Keynote Speakers

Rashad Al-Shawa

Chairman of the Founders Committee & Vice Chairman of the Advisory Board of the International Water Bank, Chairman of the Board of Mai Resources International (Switzerland ), AG Member of the World Water Council


Bambos Charalambous


Bambos experience in water related fields spans over 35 years and he has worked on several projects in Europe, Africa, South Asia, and the Middle East.  

He has wide experience in urban water distribution network management, including Non-Revenue Water (NRW) and Water Loss Management with particular application to water audits and data validation; non-revenue water strategies; leakage assessment and control; commercial efficiency; asset management and business coaching.  

From 1995 to 2012 he was heading the Technical Services of the Water Board of Lemesos, a public water utility in Cyprus, with responsibilities over all technical matters, including planning, operation and maintenance of the water supply system.

Since 2012 he is a NRW and Water Utility Governance consultant and has served internationally on senior consultancy assignments with Water Utilities, IFIs and Water Associations.

Dr. Peter McCornick


Peter G. McCornick is the executive director of the Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute (DWFI) at the University of Nebraska, where he leads the institute, and builds its relationships and collaborations with partners in Nebraska, nationally in the US, and other key food producing regions in the world.  He is also a tenured professor in the Department of Biosystems Engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  Prior to joining DWFI in August 2016, Peter was the deputy director general of research at the International Water Management Institute.

McCornick has dedicated his career to improving the understanding of sustainable water resources management. He has led research and development programs on water, agriculture and the environment in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and the U.S. His interest areas include water and food security, the water-food-energy nexus, water reuse, irrigation management, and water and climate adaptation.

McCornick earned his doctorate in agricultural engineering from Colorado State University, is a licensed professional civil engineer in the State of Colorado, and a member of the American Academy of Water Resources Engineers.

Dr. Matar Al Neyadi

Dr Matar Al Neyadi, Undersecretary of the UAE Ministry of Energy, holds a Ph.D. in international law from the University of Edinburgh (1997). He has professional experience in leadership, international cooperation, international maritime law, management of international negotiations, climate change, rationalization of energy and water consumption, impact of the prices of unconventional sources on oil and gas prices, the State’s sovereignty on its natural sources and drafting legislations.

In May 2014, Dr Matar assumed the position of Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Gulf Cooperation Council Interconnection Authority (GCCIA). Dr Matar is also the UAE’s Executive Member in the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF), member of the Executive Office of the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC), member of the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) and member of the Board of Trustees of H.E. the Minster of Interior’s Award for Scientific Research.

Al Neyadi is also the Chair of the Gasoline and Diesel Prices Follow-up Committee; Deputy Chair of UAE’s National Committee at the WEC (World Energy Council); Chair of the CDM (Clean Development Mechanism) Executive Committee; member of the Emirates Green Development Council; member of the Steering Committee of the UAE Ecological Footprint Initiative and a member of the Advisory Board of the College of Law.

Dr. Matar Hamed Al Neyadi has authored a number of legal books which notably include ‘Maritime Zones of the UAE’, the ‘Rules of International Treaties in Public International Law’ and ‘Documents in Public International Law’.

Dr. Djamel Djaballah

H.E. Mr. Djamal Eldine Djaballah has served as Director of the Department of Environment, Housing and Water Resources at the League of Arab States for over eight years.  In this capacity he serves as Secretary of the Arab Ministerial Water Council, Council of Arab Ministerial Responsible for the Environment, Arab Ministerial Council for Meteorology and Climate and Arab Ministerial Council for Housing.  He previously served as Ambassador Plenipotentiary for the Government of Algeria.

Ms. Roula Majdalani

Ms. Roula Majdalani, UN-ESCWA

Ms. Roula Majdalani is the Director of the Sustainable Development Policies Division at the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western (UN-ESCWA) in Beirut. The division promotes cooperation among Arab countries on sustainable management of natural resources with a focus on water, energy, food security and green production. Ms. Majdalani joined ESCWA in 1989 and has served as a Human Settlements Officer, First Economic Affairs Officer on water resources, and Chief of the Technical Cooperation Section. She holds a master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Syracuse University and previously worked with Dar Al-Handasah Consultants (London). She has publications on green economy and integrated management of water resources, housing development and sustainable cities. She lectured on these topics in scientific, regional and international forums.

