roberto was a brilliant chair; calm, collected, thorough and inclusive. It will be hard to fill his shoes!”