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18 January 2021 - 21 January 2021
Brussels, Belgium
Water and Beyond

Tuesday, 19 January 2021

List of speakers

Catarina de Albuquerque

Sanitation and Water for All (SWA)

Ms. de Albuquerque has been SWA’s Executive Chair since 2015 and was appointed SWA’s first Chief Executive Officer in September 2018 after an update of the partnership’s governance structure. Her priorities include advocating for a pivotal role for SWA within the SDGs, political prioritization of WASH at a global high-level, helping build consensus between partners and establishing strategic partnerships with other initiatives. Previously, she was the first UN Special Rapporteur on the right to safe drinking water and sanitation. Between 2004 and 2008 she presided over the negotiations of the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which the UN General Assembly approved by consensus on 10 December 2008.

Ms. de Albuquerque is an invited Professor at the Law Faculties of the Universities of Braga and Coimbra (Portugal) and a Senior Legal Adviser at the Office for Documentation and Comparative Law, an independent institution under the Portuguese Prosecutor General’s Office. She was awarded the Human Rights Golden Medal by the Portuguese Parliament (10 December 2009) for outstanding work in the area of human rights. Her work in human rights was also honoured by the Portuguese President of the Republic (October 2009) with the Order of Merit, which is a recognition of an individual’s personal bravery, achievement, or service. She holds a Law Degree from the Law Faculty of the University of Lisbon (Portugal) and a DES from the Institut Universitaire de Hautes Etudes Internationales (Geneva, Switzerland).

Olga Algayerova

UNECE Water Convention

Since 2017, Olga Algayerova heads the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). Prior to her appointment, she served as Permanent Representative of Slovakia to the International Organizations in Vienna, Austria (since 2012). She was previously President, Slovak Millennium Development Goals (2010-2012); State Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2006-2010) and Corporate Export Manager, Zentiva International (2004-2006). Olga Algayerova holds a Master in Contemporary Diplomacy from Malta University, a Master in Business Administration from The Open University Business School, United Kingdom and a Dipl. in Engineer of Economy from the University of Economics Business Faculty, Bratislava.

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Ben Ampomah

Water Resources Commission (WRC) of Ghana
Executive Secretary

Mr. Ben Ampomah is the Executive Secretary of the Water Resources Commission (WRC) of Ghana. He is an active practitioner in the water sector, with over 25 years in regulation, management, institutional, planning and policy development, and transboundary water governance. He is  the national focal point for the UNECE Watercourses Convention. He is also the national focal point for the ECOWAS Technical Advisory Committee on Water Resources Management and the Technical Experts Committee of the Volta Basin Authority.

Aleš Bizjak

Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning, Slovenia
International Water Policy Expert

Aleš Bizjak works as a transboundary Integrated water resources management (IWRM) Policy Officer at the EU Coordination and International Affairs Service in the Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning of the Republic of Slovenia. Bizjak has over 25 years of experience in implementation of integrated water resources management and EU water policy on national, bilateral, transboundary and international levels. His international activities are focused on the development of IWRM in transboundary river basins, UN Agenda 2030 Goal 6 (6.5.1, 6.5.2), hydro-diplomacy, water-climate nexus and inclusive participatory water planning. He is actively involved in the work of several international water related institutions, e.g. ISRBC, ICPDR, UNECE Water Convention, UNESCO, UNEP and GWP, as a member of official bodies, as a national focal point or as a national expert. In the frame of the Trio Presidency to the Council of the EU 2020-2021 (Germany, Portugal, Slovenia), he is involved as a national representative in the IWRM related activities, especially on the field of water and climate. Aleš Bizjak holds the post of a Higher Education Teacher of Integrated Water Resources Management at the Higher School of Sustainable Development in Kranj, Slovenia. Occasionally he works with the University of Ljubljana as a visiting lecturer and tutor in research projects.

Francis Bougaire

African Development Bank, Water Development and Sanitation Department
Division Manager for the Water Coordination and Partnerships Division

In 2009, Bougaire joint the Bank as Principal Water and Sanitation Engineer, then he became the Chief Water Policy & Strategy Development Officer and since 2019 he has acted as the Division Manager for the Water Coordination and Partnerships Division (AHWS1) within the Water Department. Prior to joining the Bank, Francis Daniel Bougaire built extensive experience in the water sector through management roles in a number of different national, sub-regional, basin and regional organizations. These roles included Director of the Rural Development for the BAGRE Dam Authority; Director General of Water Resources of Burkina Faso, Chairman of the Board of the Fund of Water and Rural Equipment of Burkina Faso; Secretary for the Implementation Committee of West African States’ Conference on Integrated Water Resources Management – ECOWAS, National Focal Point in Burkina for Niger Basin Authority, Member of AMCOW-TAC, Chairman of the Coordination Body of the Volta Basin Technical Committee among others. Francis Daniel BOUGAIRE holds a Postgraduate degree in management (PARIS I University– Pantheon Sorbonne), a Degree from French Agency for Development "Center for Financial, Economic and Banking Studies"(Marseille-FRANCE) and a Rural and Water Engineer Degree (Inter-States Engineers School- Ouagadougou– BURKINA).