Dr. Rashid Al Leem

Dr. Rashid Obaid Jumaa Al Leem) is the chairman of Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority (SEWA). The ruler of Sharjah chose him at the young age to the project of building and economic zone in the emirate. He has also written several books.[1][2] The Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, honoured him the title Ambassador of Knowledge of the UAE.[3][4]

He has received several international honours and awards in different fields. He also received an award of Middle East Business Leaders Award 2012 by the President of Indonesia

Mr. Khaldon Khashman

Eng. Khaldon Khashman is Secretary General of the Arab Countries Water Utilities Association (ACWUA).  He is a member of Board of Directors at the Water Authority of Jordan, municipal councils, Jordan Engineers Association and other professional organization, and the Chair of the Board of the Jordan Water Company (Miyahuna).

Khaldon Khashman is a senior water utilities management expert, who served the water sector in Jordan for more than 25 years, where he started his career at Jordan Drinking Water Corporation in the early eighties, then filled many vital positions at the Water Authority of Jordan in different service areas in Jordan. Eng. Khaldon Khashman is a member of board of directors at the Water Authority of Jordan, municipal councils, Jordan Engineers Association and other professional organization and a former board member in Jordan Water Company (Miyahuna), Northern Governorates Water Administration and Aqaba Water Company. He attended more than 40 local and international professional training programs covering technical, financial, legal and administrative issue in water utilities. Since 2009 and currently Eng. Khashman is working as the Secretary General for the Arab Countries Water Utilities Association (ACWUA), where he strongly believes in the importance of knowledge and experience transfer between Arab water utilities and promoting ACWUA as regional center of excellence which will partner with water supply and wastewater utilities in Arab countries to provide best practice service delivery to their customers.

Erik Ullenhag

Before Ambassador Ullenhag’s accession as Sweden’s Ambassador to Amman he served as a member of the Swedish parliament, member of the finance committee and leader of the Liberals parliamentary group. The Ambassador was between 2010 and 2014 the Minister for Integration and Deputy Minister of Labour. 

H.E. Essa bin Hilal Al-Kuwari

H.E. Essa Bin Hilal Al-Kuwari serves as the President of Qatar General Electricity & Water Corporation (Kahramaa). H.E. Bin Hilal Al-Kuwari serves as a Director of Qatar Petroleum.

Nancy J. Eslick

Nancy J. Eslick is Deputy Mission Director for the U.S. Agency for International Development Mission in Jordan.  Preceding this assignment, Ms. Eslick served in Washington D.C. as the Director for the Office of Central American and Mexican Affairs in the Latin America and the Caribbean Bureau, and as Division Chief for Workforce Planning and Programs in the Human Capital and Talent Management Office. In 2013, she assisted in the opening of USAID/Burma as the Supervisory Program Officer. While in Pakistan, she specialized in Government-to-Government assistance and project design as the Mission Director’s Senior Advisor. Her earlier assignments include: Uganda; Afghanistan; a detail to the Office of the Secretary of Defense; and, the India/Nepal Desk Officer. She began her development career as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uganda’s Kibale National Park.

Ms. Eslick holds Master’s degrees from Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs in Public Policy (MPA) and Water Resources (MSES) as well as a BA in Environmental Science.  


Gonzalo Espinoza

Gonzalo E. Espinoza-Davalos is a researcher and junior lecturer of Water Accounting within the Water Management chair group in the Department of Integrated Water Systems and Governance (IWSG). Gonzalo is an expert in global land-surface models and hydrologic web applications, his research focuses on the spatial-temporal distribution and statistical analysis of hydrologic variables and the integration of large datasets into hydrologic applications such as drought assessment, river routing, and water accounting.

Gonzalo is currently working in a Water Accounting project funded by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. The project objective is to apply the Water Accounting+ framework to determine the agricultural water use and water productivity in Africa and the Middle East. The project is part of the efforts to achieve a sustainable use of water and to secure food production.

Gonzalo holds a PhD in Civil Engineering and an MSc in Environmental and Water Resources Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin. He’s PhD dissertation is titled “Large-Scale Statistical Analysis of NLDAS Variables and Hydrologic Web Applications” that was supervised by David Maidment. Gonzalo also received a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineer from the Autonomous University of Aguascalientes (UAA).


