Speakers and their biographies

Professor Dogan Altinbilek

Dogan_Altinbilek Dogan Altinbilek – IWRA President – is a Professor of Water Resources Engineering and has over 40 years’ experience at the forefront of global water resource management endeavour.

Currently, Professor Altinbilek additionally holds the positions of Governor and Vice President of the World Water Council. He is also an Executive Board member, Past President and Honorary Member of the International Hydropower Association (IHA).

Since 1970, Professor Altinbilek has been involved in the academic profession holding posts at the Middle East Technical University of Turkey and the King Abdulaziz University of Saudi Arabia. From 1996 to 2001, he held the position of Director General of State Hydraulic Works (DSI), a major government agency in Turkey for water resources development.

As a long-standing member of the IWRA, Professor Altinbilek previously served as Vice-President of the IWRA Executive Board between 2007–09.

Professor Ben Braga

Ben_BragaProfessor Benedito (‘Ben’) Braga – President of the World Water Council – is a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Escola Politecnica of University of Sao Paulo (USP), Brazil. He graduated from the same university in 1972 and holds an MSc in Hydraulic Engineering from USP (1975), an MSc in Hydrology (1976) and PhD (1979) in water resources from Stanford University, USA.

Professor Braga’s scientific interests are in the field of systems analysis modeling of hydrologic processes, integrated water resources management and water policy development.

A member of UNESCO’s International Hydrologic Program Committee that designed its phase V (1995–2000), Professor Braga was elected President of the Intergovernmental Council of the International Hydrologic Program (2008-09). He served as senior advisor to the Secretary of Energy and Sanitation of the State of Sao Paulo, Brazil in 2010 and was a member of the Gulbenkian Think Tank for the future of water and mankind based in Lisbon, Portugal (2010-12).

From 2001-09, Professor Braga served on the Board of Directors of the Brazilian National Water Agency – ANA. He was President of the International Water Resources Association (1998-2000) and Vice-President of the World Water Council (2006-12). Professor Braga chaired the International Steering Committee of the 6th World Water Forum held in Marseille in March 2012.

Professor Braga is also the author of 25 books and chapters of books. He has edited several books on water resources development including Water Management of the Amazon Basin, Weather Radar Technology for Water Resources Management, Introduction to Environmental Engineering and Freshwaters of Brazil. He is the author of more than 200 scientific articles published in journals and proceedings of symposia and congresses worldwide.

Professor Braga received the 2002 Crystal Drop Award, given by the International Water Resources Association (IWRA) in recognition for his lifetime achievements in the area of water resources management. In 2009, Professor Braga was awarded the Honorary Membership of the American Water Resources Association – AWRA for his eminence in the field of water resources. In the same year he was awarded the Flavio Terra Barth Award of the Brazilian Water Resources Association for his contributions to the water resources policies of Brazil. In 2011, he was awarded the Honorary Diplomate from the American Society of Civil Engineers due to his long and distinguished career in the field of water resources.

Stephen Littlechild

Stephen_LittlechildStephen Littlechild is Emeritus Professor, University of Birmingham, and Fellow, Judge Business School, University of Cambridge. He is also an international consultant on competition, privatisation and regulation in the utility sector.

Professor Littlechild advised the UK government on the regulation of the privatised industries during the 1980s. This included designing RPI-X incentive regulation for BT in 1983. He was the first Director General of Electricity Supply and head of the Office of Electricity Regulation (OFFER) from 1989-98. Previously he was Professor of Commerce at the University of Birmingham (1975-89) and Member of the Monopolies and Mergers Commission (1983-89). He has also been an Expert Member of the Airport Price Control Advisory Group of the Civil Aviation Authority (2005-9), and Commissioner at Postcomm (2006-11).

He has advised the World Bank, governments, regulatory agencies and regulated companies in many countries including the UK, Poland, India, Algeria, Thailand, Philippines, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Italy, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, China, Russia, Romania, Guernsey, Jersey and Canada. He has also published some 200 papers on regulatory and other issues.

Professor Littlechild has a Bachelor of Commerce degree (University of Birmingham) and a PhD (University of Texas at Austin). He was awarded honorary degrees D Sc (Hon) (University of Birmingham) and D Civ Law (Hon) (University of East Anglia).

Dr David J Molden

David_MoldenDr David J Molden – Director General of ICIMOD (International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development) – was appointed in December 2011.