Antonio Cañas Calderón

Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, El Salvador
Chief of the Technical Cabinet

Mr. Antonio Cañas Calderón is Mechanical Engineer and has Bachelor Degree in Philosophy. Mr. Cañas Calderón is the Chief of the Technical Cabinet of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources of El Salvador. He is a coordinator of Climate Change National Public Policies and NDCs and is a member of the Executive Committee of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage.

Dominique Gatel

Water Veolia Environment
Vice President in charge of Public Affairs/Water

Dominique GATEL is Vice president in Charge of public affairs/water at Veolia Headquarters. He was for 10 years deputy technical director, and previously for 11 years head of the R&D Department for drinking water. Prior to this, he has worked in the food industry (Unilever, Danone). He graduated from the National School of Agronomy in France, with a MD in food science.Dominique GATEL is a member of the European Federation of Water & Wastewater operators (EUREAU), the Global Federation of Privater Water and Wastewater Services providers (AquaFED). He chairs the International Committee of the French Federation of Water Entrepreneurs (FP2E).

Pär Holmgren

Member of the European Parliament

Pär Holmgren holds a degree in meteorology from Uppsala University. He started his career as a Meteorologist for Swedish Television. Among other positions, he was research assistant, University lecturer and ecological damage specialist for an insurance group. In 2019, he won a seat for the European Parliament. From 2011 to 2019, Pär Holmgren was board member and training manager, for ‘Artister för Miljön’ (Artists for the Environment). Prior, he was board member of the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation and advisory board member for the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute.

Dina Ionesco

Migration, Environment and Climate Change (MECC)

In 2015, Dina has led the efforts towards the establishment of the first ever environment, climate change and migration specialized structure in the United Nations the first IOM Environmental Sustainability Programme and Environmental Policy. She currently directs the development of two institution wide strategies for the next decade on climate change and migration and on environmental sustainability, respectively. In her present functions, she is a member of the Task Force on Climate Displacement (TFD) under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and she represents IOM in the Platform on Disaster Displacement (PDD), as the follow up to the Nansen Protection Agenda Initiative. She co-authored the Atlas of Environmental Migration (2016) and has published numerous articles and publications. Dina was awarded the ‘Inspirational woman working to protect the environment’ distinction, as part of the 2016 International Women’s Day, at the initiative of UN Environment, the Geneva Environment Network and the Swiss Confederation. Dina Ionesco currently heads the Migration, Environment and Climate Change (MECC) Division at the UN Migration Agency (IOM). 

Hasin Jahan

WaterAid Bangladesh
Country Director

Ms. Jahan has been pursuing her progressive career in the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector for the last 25 years, holding key positions in the Local Government Engineering Department (LGED), DANIDA, WSP, ITN-BUET, and WaterAid. Recently, she was elected as the chair of Menstrual Health and Hygiene Management Platform and the vice chair of IWA-BD chapter. Prior to joining, WaterAid Bangladesh as Country Director, Hasin Jahan worked as the Country Director of Practical Action. Ms. Hasin is a graduate Civil Engineer from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, completed her MSc in Water and Environmental Management from, Loughborough University of Technology, UK; and a Diploma in Disaster Management from Dhaka University. She is a popular blog writer; and is a passionate advocate for women in the WASH sector.

Sonja Koeppel

Water Convention

Sonja Koeppel currently leads the water team at the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe and serves as secretary to the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention) and co-secretary to the UNECE/ WHO-Europe Protocol on Water and Health. She has worked for more than 10 years in the secretariat, for example, coordinating the activities on climate change adaptation. Before joining UNECE, she worked for UNEP in Nairobi and studied environmental sciences, policy and management as well as social sciences.

Muna Luqman


Muna Luqman is the Founder and Chairperson of Food4humanity and co-founder of the Women Solidarity Network the largest women’s network in Yemen and member of WASL Alliance for Security Leadership. Muna has briefed the UN Security Council, members of Congress, UN Human Rights Council with UNEP, WILPF, ICAN, MADRE, UN Women the EU and Foreign Commonwealth in London and Norway, Washington, New York, and Sweden. Muna is also the award recipient of The Eighth International Young Women’s Peace Award and a nonresident research fellow at the Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice, San Diego University. Muna is currently working on Security Sector reform and Governance with DCAF.