Anders Jägerskog (Sweden): Ph.D is Senior Water Resources Management at the Global Water Practice at the World Bank. His work focuses on the Middle East and North Africa region. Previously he was Counsellor for regional water resources in the MENA region being based at the Swedish Embassy in Amman, Jordan. He is currently on leave of absence from a position as Director, Knowledge Services, at the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) where he headed the Transboundary Water Management Unit and was work area leader for applied research. His work focuses on international water issues and in particular transboundary waters and water governance. He managed the UNDP Shared Waters Partnership which facilitates and promotes dialogue and cooperation on transboundary water resources. He is also Associate Professor (Docent) at Peace and Development Research, School of Global Studies, University of Gothenburg where his work focuses on global water issues. Previously he has worked at the secretariat for the Expert Group on Development Issues (EGDI) at the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, as Senior Programme Manager, Water resources at the Embassy of Sweden, Nairobi. He has also worked at the Swedish International Development Co-operation Agency HQ (Sida) with water resources in southern Africa and at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) with Middle Eastern security issues. In 2003 he finished his PhD on the water negotiations in the Jordan River Basin at the Department of Water and Environmental Studies at the Linköping University, Sweden. He was a member of the Scientific Programme Committee at the Stockholm International Water Institute from 2002-2006 and again from 2011 and onwards and is currently a member of the Scientific Committee of the International Lakes Commission (ILEC) as well as UNESCO committees on transboundary groundwater in the MENA region and in Africa. He is a member of the United Nations rooster of mediation expert for the Department of Political Affairs, Mediation Support Unit, UN. NY. He has published over 100 scientific articles, book chapters, debate articles and reports. He is frequently consulted in national and international media on issue relating to global water issues; water, conflict and security issues in the Africa and MENA region. He is a skilled facilitator with a vast experience in chairing and moderating meetings, dialogues and conferences. He has vast global experience on international water issues, frequently being called by international organisations, academic institutions as well as governments to provide advice. His experience is a combination of strong academic credentials (Associate Professor, strong publications record) as well as wide experience from policy advisory services (World Bank, SIWI, UNDP water governance advisor, private consultant) and government services - both at policy level (Ministry for Foreign Affairs) as well as from the field (SIWI, Sida and Embassy of Sweden in Amman and Nairobi).

Ulrika Åkesson

Ms. Ulrika Åkesson, Embassy of Sweden in Amman

Ulrika Åkesson currently holds a position as a Regional Water and Environment Advisor for the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) at the Embassy of Sweden in Amman, in charge of Sweden´s regional support to the Middle East. She has 20 years of professional international experience in development cooperation within the field of water, environment and climate change. She has field experience from Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. She has served as a Policy Specialist on Climate Change at Sida HQ, with an advisory role to Sida staff as well as the Swedish Government. Ulrika Åkesson holds a Master of Science in International Development Cooperation.

Mr. Kassim Aljabri

Dr. Kasim Mana Abdula Al Jabri has a PhD in Assessing the Resilience of Water Supply Systems in Oman  from Abertay Dundee University in UK.

He is working as a Senior Manager Project support at Public Authority of Electricity and Water, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman. He joins the Ministry of Housing Electricity and Water in July 1987. He was the director of maintenance and director of Muscat water supply and other positions. 

Dr. Kasim has over 25 years of experience in the operation, maintenance, and design of water systems. He participates in many conferences, seminars, and training course. He also a member of many committees. He Authored a number of technical papers in the field of water.  

Ms. Carol Chouchani Cherfane

Ms. Carol Chouchani Cherfane, UN-ESCWA

Ms. Carol Chouchani Cherfane has served as Chief of the Water Resources Section in the Sustainable Development Policies Division at United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western (UN-ESCWA) in Beirut since 2009. She previously led the Technology and Enterprise Development Team.  Her current work supports regional initiatives on water and sanitation, the water-energy-food nexus, climate change and shared water resource management in the Arab region.  Prior to joining UN-ESCWA she worked for the World Bank and the Harvard Institute for International Development. She holds degrees from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in Boston and the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Washington, DC with a focus on development economics, international law and international environmental policy.