Dr Molden is a development specialist with more than 30 years of experience in designing, planning, executing, and monitoring programmes on water management, livelihoods, environment, and ecosystem services.

Prior to joining ICIMOD, Dr Molden was the Deputy Director General for Research at the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) based in Sri Lanka. He has worked in several Hindu Kush-Himalayan countries, including China, India, Nepal, and Pakistan, and has experience in projects in the Indus, Ganges, Yellow, Mekong, Yangtze, and Amu and Syr Darya river basins.  He has acquired considerable management experience in a number of positions, including Chief of Party for the Irrigation Management Project in Nepal, Chief of Party for a water resources strategic research program in Egypt and Leader of the multi-institute Comprehensive Assessment of Water Management in Agriculture programme.

Dr Molden was awarded a PhD in Civil Engineering from Colorado State University in 1987, specialising in water resources, and has since developed broader interests in integrating social, technical and environmental aspects of natural resources management. He has contributed to the publication of nearly 200 works in books, refereed journals, research and project report series, the media and educational materials. He has received many awards including the Outstanding Scientist Award of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) in 2009.

Per Pinstrup-Andersen

Per_Pinstrup_AndersenPer Pinstrup-Andersen is Chairman of the High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security (HLPE), Professor Emeritus and Graduate School Professor at Cornell University and Adjunct Professor at Copenhagen University.

He is past Chairman of the Science Council of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) and Past President of the American Agricultural Economics Association (AAEA).

He has a B.S. from Copenhagen University, a M.S. and Ph.D. from Oklahoma State University and honorary doctoral degrees from universities in the United States, the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Switzerland, and India.

He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the American Agricultural Economics Association. He is the 2001 World Food Prize Laureate and the recipient of several awards for his research and communication of research results.

Andy Wales

Andy_WalesAndy Wales is Director, Sustainable Development for SABMiller plc (www.sabmiller.com), one of the world’s largest brewers. He leads the group’s approach to prioritising economic, social & environmental issues within the group’s strategies & business plans, including risks such as water scarcity & opportunities such as promoting local economic growth through smallholder farming. He also leads stakeholder engagement.

Previously Andy held Corporate Responsibility Director roles at the environmental services group Severn Trent, & textiles firm Interface, Inc.

He holds an MBA from Warwick Business School, a masters degree in Sustainable Development Strategy from Forum for the Future/Middlesex University & a BA in English & International Development from Sussex University.

In 2009 he was selected as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. He is a member of the Global Agenda Councils on Social Innovation and the Circular Economy & is lead author of the book ‘Big Business, Big Responsibilities’, published in 2010 by Palgrave Macmillan. His favourite beers include Peroni from Italy, Aguila from Colombia & St. Stefanus from Belgium.

Snehal Desai

Snehal DesaiSnehal Desai is the global business director for Dow Water & Process Solutions, a leader in sustainable separation and purification technologies, representing revenue of approximately $1 billion. In his role, Desai is responsible for developing and implementing the growth strategy for the business and leading the approximately 1,700 employees worldwide.

With industry-leading products, extensive expertise and experience in a broad range of water treatment applications, Dow is leading the discussion about critical issues related to water, food, pharmaceutical and energy resources with Desai at the forefront. Desai has more than 25 years of increasing leadership responsibility experience in the sales, marketing and business development of water, plastics, chemicals and renewable materials.

From 2008 to 2010, he led commercial and business development for Segetis, a startup focused on developing novel bio-based chemicals, and from 2003 to 2008, served as the vice president and chief marketing officer of NatureWorks LLC, the first company to offer a family of commercially available low-carbon-footprint polymers. In this role, Desai led strategic development and global execution of the marketing, sales and development teams for the company resulting in impressive growth.

Highlighting his collaborative spirit, Desai is a founding member and past Chairman of the Board and Executive Committee member of the Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals (A.S.A.P.), and has held a variety of leadership positions there since 1998. He is also the Minnesota chapter president of The CMO Club, helping support the Club’s mission to promote the exchange of ideas among CMO’s and senior marketing heads.

From 1988-2003 Desai held various positions with the Dow Chemical Company in sales, marketing, business development and TS&D in the Specialty Chemicals, Plastics, E-Business and New Business Growth divisions.

He received bachelor’s degrees in chemistry and chemical engineering from the University of Michigan and an M.B.A. from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.

