× Mr. A. Gurunathan Dr. Alok K. Sikka Ms. Anupama Mahat Dr. Balaram Thapa Dr. Chowdhury Sarwar Jahan Dr. Ellen Connorton Dr. Franziska Koller Dr. Md. Giush Uddin Ahmed Dr. Herath Manthrithilake Engr. Jon Fripp Mr. Julien Katchinoff Mr. Kushal Gurung Ms. Lakpa Sherpa Dr. Mark Smith Dr. Md. Mizanoor Mr. Muthukuda Arachchi Mr. Pranab Choudhary Mr. Sathis de Mel Mr. Shaun P. McKinney Mr. Sujan Shrestha Mr. Sukleash G. Costa Mr. Sunil Simon Ms. Syeda Rizwana Hasan Dr. Tista P. Joshi Mr Vasimalai M. P. Ms. Viola Buli Dr. Yam Malla

Mr A. Gurunathan
The DHAN Academy

Gurunathan is a graduate in Agricultural Engineering from Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU), Coimbatore and masters in rural management from Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA). He is the Director of Tata-Dhan Academy w.e.f. April 2015. He has experience in irrigation water management, tank irrigation systems in the projects sponsored by IFPRI, Washington and Ford Foundation. He was instrumental in setting up a prestigious Automatic dairy plant with Anand Milk Union Ltd, (AMUL), Anand, Gujarat. He has 17 years experience in DHAN Foundation, worked as Chief Executive of DHAN Foundation’s Water Theme Collective called DHAN Vayalagam (Tank) Foundation, led a team of 150 Professionals and Para Professionals. He has trained Water Professionals from Government, Academia, NGOs and Civil Society Organisations. He served in the advisory committee of National Water Academy, Pune and National Hydrologolical Institute for hard rock areas, Belgaum. He was involved in the committee for preparation of State action Plan for Climate Change ,Tamil Nadu. He was one of the working committee members constituted by Central Planning Commission Government of India on Water Governance in drafting 12th Five year plan.

Dr. Alok Kumar Sikka
India Representative
International Water Management Institute

Prior to joining IWMI,Dr. Alok Kumar Sikka served as Deputy Director General (Natural Resource Management), Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and Technical Expert (Watershed Development) (in the rank of Additional Secretary to Govt. of India), National Rainfed Area Authority (NRAA), Planning Commission, Government of India. He is Ph. D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering with specialization in Hydrology and Water Resources Engineering from Utah State University, USA. Dr. Sikka has a rich and diverse experience of over 38 years in research, institutional and policy issues, teaching, training, extension and consultancy in the areas of natural resource management, soil & water conservation, watershed management, water harvesting, hydrologic modeling, water management, drought management, climate change, water productivity and farming systems.

Ms. Anupama Mahat
Regional Project Manager
Caritas Switzerland

Ms. Anupama Mahat is a development professional with over 17 years of experience prominently in the natural resource management sectors. She holds master’s degree in public policy from the Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University and master's degree in Human and Natural Resources Studies from the Kathmandu University, Nepal. She is currently the Regional Project Manager for South Asia Capacity Building-Agricultural and Water Pollution Project, Caritas Switzerland. Prior to this undertaking, she was involved in the community forestry, land and labour migration issues. She passionately engages to foster Science, Practice and Policy interaction to address social, economic and environmental issues.

Dr. Balaram Thapa
Executive Director
Local Initiatives for Biodiversity Research and Development (LI-BIRD), Nepal

Dr. Balaram Thapa holds a PhD in indigenous ecological knowledge and an MSc in environmental forestry from the University of Wales, UK. He has worked as the Head of Forestry Department at Pakhribas Agricultural Research Centre; and as the Assistant Country Director at CARE International in Nepal; as the Director of Programmes at CARE International in Tanzania; and most recently as the Country Director at CARE International in Liberia. Dr Thapa comes from a multidisciplinary background with over 30 years of experience in strategic planning; organizational change management; project design; and providing oversight to a variety of sectoral and multi-sectoral projects and programmes. He is currently the Executive Director of Local Initiatives for Biodiversity, Research and Development (LI-BIRD), Nepal.

Dr. Chowdhury Sarwar Jahan
Department of Geology and mining, University of Rajshahi

Dr. Chowdhury Sarwar Jahan is a professor at the Department of Geology and mining, University of Rajshahi, Bangladesh. He has more than 36 years of experience in teaching and research activities at the university. He did his Ph.D. in Hydrogeology from Moscow State Geological Prospecting Academy, Russia and M.Sc. in Geology and Mining University of Rajshahi. He is a member of International Association of Hydrogeologists (IAH), International Association of Hydrological Sciences (IAHS), and a fellow with Geological Society of India.

