Prof Mark Zeitoun
Prof Mark Zeitoun has led on multiple research and water supply projects, and supported water negotiations throughout the Middle East and Africa. His research focuses on international transboundary water conflict and cooperation, the influence of armed conflict on water services, and the links between water and health. He is a Professor of Water Security at the University of East Anglia’s School of International Development and has consulted for a wide range of humanitarian and development organizations. He studied engineering at McGill University in Montréal and human geography at King’s College London. He is author of “Power and Water: the Hidden Politics of the Palestinian-Israeli Water Conflict” (IB Tauris 2008, Water Conflicts: Analysis for Transformation (OUP 2020, with Naho Mirumachi and Jeroen Warner), and “Understanding Water: Reflections on our use and abuse of the world’s most precious resource” (OUP 2022).
Prof Christian Bréthaut
Prof Christian Bréthaut holds a PhD in Geosciences and Environment from the University of Lausanne. He leads the Geneva Water Hub’s Education and Knowledge component since August 2014. His area of expertise is the analysis of water policies and the issues associated with the management of cross border rivers. Prof Bréthaut’s particular focus within the domain of water management is the capacity of institutions to adapt, the water-food-energy-ecosystems Nexus and the exploration of the link between science and policy. Access full biography on the dedicated University of Geneva webpage.
Dr Caroline Pellaton
Corporate Operations Manager
Caroline Pellaton holds a PhD in Earth Sciences from the University of Geneva. She joined the Geneva Water Hub in June 2018 as Corporate Operations Administrator. Her work consists of managing administrative issues as well as monitoring the achievements and implementation of the objectives and contributing to some operational activities. She is also in charge of the fundraising activities and donor relations. Over the last ten years, she worked as a country level water program manager in emergencies and post conflict environments in various contexts such as Sri Lanka, Niger, Republic of South Sudan, Central African Republic, Yemen and Jordan.
Advisor, former Director General
François Münger holds Masters degrees in mineralogy and geophysics (Univ. of Lausanne), hydrology (Univ. of Neuchâtel), and environmental engineering (EPFL). His experience spans across a range of different private and public institutions in Switzerland, Africa, Latin America, Central Asia and East Europe. He notably was the Chief of the Central America Water Programme for the Swiss Agency for Cooperation and Development (SDC) and Senior Water Specialist at the World Bank. After heading SDC’s Global Water Program for the past eight years, François was awarded the title of Swiss Special Envoy for Water and given responsibility for the creation and development of the Geneva Water Hub.
Dr Danilo Türk
Lead Political Advisor
Danilo Türk is a Slovenian diplomat, professor of international law, human rights expert, and political figure who served as President of Slovenia from 2007 to 2012. He was the first Slovene ambassador to the United Nations, from 1992 to 2000, and was the UN Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs from 2000 to 2005. He is a visiting professor of international law at Columbia University in New York City, a professor emeritus at the Faculty of Law of the University of Ljubljana, and non-resident senior fellow of Chongyang Institute for Financial studies at Renmin University of China in Beijing. He is the founder of the Danilo Türk Foundation, devoted mostly to the rehabilitation of child victims of armed conflict. He was also Chair of the Global High Level Panel on Water and Peace between 2015 and 2017.
Prof Laurence Boisson de Chazournes
Research and Education Function, Full Professor
Professor at the Faculty of Law of the University of Geneva since 1999, Laurence Boisson de Chazournes is also Visiting Professor at Aix-Marseille University, Paris I and Paris II Universities as well as the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (Geneva). She is the Director of the Geneva LL.M. in International Dispute Settlement (MIDS) and co-Director of the Geneva Center for International Dispute Settlement (CIDS). She is an Associate Member of the Institute of International Law (IDI). Laurence Boisson de Chazournes is an arbitrator and has acted as counsel before the International Court of Justice as well as in other international fora and has been involved in numerous negotiations regarding international watercourses. She was a member of the Global High-Level Panel on Water and Peace between 2015 and 2017. Her publications can be accessed here.
Prof Géraldine Pflieger
Research and Education Function, Associate Professor
Géraldine Pflieger is Associate Professor in urban and environmental policies at the University of Geneva (Department of political science and international relations and Institute for Environmental Sciences) and the Director of the Hub on environmental governance and territorial development (GEDT). She holds together with Christian Bréthaut the UNESCO Chair in Hydropolitics at the University of Geneva. She is the Director of the Institute for environmental sciences. Her current research is centered on the regulation of shared natural resources (mainly water and land) – at the international, regional and local levels – as well as the transformation of the governance of urban spaces in the face of the major contemporary infrastructural and environmental challenges (for example the links between transport and land-use or between urbanization and resource consumption).
Lead Water Specialist
Natasha Carmi, an engineer by education, holds a Master’s Degree in Hydrology for Environmental Management. She joined the Geneva Water Hub in March 2018 and contibutes to the establishment of the Global Water Observatory on Water and Peace, as well as the development of the women, water and peace agenda. Prior to that, she worked as water policy advisor to the Palestinian Negotiations Support Project, working closely with decision makers, and has experience in bilateral and regional water negotiations. She is used to working in highly sensitive and timely political environments. She worked with water resources and environmental challenges in the Middle East for the past 20 years. She serves frequently as a faculty member for conferences and workshops dealing with transboundary water resources in general, and hydropolitics in particular, at which water is a core political issue and international water law is a necessary framework for resolving conflicts and identifying opportunities and solutions.