Karine Measson

Head of the Water Management Division

Karine Measson is Head of the Water Management Division within the EIB’s Projects Directorate. The Division is responsible for the techno-economic appraisal of investment projects in the water sector in Western, Northern and Eastern Europe, Latin America, Eastern Neighbourhood and Asia. Her division concentrates significant technical expertise on water, wastewater, and flood protection with a strong focus on the projects’ contribution to climate action and environmental sustainability.

Karine Measson is a civil engineer, who has been working on the financing of infrastructure for 25 years. Prior to joining the EIB 12 years ago, she worked for the French Ministry of Environment and the World Bank.

Elena Višnar Malinovská

European Commission
Head of Unit DG Climate Action

Elena Višnar Malinovská is currently a Head of the climate adaptation unit in DG Climate Action of the European Commission. She works for 15 years in the European Commission in different positions. As a policy officer in the Secretariat General, she dealt with environment, energy, mobility and climate policies (2005-2010, 2014-2016). In the Cabinet of Commissioner responsible for environment (2010-2014), she spearheaded the review of the air quality legislation as well as oversaw the infringements policy in the environment field. During the Slovak Presidency (2016), she acted as a spokesperson. She holds a law degree from the Comenius and Thyrnaviens universities ("JUDr.") in Slovakia and diplomas from European studies (SciencePo in Paris, College of Europe in Poland). An enthusiast cyclist (female winner of VéloMai competition in the Commission in 2018 and 2019), runner, mother of three hockey players and a scout leader.

Mamman Nuhu

Lake Chad Basin Commission
Executive Secretary

Ambassador Mamman Nuhu is the Executive Secretary of Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) and Head of Mission of the Multinational Joint Task Force. He is a Nigerian Diplomat with upward of thirty-eight years’ experience. He joined the Nigerian Foreign Service in 1982 and has held various positions in Nigerian Diplomatic and Consular Missions around the world, including as Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to the Republic of Zimbabwe.

Ambassador NUHU was appointed the Executive Secretary and Head of Mission of LCBC/MNJTF on 12th March, 2018. Prior to his appointment, he was the Senior Political Adviser (SPA) to the Executive Secretary and Head of Mission of the LCBC/MNJTF from July 2016 -February 2018. As Executive Secretary of the LCBC, he oversees the activities of the Commission established in 1964 to ensure the equitable management of the waters of Lake Chad and the other trans-boundary water resources of the basin, the conservation of the ecosystem of the Basin and the promotion of regional integration peace and security in the area. Ambassador Nuhu also doubles as the Head of Mission of the MNJTF where he provides strategic political leadership and guidance to the Force towards the creation of safe and secure environments in the Boko Haram affected areas of the Region as well as the overall implementation of the stabilization programmes in the basin.

Amb. NUHU is a graduate of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria where he holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in French Language. He also holds post-graduate certifications from other institutions including the Nigerian Foreign Service Academy.

Henk Ovink

Special Envoy for International Water Affairs in the Netherlands

Henk Ovink was appointed in 2015 by the Dutch Cabinet as the first Special Envoy for International Water Affairs. As the Ambassador for Water, he is responsible for advocating water awareness around the world, building institutional capacity and coalitions amongst governments, multilateral organizations, private sector and NGO’s, and initiating innovate approaches to address the world's stressing needs on water.

Ovink is also Sherpa to the UN / World Bank High Level Panel on Water.

Henk teaches at Harvard GSD, the London School of Economics and the University of Groningen.

In January 2018 Henk Ovink was awarded for his ‘transformative global water work’ an honorary membership from the Royal Instítute of Engineers of the Netherlands. At the World Urban Forum in February 2020 Henk was awarded the IHS Urban Professional Award 2020.

Dominic Porter

European External Action Service –EEAS
Head of Division, Economic and Global Issues

In his 23 year career as a national and EU official Dominic Porter has worked across a wide range of foreign policy areas, and has been based in London, Brussels, New York and Geneva. Prior to taking up his current post, in charge of a new headquarters Division covering Economic and Global Issues, he was the Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to the UN and other International Organisations in Geneva, from 2012 to 2016. His EU career began in 1996 with 5 years on transatlantic relations and trade policy, culminating in the negotiation of China's accession to the WTO. From 2000 to 2003 he worked with former Commissioner Chris Patten as adviser on global issues and speechwriter, before moving in to head the Human Rights and Social Affairs section of the EU Delegation in New York, where he served until 2007. He then served in the Middle East department in Brussels, where   he was responsible for relations with Iran, Iraq, Yemen and the Gulf States, before moving to his post in Geneva in 2012. He completed his studies at the University of Oxford and the London School of Economics.