Dr. Ellen Connorton
Senior Science Advisor
Bureau of South & Central Asian Affairs
U.S. Department of State

Dr. Ellen Connorton, ScD, MSW, MPA, is the Senior Science Advisor with the U.S. Department of State Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs. She leads SCA efforts on regional environment, science, technology, health, and connectivity issues including water, air quality, energy, ocean, health, environmental sustainability, economic connectivity, and science and technology cooperation. Ellen was previously a Science Advisor and AAAS Fellow in State's East Asian and Pacific office of Australia, New Zealand, and Pacific Island Affairs. She has extensive leadership experience in global and domestic health and science policy at all levels of government and with non-government organizations. Ellen has taught health policy at Harvard and Northeastern Universities, and published research in peer-reviewed journals. Ellen holds a Doctor of Science in Health Policy from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, specializing in global and environmental health, political analysis, and economics.

Dr. Franziska Koller
Head, International Cooperation Division
member, Executive Board
Caritas Switzerland

Franziska Koller holds a Doctorate in Social Ethics and International Cooperation. Franziska Koller began her professional career in a transit center for asylum seekers and acted as an aid organisation representative at hearings of the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM). Later she worked as a member of the academic staff at the University of Fribourg and the HU Berlin. She worked in Sri Lanka, Burkina Faso and Brazil. Since 2006, she held various positions at Caritas Switzerland. Today she is head of the International Cooperation Division and a member of the Executive Board.

Dr. Md. Giush Uddin Ahmed
University of Rajshahi

Dr. Md. Giush Uddin Ahmed is a professor at the Department of Agronomy and Agricultural Extension, University of Rajshahi, Bangladesh. He has more than 16 years of experience in teaching and research activities at the university. He did his Ph.D. in Horticulture from Chungbuk National University, South Korea and M.Sc. in Botany from University of Rajshahi. He is a Life member of Bangladesh Botanical Society and Bangladesh Agronomy Society.

Dr. Herath Manthrithilake
Head of the research program
International Water Management Institute (IWMI)

Currently, Dr Manthrithilake serves as a Senior Researcher at the International Water Management Institute (IWMI). He worked and led research projects in India (Hyderabad), and Central Asia (Tashkent) and Sri Lanka, and represented IWMI in those places since 2002. Before IWMI, he worked for the Mahaweli Authority of Sri Lanka (MASL) over 27 years in different capacities. He retired from MASL in 2002, as the Director in-charge of two key divisions (Planning and Monitoring and Environment) of that organization while managing a knowledge enterprise - the NRMS Pvt. Ltd, for the MASL. He led multidisciplinary and multi-cultural research teams in several countries. Published many scientific papers on a variety of water-related topics and made presentations /communications on different aspects of water management in national, regional and international conferences. His PhD (1983) was on stochastic hydrology and focused on river flow regimes modelling as Markov Chains for the management of reservoirs.

Engr. Jon Fripp
Civil Engineer
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

Engr. Jon Fripp is a registered Civil Engineer with the National Design, Construction and Soil Mechanics Center of USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. He performs a variety of hydraulic computations and evaluations related to the planning, design, construction, and operation of various types of soil and water resource projects. He has worked on multiple projects in the United States as well as countries in West, Central and South East Asia and both South and Central America. Jon has graduate and undergraduate engineering degrees from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. He also volunteers extensively with NGOs including Engineers Without Borders and firmly believes in the importance of promoting easy to understand and simple to implement water quality and quantity technologies.

Mr. Julien Katchinoff
Water Team Lead
Office of Conservation and Water
U.S. Department of State

Julien has served as US Department's primary action officer in implementing the Boundary Waters Treaty (1909) between the United States and Canada, as Transboundary Water Specialist and Deputy Columbia River Treaty Negotiator in the Office of Canadian Affairs. He has also developed and implemented U.S. foreign policies on drinking water and sanitation, water resources management and transboundary water issues, with a specific focus on South East Asia. Prior to this, Julien worked as an Environmental Scientist with Montgomery Watson Harza, and as a research intern with the Environmental Change and Security Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Julien earned his M.A. in Global Environmental Policy from American's School of International Service in 2009 and has served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Republic of Georgia

Mr. Kushal Gurung
WindPower Nepal

Kushal Gurung is a low carbon professional. He is the founder and CEO of WindPower Nepal, which provides engineering and consulting services for renewable energy projects.
He is also a co-founder and Director of Gandaki Urja, a company that converts organic waste to produce bioCNG and organic fertilizer. Kushal is an Expert Member of the Government of Nepal's Environment Protection Council. He is an Asia 21 Young Leaders of 2017 and has MSc in Carbon Management from the University of Edinburgh

Ms. Lakpa Sherpa
Senior Programme Officer

Lakpa Sherpa holds a MSc in Environmental Science from Central Department of Environmental Science. Tribhuvan University. She has over 8 years of experience of project management in research, natural resource management, PES and climate change. She has worked in the issues of agriculture, watershed management and gender She is currently Senior Programme Officer at LIBIRD, her current project includes environmental capacity building agriculture and water pollution and climate induced migration, Prior to LIBIRD she worked in Rural mountain of Nepal through other I/NGO for mountain environment conservation.

