The main task of the steering committee is to discuss the strategic focus of the DNC2015 and to give advice to the organizers of the DNC2015 how to increase the relevance and impact of the conference.
Blanca Jiménez, Co-chair of the Steering Committee, 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.
Karl-Heinz Feger, Co-chair of the Steering Committee, serves as Dean of the Faculty of Environmental Sciences of the TU Dresden. He is director of the Institute of Soil Science and Site Ecology. He studied hydrology in Freiburg/Br. (Germany) and Zurich (ETH, Switzerland). After his PhD and habilitation in forest soils and hydrology/biogeochemistry in Freiburg he worked at Hohenheim University (Faculty of Agricultural Sciences) before in 2000 he became full professor at TUD. Research topics are soil-water-plant relations at various spatial scales. Karl-Heinz Feger is Editor-in-Chief of “Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science” (German Soil Science Society DBG, Wiley-Blackwell) since 2003.
Olcay Ünver is the Deputy-Director of the Land and Water Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) since September 2013. His responsibilities at FAO include the water, land and soil related activities and programs, mainstreaming water across the various sectors and disciplines, and cooperating with partners and stakeholders within and outside the United Nations system. Between 2007 and 2013 he served as the Coordinator of the United Nations World Water Assessment Programme and the Director of the UNESCO Programme Office on Global Water Assessment. Prior to that, he was a distinguished professor of water resources at Kent State University, Ohio, where he founded the Euphrates-Tigris Initiative for Cooperation (ETIC). He served for 13 years as the president of the Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP) Regional Development Administration in Turkey and transformed a large infrastructure project into a sustainable socioeconomic development program. Mr. Ünver holds a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin and Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees, also in Civil Engineering, from Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey.
Graham Alabaster is a public health engineer, originally for the UK, who has worked for UNHABITAT since 1992. Prior to that he was an international consultant. He was responsible for the development of some of UNHABITAT’s flagship programs on water, sanitation and solid waste management and provides advice to governments. His areas of specialty are sanitation, wastewater management and solid waste recycling and disposal. He is currently on loan to World Health Organization where he is developing joint initiatives on urban health and environment. He holds a first degree in chemical engineering and a doctorate in Civil Engineering.
Sergio Zelaya-Bonilla is an economist who has been working with sustainable development issues for decades, gaining vast experience on environmental policy and advocacy both from the perspective of a protagonist of the political process while working for his national government, acting as as viceminister of the Environment in Honduras, as well as from the perspective of the UN system, first as a negotiator of several conventions and later joining the UNCCD Secretariat, where he first headed the unit in charge of the Latin America and Caribbean region, then the Policy advocacy unit and since 2014 as Special Adviser on Global Issues. In his work, Mr. Zelaya focuses on the economic, social and environmental policy angles and technical aspects of ecosystem resilience, and policy options related with land / land degradation, desertification and drought.
Stefan Uhlenbrook joint UNESCO-IHE in 2005 as professor for hydrology; he has been with the university of Freiburg Germany before (1996-2004) as assistant and associate professor. Since January 2013, professor Uhlenbrook is the vice-rector of UNESCO-IHE (UNESC) staff member). His main interests are the impacts of global changes on water as well as issues related to capacity building, with particular emphasis on developing countries and countries in transition.
Joachim von Braun is Director of the Center for Development Research (ZEF), Bonn University, and Professor for economic and technological change. von Braun’s main research interests are in economic development, poverty reduction, food and nutrition security, resource economics, trade, science and technology policy. He is chair of the Bioeconomy Council of the Federal German Government; member of German Academies, Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, and member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences of the Vatican; His awards include the Justus von Liebig Prize for World Nutrition 2011, the Bertebos Prize by the Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry 2009.
Timothy O. Williams is Director for Africa at the International Water Management Institute (IWMI). He holds a doctorate degree in Agricultural Economics from Oxford University, United Kingdom. His research interests cover microeconomic analysis of land, soil nutrient and water management practices of smallholder farmers as well as analysis of the impact of policies and institutions on natural resource management. His career has included agricultural policy advisory work to governments in Africa, the Caribbean and South Pacific. He was a past recipient of Robert S. McNamara Fellowship and Rockefeller Foundation Social Science Research Fellowship. From 2003-2006, he served on the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel to the Global Environment Facility. He is currently conducting research to examine the water, food security and livelihoods impacts of large-scale land acquisitions in Africa. He is a Fellow of the Association of African Agricultural Economists.