Celine Robert

Agence Française de Développement (AFD)
Head of the Water and Sanitation Division

Céline Robert is Head of AFD’s Water and Sanitation Division, whose mission is to help AFD’s partner countries to achieve Sustainable Development Goal number 6: “Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.” Céline Robert took over as Head of the Water and Sanitation Division in 2019, where she had been working since 2010. She was initially in charge of developing and monitoring infrastructure and capacity-building projects in various countries including Palestine, Côte d’Ivoire and Cambodia. She then took on the role of Deputy Head of the division in 2016. Celine Robert had previously gained experience working in the field. After obtaining a Master's degree in management of basic urban services, she worked for several years as a consultant in Cambodia for a subsidiary of the Burgeap environmental engineering office. She also worked for the AFD field office in Ghana.

Leonard Shang-Quartey

Water Citizens Network, Ghana
Policy Analyst

Leonard Shang-Quartey is the Coordinator of the Water Citizens Network and a Policy Analyst with the Integrated Social Development Centre. He was until recently also the Coordinator of the Tax Justice Coalition Ghana. He is currently one of two civil society representatives on UN Habitats’ Global Water Operators Partnership Alliance (GWOPA) Steering Committee and a representative of African water CSOs on the Steering Committee of the Municipal Services Project (MSP). His professional background is in water sector policy analysis, development and dissemination of advocacy messages as well as formation and coordination of advocacy networks. Leonard received his Master degree in Governance, Policy and Political Economy from the International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University in the Netherlands in the year 2013 and has been working in the water sector policy arena in Ghana for over a decade.

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Iryna Stavchuck

Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine
Deputy Minister

Ms. Iryna Stavchuk is the Deputy Minister of Environmetal Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine on European Integration. Ms. Stavchuk is in charge of climate change policies within the Ministry. Iryna Stavchuk has been involved in climate policy work in Ukraine for more than 12 years. From 2006 to 2017 she worked at the National Ecological Center of Ukraine and from 2008 to 2019 she worked as the Coordinator of the Climate Action Network in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and Central Asia. From 2017 to 2019 she was an Executive Director of the NGO “Center for Environmental Initiatives”Ecoaction”.

Christian Severin

Global Environment Facility
Coordinator International Waters

Christian Severin coordinates GEF’s International Waters focal area and manages the focal area's engagement across geographical regions as well as globally. He has been working for the GEF since 2005. Before joining the GEF, Christian worked on wastewater and drinking water related issues in the private sector and facilitated academic cooperation across the Nordic and Baltic countries. The GEF is the largest funding mechanism for multi-country collaboration on shared water and marine resources. To date the GEF has invested $1.9 billion in grant financing and leveraged $10.6 billion in co-financing. 

Markus Theobald

Head of Cooperation
EU Delegation Lesotho

In 2017, Markus Theobald started working as Head of Cooperation at the EU Delegation in Lesotho. Since 1992, he has filled several positions in the European Commission, Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development in Brussels and abroad. He completed assignments to Delegations in Guyana, Papua New Guinea, Namibia and Ethiopia. Prior to the EC, Markus Theobald worked as civil engineer in the public and private sector with several oversee assignments among other in Iraq, India, Japan, and PR China. Markus Theobald earned a Masters in Civil Engineering and a Master in Business Administration.

Maggie White

Swedish Water House
Senior Manager - Intl. Policies

Maggie is a senior water policy expert who has worked for over 16 years in the sector. She is specialized in WaSH and water utilities, IWRM and climate change issues at a global, national and local implementation level. She has a long-standing experience in developing relationships, partnerships and negotiating with key figures and organizations from different sectors as well as country and institutional representatives. Maggie has launched several key networks (Water Coalition, World Youth Parliament for Water, Butterfly Effect from local to global, European Pact for Water) and was at the genesis of the French Water Partnership. She is also a strong communicator and advocate for water issues and has a long-standing experience in internal and external communication activities.