Dr. Mark Smith
Director General
International Water Management Institute

He brings more than 25 years of research and program management experience in water resources, agriculture, climate and sustainability. He was formerly Director - Global Water Programme, and Manager for Organizational Change at the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and a Governor at the World Water Council. He has led innovative, multi-regional programs in Asia, Africa and Latin America addressing river basin management, climate change adaptation and nature-based solutions, and transboundary cooperation in water management. He has a doctorate in ecology and resource management from the University of Edinburgh and a master's in climatology from the University of Guelph.

Dr. Md. Mizanoor Rahman
University of Rajshahi

Dr. Md. Mizanoor Rahman is a professor at the department of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Rajshahi, where he has been since 2002. He received his MS from Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand and PhD from Rajshahi University, Bangladesh. He has experience of research and teaching in the field of Environmental Pollution, Disaster and Regional Planning. He has participated in a number of international and national conferences at home and abroad. He is a life member of Bangladesh Geographical Association (BNGA).

Mr. K. H. Muthukuda Arachchi
Deputy Director General
Central Environmental Authority

Mr.K.H.Muthukuda Arachchi is the Deputy Director General(Environmental Pollution Control) of the Central Environmental Authority which is the main regulatory body executing the powers and functions under the provisions of National Environmental Act of SriLanka. He is specialized in Industrial Pollution Control particularly in the field of Water and Air. He is the current country representative and focal point for the Asian Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Network (AECEN) and he has many international exposures pertain to industrial pollution control as well as environmental compliance monitoring and enforcement.

Mr. Pranab Ranjan Choudhury
Practicing Researcher & Consultant

Pranab is a practicing researcher and consultant on natural resources management and governance with more than two decades of experience across South Asian geographies. He primarily supports planning, implementing, monitoring and evaluation of projects and also conduct action and policy research on inter- disciplinary issues. A post-graduate in Forestry, Pranab was a Scientist with Indian Council of Agriculture Research for about a decade, working on participatory watershed management. Later he worked on Integrated River Basin Management and water conflicts conducting data-driven, action and policy research. His work around water intersects agriculture, forestry and livelihoods, often interfacing climate change, environmental issues and ecosystem services. He accompanies a 4-country on-farm-adaptive research program with small farmers with Caritas network and was the mid-term evaluator of this Agriculture Water Pollution Project.

Mr. Sathis de Mel
Executive Director,
Arthacharya Foundation

Mr. Sathis de Mel is a formally trained human geographer and regional development planner who has experience over 35 years in diverse project and programme locations in Sri Lanka, South Asia, Africa, Latin America, Europe and North America. He was the organizing secretary and Programme Director of the Sarvodaya Movement for nearly ten years, and also was the Programme Director of the International Liaison Committee for Food Corps Programmes, based in Boston, USA and Puebla, Mexico for six years. Sathis was also a member of Asian Development Bank's International Inspection Panel. He has been a consultant to the World Bank, ADB, UNDP, UNV, UNICEF, IFAD, AusAID and UNOPs.

Mr. Shaun P. McKinney
Team Lead
West National Technology Support Center

Mr. McKinney has been involved with conservation, water quality and aquatic ecology issues for the last 30 years for both the USDA US Forest Service and with NRCS. As a fisheries biologist, hydrologist, and scientist he has led numerous conservation efforts in the Pacific Northwest and nationally. Today he leads the West National Technology Support Center that includes national teams dedicated to water quality, air quality and environmental markets and energy. Working for both the US Forest Service and NRCS provided him the unique opportunity of applying conservation on both public and private lands. He holds a BS from Michigan State University and a Masters degree from Oregon State University in Aquatic Ecology. In his limited free time he enjoys building cedar canoes and kayaks, running marathons, hiking with his family.

Mr. Sujan Shrestha
Founder Member
Safe Food Alliance

Mr. Sujan Shrestha is founder member of Safe Food Alliance, Nepal. He owns a farm – Bisesh Sadabahar Krishi Farm Pvt. Ltd in Ramkot, in the outskirts of Kathmandu valley since 2014 where he designs crop calendar and ensures safe food production. He served in the food industries in Dubai in managerial capacities for 9 years. He holds a bachelor’s in business studies from Tribhuvan University and attended various trainings on food safety and hygiene and other management skills. As revolutionary farmer adopting good agricultural practices and also as a founder of Safe Food Alliance, Mr. Sujan is intensively engaged in training and coaching farmers in various parts of Nepal on various aspects of farming including farm management, crop cycle management, product marketing etc.