Blanca E. Jiménez Cisneros

BJC picture 2014Blanca Jiménez is an environmental engineer with Masters and PhD degrees in wastewater treatment and reuse obtained in France.

She has authored more than 414 papers, published and presented in international scientific journals, books and conferences. She received the Mexican National Prize for Science and Technology (2009); was president of the Environmental Engineers’ Association (1999-2000), and of the Mexican Federation of Sanitary Engineers and Environmental Science Association (2001-2002). She was a member of the board of directors of the International Water Association (2004-2008) and chair of the IWA Water Reuse Specialist Group (2006-2009), as also holds membership of the Nominating Committee for the Stockholm Water Prize (2007-2012).

Currently, she is the Director of the Division of Water Sciences, Secretary of the International Hydrological Programme at UNESCO. She sits on the editorial committees of several international journals such as Water Science and Technology; Water Reuse and Desalination; and Residuals Science and Technology.

She is co-coordinator of leading authors for the freshwater resources chapter under the adaptation group of the IPCC. In 2010 she received the Global Water Award from the International Water Association.

Dr. Jason Gurdak

JasonGurdakDr. Jason Gurdak is an Assistant Professor of Hydrogeology in the
Department of Earth & Climate Sciences at San Francisco State University.

He is a Coordinator of the UNESCO-IHP program Groundwater Resources Assessment under the Pressure of Humanity and Climate Change (GRAPHIC).

GRAPHIC is the only global-scale research, education, and outreach program that is actively addressing climate variability and change and the global groundwater crisis. Prior to joining the faculty at SFSU, he was a Hydrologist for 11 years with the U.S. Geological Survey. Dr. Gurdak has authored more than 30 peer-reviewed publications on many topics in hydrology, including improved understanding of the effects of climate variability and change on groundwater resources.

Patrick Lavarde

Patrick LAVARDE- IWRAPatrick Lavarde is currently member of the Environment and Sustainable Development advisory Board of the French ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy. He is Governor of the World Water Council and Director of IWRA.

In 2007, he created the National Office for Water and Aquatic Environments (ONEMA) being its General Director until October 2012, engaged in water research coordination, national monitoring of water bodies, regulation and enforcement, technical support to stakeholders.

From 1998 to 2007, he was General Director of the National Research Institute on Environmental sciences and technologies, the French leading institution on freshwater issues. During this mandate, he chaired the Partnership on European Environmental Research and was deeply involved in the European Network of Water Research (Euraqua).

Previously he worked for public organisations involved in Forestry, Agriculture and Water, at national and local levels.

Professor Simon A Parsons PhD FRSC Cchem

Professor Simon A Parsons PhD FRSC CchemSimon Parsons, Director of Strategic Customer Service Planning at Scottish Water.

Simon was formerly Chief Scientist and General Manager of Scientific Services and represented Scottish Water in science, research and public health communities. Prior to joining Scottish Water in 2012 he has a long career in academia at Cranfield University where he as was the Professor of Water Sciences and led the Cranfield Water Science Institute.  Simon now holds a visiting chair at Cranfield.

Simon has a BSc and PhD in Chemistry from Leicester University, is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and sits on the board of UK Water Industry Research (UKWIR).

Simon won the Royal Society of Chemistry’s prestigious Sustainable Water Award for 2014 for advancing the understanding of natural organic matter in water treatment and for the development of treatment processes to improve water quality and sustainability.

Loïc Fauchon

24h00 sur la terre Jamy Gourmaud 12/10/12Loïc Fauchon is Honorary President of the World Water Council.

After participating in the creation of the World Water Council, he has been a member of the Board, first as a special advisor to the President, then as Vice-President and finally as President (2005-2012). In this respect, he has directly contributed to the organization of the World Water Forums of Marrakech (1997), The Hague (2000), Kyoto (2003), Mexico City (2006), Istanbul (2009) and Marseilles (2012).

Since 1997, he has been the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Marseille Water Supply Group (SEM) after being cabinet director and Secretary General of the City of Marseilles.

In 1977, he founded “Trans Sahara”, a humanitarian association to come to the aid of popula-tions in emergency situations. He developed further this humanitarian dimension by creating within the Marseille Water Supply Group (SEM) a structure called « Waterhelp » and by taking action in crisis situations and development endeavors in Sub Saharan Africa (Mali).