Monika Weber-Fahr

World Bank
Water Global Solutions Group, Senior Advisor

Monika Weber-Fahr supports the World Bank’s Water Global Solutions Group in building and sustaining partnerships and alliances and in learning from results. Until June 2020, Monika served as CEO & Executive Secretary of the Global Water Partnership (GWP), a globally operating multi-stakeholder partnership and action network that supports countries in managing their water resources equitably and sustainably. Prior to that, Monika was Chief Operating Officer at Sustainable Energy for All, an international multi stakeholder partnership that promotes access to clean, affordable, and modern energy. For over 20 years, Monika has worked with the World Bank Group where her most recent positions included Director for Knowledge, Learning and Results for Sustainable Development and Chief Knowledge Officer for the Independent Evaluation Group. For the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Monika built the Global Business Line for Sustainable Business Advisory, working with the private sector to pursue "people–planet–profit" opportunities, including on water efficiency and new clean water technologies. Monika’s passion is to help building communities and partnerships around knowledge and collaboration for sustainable development. Monika holds a PhD in Business Economics, an MSc in Economics, a Diploma in International Relations, and a Diploma in Corporate Governance.

Toma Yanakiev

World Bank Water Global Practice
Water Supply and Sanitation Specialist

Toma Yanakiev joint the World Bank in 2010. He currently works as Water Supply and Sanitation (WSS) Specialist with the World Bank Water Global Practice based in Bulgaria. He has over ten years of experience, in terms of investment operations, as well as analytical and advisory services to clients in Europe and Central Asia (ECA). Toma Yanakiev was involved in a series of water sector advisory services in Bulgaria, Romania and Azerbaijan, including WSS Financing strategy preparation. He is leading a regional Water sector Public Expenditure Review in four ECA countries. Prior to joining the World Bank, he worked in market research. He is an Economist by training and has a master’s degree in Public finance.

Didier Sèyivè Zinsou

Niger Basin Observatory

Since October 2019, Didier Sèyivè Zinsou is the Director of the Niger Basin Observatory by resolution N° 5 of the 38th ordinary session of the Council of Ministers of the Niger Basin Authority. The observatory has the task of environmental monitoring in the Niger Basin producing technical notes on the state of this environment. Didier Sèyivè Zinsou advises on environmental issues in the Basin. In 2006, he was recruited as Water Resources Specialist. Prior he worked for more than ten years in monitoring water resources, both ground and surface water.

Didier Sèyivè Zinsou, was born on 22 May 1969 in Cotonou, Republic of Benin. Married and father of four children, he spent a short period in a consultancy firm and in the Beninese administration before joining the Executive Secretariat of the Niger Basin Authority.

Closed since 18 January 2021
Brussels, Belgium
Organised by
Belgium 102
France 35
Slovenia 32
Switzerland 23
Portugal 22
Italy 20
Netherlands 19
Germany 18
Sweden 18
South Africa 11
United States 10
Spain 9
United Kingdom 9
Lesotho 9
India 8
Mozambique 8
Bangladesh 6
Finland 6
Morocco 6
Nigeria 5
Czech Republic 5
Brazil 5
Bolivia 5
Uganda 5
Lebanon 5
Austria 5
Ethiopia 4
Kazakhstan 4
Greece 4
Romania 4
Luxembourg 4
Niger 4
Ghana 3
Egypt 3
Australia 3
Senegal 3
Guinea-bissau 3
Sri Lanka 3
Uzbekistan 3
Cambodia 3
Georgia 3
Serbia 3
Denmark 3
Chile 3
Israel 3
Kenya 3
Kyrgyzstan 2
Côte d'Ivoire 2
Nepal 2
Chad 2
Zambia 2
Azerbaijan 2
Barbados 2
El Salvador 2
Albania 2
Palestine 2
Türkiye 2
Gambia 2
Malta 2
Benin 2
Slovakia 2
Tanzania, United Republic Of 2
Ecuador 2
Tunisia 2
Belarus 1
Ukraine 1
Hungary 1
Mauritius 1
Bulgaria 1
Moldova, Republic Of 1
Rwanda 1
Kosovo 1
Fiji 1
Thailand 1
Sierra Leone 1
Jordan 1
Ireland 1
Yemen 1
Jamaica 1
Myanmar 1
Papua New Guinea 1
Djibouti 1
Zimbabwe 1
Norway 1
Latvia 1
Somalia 1
Syrian Arab Republic 1
Pakistan 1
Burkina Faso 1
Malawi 1
Swaziland 1
Togo 1
Croatia 1
China 1
Guinea 1
Peru 1
Iraq 1
Sudan 1
South Korea 1
Honduras 1
Aruba 1
United Arab Emirates 1
Estonia 1
Japan 1
Tajikistan 1
Total 549
Authority/Government 163
Other 146
Company 58
Association/Agency 53
University 21
R&D Institution 18
Total 459
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