Mr. Sukleash George Costa
Regional Director
Caritas Bangladesh

Sukleash George Costa holds a post Graduate Degree in Business Administration and Zoology. He is a trained practitioner in Facilitation, Advocacy, Peoples Organization, mitigation of environment pollution, WASH and Adaptation to Climate Change, entrepreneurship development and adaptive research for the last 15 years. Additionally, he has done action research on mitigation in land based water pollution especially in drought prone and semi-arid areas in Bangladesh. He has gained diverse experience on Food and nutritional security, adaptive technology development and resilience concepts, innovation processes. His current focus is on small-holder adaptive farming system in Bangladesh linking farmers and multi stakeholders while bringing innovations for a healthy environment, through sustainable use of natural resources, total sanitation and Nutrition Sensitive Food Production.

Mr. Sunil Simon
Greenpro Natura Consultants

He is a development and humanitarian aid professional with more than 18 years' experience in academics, development, humanitarian aid and industrial sectors. He support organisations and teams to develop and manage new initiatives and ideas. He holds a Bachelor of Technology in Agricultural Engineering and Master's in Water Resource Management from MNNIT, Allahabad. He has served as the regional resource person of Caritas Internationalis on Food Security for Asia and the member of "Caritas Internationalis reference group on Food Security and Climate Change". He received the "Most Collaborative Team Performance Award" for his innovative solution to achieve UN Sustainable Development Goals in 2017.

Ms. Syeda Rizwana Hasan
Chief Executive
Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association

Syeda Rizwana Hasan is an enrolled lawyer with the Supreme Court of Bangladesh. She is the Chief Executive of a reputed national Non Governmental Organization named Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (BELA) that promotes environmental justice in Bangladesh. An environmental lawyer, Rizwana has led successful legal campaigns through PIL and legislative advocacy in the country.At the international arena, Rizwana is an amigas (a member of the Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide) and also a member of the Environmental Law Commission of IUCN. She has also been named as one of the 40 Environmental Heroes of the World by the TIME magazine and has been awarded with the Ramon Magsaysay Award in 2012. Rizwana did her masters and graduation in law from the University of Dhaka with distinction.

Dr. Tista Prasai Joshi
Nepal Academy of Science and Technology

Dr.Tista Prasai Joshi is a scientist in Nepal Academy of Science and Technology since last 17 years with key focus on the water quality research. She received M.Sc. degree in Environmental Microbiology, M.A. degree in Anthropology in 2001 and 2005 from Tribhuvan University, and Ph. D. degree in Environmental Engineering in 2017 from University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (UCAS). Her research work has appear in many leading international and national journals. She is active in community, governmental and industrial consulting activities. She received prestigious 2019-OWSD-Elsevier foundation award, UNESCO-OWSD early career fellowship, 2019 and UCAS Excellent International Student award, 2017.

Mr Vasimalai M. P.
Executive Director
DHAN Foundation

Vasimalai is a management graduate from Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad and master in agricultural sciences from Tamil Nadu Agricultural University.He has more than 30 years of experience in the development sector and he is a well-known development leader in the social sector. He has specialised in community organisation, designing development interventions in the fields of natural resource management and livelihoods promotion and institutional development. He has organised several national and international workshops, policy seminars on the themes of Natural Resource Management and Microfinance and has participated/presented papers on these themes at many national and international forums. He also holds various positions in national and international forums, working groups, task forces and missions of central and state government on these themes. He has promoted many development institutions, and is nurturing them by setting appropriate culture building mechanisms. He was instrumental in promoting various network organisations. He handles courses in Motivation, Values, and Ethics for Development (MOVE) and Marketing Of Development programmes and concepts (MODE).

Ms. Viola Buli
Program Director for South Asia
Caritas Switzerland

Viola Buli holds a MSc in Economics, with a focus in Macroeconomics and Monetary Policies from the University of Bern. Following her positions in the telecommunication industry and the University of Bern, the last 5 years she has been focused in the International Development Cooperation. Currently she is the Program Director for South Asia within the Head Office of Caritas Switzerland.

Dr. Yam Malla
Freelance Consultant

Dr.Yam Malla holds a PhD in Forestry from the Australian National University, an MSc in Agriculture Extension from the University of Reading, UK, and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Forestry from the University of Wales, UK. He was formerly the Country Representative of the International Union for Conservation of Nature for Nepal, Executive Director of the Center for People and Forests, Bangkok and Lecturer and Director of MSc Programme on Natural Resource Management at the University of Reading. Prior to pursuing international career, Dr. Malla has worked in Nepal for 17 years - first as the Senior Forestry Officer and later Rural Development Advisor for the Nepal Australia Forestry Project. Additionally, he has worked as the Extension Specialist for the Resource Conservation and Utilization Project and Head of Forestry, Pasture and Soil Conservation Department of Pakhribas Agricultural Research Center.

United State
United State