Tadesse Kebebew is a researcher at the Platform for International Water Law of the Geneva Water Hub. He develops the follow up activities related to the Geneva List of Principles on the Protection of Water Infrastructure, focusing on the status of water in military manuals, a monitoring mechanism and the topic of accountability. He holds a PhD in International Law from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies. He previously served as a Research and Technology Interchange Director at Dire Dawa University in Ethiopia. He was also a Lecturer in Law at the Dire Dawa University College of Law from 2011 to 2015 and provided trainings for professionals, including judges and prosecutors in conflict affected areas such as the Somali Regional State of Ethiopia.
Stéphane Kluser holds a Masters degree in Environmental Sciences from the University of Geneva with a specialization in geographic information systems (GIS) and remote sensing. He is responsible for the Geneva Water Hub’s communications as well as information management. His work includes the creation of monthly water maps, content management for the online platform and handling the Hub’s presence on social media networks. Access full biography on the dedicated University of Geneva webpage.
Dr Imane Messaoudi-Mattei
Senior Research Associate
Imane holds a PhD in geography from Paris Nanterre University (France) and from University of Fribourg (Switzerland). Her work consists on exploring, within the framework of research anchored in social sciences, the issues of access, use and management of water (and land) resources around the world. Imane is currently working on critical discourses analysis in transboundary water management. Prior to joining the Geneva Water hub, Imane worked as an agronomist engineer specializing in the economic and social development of rural areas. Her research work has mainly focused on irrigation practices, on the sustainability of rural areas, the interdependencies between rural spaces and urban spaces, and more generally on the analysis of agricultural and environmental policies in semi-arid countries. In addition to her research activities, during the last 8 years, Imane has taught in several universities and engineering schools to different audiences on various environmental questions and issues.
Project Assistant and Analyst
Ms. Monica Nuñez holds university degrees in Law and in Political Sciences (University of Lima – Peru), a masters degree in European and Economic Law (University of Lausanne) and a second one in Business Law (University of Geneva) as well as a Diploma in International Environmental Law (United Nations Institute for Training and Research-UNITAR). She has since complemented her legal studies with several courses on conception and development of online training projects (University of Geneva, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences). Before joining the Geneva Water Hub, she worked for UNITAR where she was in charge of developing, managing and implementing online and face-to-face capacity building projects in the field of International Law, in particular in International Environmental Law.
Quentin Parent holds a Bachelor's degree in Private Law from the University of Nice (France) and a Master's degree in Environmental Sciences from the University of Geneva (Switzerland). He has conducted his Master's thesis on water securitization in the Sahel region. He joins the Geneva Water Hub team for a 6-month internship. His mission is to contribute to the line of action on the Sahel, as well as to support activities related to the Summer School in Water Governance.
Dr Mara Tignino
Lead International Water Law Specialist
Dr Mara Tignino is Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Law and Lead Legal Specialist of the Platform for International Water Law at the Geneva Water Hub. She is the lead author of the Geneva List of Principles on the Protection of Water Infrastructure which was translated in French, Arabic and Russian (2019) and A Review of the Legal Tools Applicable to Dams Planning, Development and Monitoring (2021). She is also co-lead author of A Study of National Legal Frameworks related to the Protection of Water During Armed Conflicts (2023). She is the Chief Legal Specialist of the program “Protection of the Environment during Armed Conflict” (supported by the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of Slovenia) and the project “Transboundary Water Study and Support for the Government of Iraq” (supported by the United Nations Development Programme). She is a member of the International Institute of Humanitarian Law in Sanremo.
Senior Manager, Science Policy Interface
Laura Turley supports both the scientific and policy-facing work at the Geneva Water Hub and facilitates exchanges and synergies across this interface. Her expertise lies in the operation of institutions and infrastructure in the context of water scarcity, and on the conditions required for collective action and equitable water allocation in local and transboundary settings. Prior to joining the Geneva Water Hub, Laura worked with the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) for over a decade, as a researcher and policy advisor on public procurement, investment policy, infrastructure planning, and the use of voluntary sustainability standards. She has also consulted on water governance topics for several international organizations, development banks, and universities. Laura holds a PhD in Environmental Policy from the University of Geneva and an MSc in Water Science, Policy and Management from the University of Oxford.
Senior Programme Manager
Jean Willemin holds a Master's degree in Sociology and a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Water Policy and Management from the University of Geneva. Before joining the Geneva Water Hub, he worked in the field of human rights, both for international organisations and NGOs with an increasing engagement on water governance issues since 2014. Furthermore, he is specialised in facilitation methods that he performs in the frame of mandates for international organisations, NGOs and public administrations. At the Geneva Water Hub, Jean contributes to the development and implementation of the global agenda and is in charge of organising roundtable sessions on current water governance challenges.