He takes on many responsibilities in the field of water and environment. He serves on the Board of the Rhône-Mediterranean and Corsica Water Agency, Société d’Exploitation des Eaux du Niger (Water Operating Company of Niger), Société des Eaux du Maroc (Moroccan water company), Institute of Political Science (Aix-en-Provence). He is also a member of the High-Level Expert Panel on Water and Disasters (HELP).

He is also adviser for international organizations and governments regarding the development of water policies.

José Lopez

Jose LopezBorn in Spain in November 1952, Mr. Lopez holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from ETS Geneva, Switzerland and completed Advanced Management Programs in 1992 and 1998 at IMD, Lausanne.

Mr. José Lopez has been with the Nestlé Group for the last 35 years since joining the worldwide company in 1979.

Mr. Lopez first joined Nestlé as a Project Engineer in Vevey, Switzerland. His earlier postings within the Group include serving as a Project Manager in Spain, Factory Engineer in the USA, Engineering Manager in Japan and Factory Manager in France.

He later held the position of Executive Director of Operations in Oceania in 1996. As such, Mr. Lopez was responsible in leading the technical division, supply chain operations and export markets.

In September 1999, he was appointed Managing Director of Nestlé Malaysia Bhd, a listed company within the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange. At that time, he was also given responsibility as Head of Region – Malaysia/Singapore.

In July 2003 Mr. Lopez was appointed the Chief Executive Officer of Nestlé Japan Group and became Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Nestlé Japan Ltd. in February 2006.

On February 1st 2007 Mr. Lopez returned to Vevey upon his appointment as Executive Vice President, Nestlé S.A., and Head of Operations. As such he is responsible for Procurement, Manufacturing, Supply Chain, Engineering, Quality Management, Agriculture, Safety & Health, Environmental Sustainability and Operations Performance.

Within Nestlé, Mr. Lopez took over additional responsibilities in January 2008. The GLOBE organization reported to him and he was therefore responsible for business processes and IS/IT for the whole company until 2014.

In October 2009 Mr. Lopez was nominated Chairman of Nestrade S.A., a subsidiary company of Nestlé S.A. dealing with international trade. Nestrade reports to him.

Since January 2011, Mr. Lopez is a member of the Supervisory Board of Cereal Partners Worldwide (Nestlé S.A. and General Mills joint venture).

Externally, Mr. Lopez is and has been present in non for profit organizations.

Since January 2010, Mr. Lopez is a member of the Advisory Board of the University of Cambridge’s Institute for Sustainability Leadership.

In 2010 Mr. Lopez became a Trustee in the San Telmo Foundation overseeing the work of San Telmo Institute (Sevilla, Spain) a tertiary education organization.

From May 2011 to September 2014 Mr. Lopez was Chairman of the GS1 Management Board (Global Standards).

In 2013 Mr. Lopez became part of the Advisory Board of the ETH Zürich, Industry Dialogue for the Future.

Mr. Lopez is a Council Member of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).

Previously, Mr. Lopez participated in a number of civil society activities. To be noted that Mr. Lopez is the former President of the Malaysian International Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He was appointed by the Government of Malaysia Board Member of the Malaysian Industrial Development Authority “MIDA” as well as to the Malaysian Incorporated Officials Committee in 2001. During his assignment in Japan, he was appointed Ambassador for Kobe in 2006 and received in October 2013 the “Award for International Cooperation” from Hyogo Prefecture, Japan.

Karin Krchanak

Krchnak_Karin_headshot (2)Karin Krchnak is WWF-US Freshwater Director. She leads the water team in advancing WWF’s goal to measurably improve the sustainability of the world’s major river basins in order to maintain nature’s diversity, strengthen climate resiliency, and support human well-being. As part of this, she oversees a portfolio of projects around advancing corporate water stewardship, building good water governance, and building the resiliency of freshwater ecosystems.

Karin’s background is in international environmental law and she has held positions with The Nature Conservancy, the World Resource Institute, the National Wildlife Federation, the American Bar Association, and Science Applications International Corporation. Ms. Krchnak received her B.A. in Political Science from Duke University and her J.D. from the University of Maryland School of Law. She has published extensively in the area of international environmental policy and sustainable development, particularly on freshwater issues. She has served on the Steering Committees of the Global Water Partnership and the Gender & Water Alliance. She Co-Chaired the UN Commission on Sustainable Development’s Freshwater Caucus. She serves on the World Water Council’s Board of Governors and on the International Steering Committee for the 7th World Water Forum.