Bernhard Müller is the Director of the Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development (IOER) in Dresden (Germany), and holds the Chair of Spatial Development at the Technische Universität Dresden. He is also currently the Director of the Dresden Leibniz Graduate School. Bernhard Müller’s research interests and expertise are in sustainable urban and regional development, and spatial planning as well as in issues of resilience and regional adaptation strategies.
Elias T. Ayuk is the Director of the United Nations University Institute for Natural Resources in Africa (UNU-INRA) based in Accra, Ghana. He holds an undergraduate degree with honours in Economics (1984) from Hamline University of Minnesota in St. Paul, Minnesota, USA. He obtained an MSc (1986) and PhD (1989) degrees in Agricultural Economics from Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, USA. On completion of his PhD in 1989, he served for two years (1990 -1991) at the International Fertilizer Development Centre (IFDC)-Africa office based in Lomé, Togo as a Visiting Scientist under the Rockefeller Foundation Social Science Fellowship program. In 1992, he joined the International Centre for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF), now known as the World Agroforestry Centre, and was posted successively to Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso (1992-1994), Bamako, Mali (1994-1998) and Harare, Zimbabwe (1998-2002). He joined the Canadian International Development Research Centre (IDRC) at its West and Central Africa Regional Office in Dakar, Senegal in 2002. He served as Senior Programme Specialist and later Executive Director of IDRC’s Secretariat for Institutional Support for Economic Research in Africa (SISERA) from 2002 to 2006. From 2006 to 2010, he was a Senior Programme Specialist for IDRC’s Globalization, Growth and Poverty Program Initiative. His research interests focus on poverty analysis, institutional capacity building and the social, economic and policy dimensions of natural resource management.
Fabrice Renaud is Head of the Environmental Vulnerability and Ecosystem Services section (EVES) at the United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS). He is currently based in Jakarta, Indonesia where, among other things, he is developing the institutional links between UNU-EHS and the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI). His main research foci are on the role of ecosystems in disaster risk reduction and on water pollution. Fabrice Renaud holds a PhD in Agronomy.
Franz Makeschin: Scientific Director of the Competence Center for Environmental Management and Energy at Dresden International University DIU; Prof. em. for Soil Science and Soil Protection at Dresden University of Technology; Chairman of the Soil Protection Commission KBU of the Federal Environmental Agency of Germany UBA; Member of the EU-Committee Life, Environment and Geo Sciences LEGS at Science Europe; Member of acatech – German National Academy of Science and Engineering.
Ariane Greubel works as desk officer in the Unit Universities and Art Colleges in the Department of Higher Education. After taking on different posts in the State Chancellery and the State Ministry of Interior, she moved to the SMWK in February 2010. The State Ministry is responsible for promoting research and training in Saxon universities, art colleges, universities of applied sciences and vocational academies. The ministry also takes care of the Arts in Saxony (museums, theatres, orchestras and libraries) and promotes research institutes outside the universities, such as Max-Planck, Helmholtz, Leibnitz or Fraunhofer institutes. Additionally, the State Ministry is responsible for technology policy and the promotion of technology.
Reza Ardakanian of Iran, Co-chair of the Steering Committee, was appointed as the Founding Director of UNU-FLORES. He has served as Director of the UN-Water Decade Programme on Capacity Development hosted by UNU since 2007 and as Vice-Rector of UNU in Europe, ad interim (2009–2011). He sat on the Boards of various international programs/organizations such as UNESCO-IHP, UNESCO-IHE, the International Hydropower Association and UNU-EHS. Prof. Dr. Ardakanian holds a PhD in Water Resources Management from McMaster University (Canada) and is a faculty member of Sharif University of Technology in Tehran, Iran. He formerly held a number of national offices in Iran, including Deputy Minister for Water Affairs (2001–2005), Senior Vice-Minister (1998–2001) and Deputy Minister for Planning & Economic Affairs (1989–1991) with the Ministry of Energy, and Deputy Minister for Urban Development and Municipalities with the Ministry of Interior (1987–1989).