Mohammed Ayadi

Mr. Mohamed Ayadi is the Director of Artificial Recharge and Director Non-Conventional Water Department in the General Directorate of Water Resources at the Ministry of Agriculture, Water Resources and Fisheries of Tunisia.  He also served as the MDG+ National Focal Point and Chair of the MDG+ National Monitoring Team.  He also serves as Chair of the 11th Session of the ESCWA Committee on Water Resources (2015-2017).

Dr. Faraj El Awar

Dr. Faraj El-Awar is the Head of the Global Water Operators Partnerships Alliance (GWOPA) Secretariat at UN-Habitat Office in Barcelona, Spain. Dr. El-Awar is a water expert with over 25 years of experience. Prior to heading the GWOPA Secretariat, he was a professor of water management at the American University of Beirut, and the Secretary General of the Arab Countries Water Utilities Association (ACWUA).


Ms. Maysoon Al Zoubi

Maysoon Al-Zoubi currently the Secretary General of the Higher Population Council.  She got a bachelor of Engineering at the University of Jordan in 1986. Then, she attended many specialization courses abroad. She got a Master of Water Demand Management at the Jordan University of Science and Technology. From January 2009 to July 2012, she has been the Secretary General of the Jordan Ministry of Water & Irrigation. Her professional experience is quite extensive and was accumulated mainly at the Ministry of Water and Irrigation.  She joint the Hashemite Royal Court as Senior Policy Analyst / Economic Affairs Department from 2007 to 2009. Before that, she was seconded to the Prime Ministry of Jordan as Senior Infrastructure Specialist from April 2005 to April 2007.  She has involved in providing objective, timely and proactive analysis with respect to international and domestic economic issues through constant coordination with various stakeholders including both the private and public sectors. Recommend a set of policy priorities and directions in accordance with Jordan’s strategic and national objectives. Prepare an extensive report providing sector overview that includes:  main sector indicators in comparison to previous years, recent developments, and challenges.

Maysoon Zoubi has a long and prestigious career increasing accountable, sustainable, water sector management and governance for Jordan’s water resources.

Maysoon Al-Zoubi has 29 years of experience managing water resources and utilities in Jordan demonstrating political savviness and diplomacy working closely with numerous political and private stakeholders.

Eng. Maysoon Al-Zoubi served as the Technical Committee Chair for the ambitious Red to Dead Sea Project, Negotiator and Ambassador for Climate Change, Jordan.  She is a WANA Institute’s Academic Advisory Board Member, Blue Peace Core Group member, chaired by HRH Prince Hasan Bin Talal, and The Jordanian Engineers Association's Representative in Arab Engineers Union Committee of Water and Natural Resources.

Dr. Anthi Brouma

Anthi Brouma joined GWP-Med in 2006. She has been working on water policy, governance, financing and IWRM issues in the context of regional and national projects and regional political initiatives and processes across the Mediterranean region, with emphasis in MENA countries. Since 2011 she has been leading all activities in the MENA region and more recently she has expanded her involvement in cross-cutting issues (gender, youth, SDGs) and the climate change agenda.

Dr. Anthi Brouma is a political scientist by education, specialised through her postgraduate studies on global development issues and water policy. She completed her PhD at SOAS, University of London, on the theme of water governance in areas under conflict.  Anthi, a Greek native speaker, is fluent in English, competent in Spanish and Italian, and has basic knowledge of Turkish. Prior to moving back to her home country Greece and joining GWP-Med, Anthi worked for three years as a lecturer at SOAS, London, and two years as a freelancer water expert in Madrid, Spain.

Dr. Helmut Fluhrer

Dr. Fluhrer founded WeatherTec as the world’s unique environmental friendly Ionization technology with the goal to offer it to the countries with droughts as a realistic, pragmatic, comparable inexpensive and fast to implement solution.

The technology proved its potential again 2016: The volume of the rainfalls in northern Jordan was increased by 40% in the 4th Quarter of 2016, which is an estimated additional 400 million m3.

Dr. Fluhrer, who was already successful in building big companies from scratch in the media world, creating technology leaders in satellite television, digital printing and especially building one of the first b-to-b in the Internet, more than a decade ago took on the task of launching a company for rainfall enhancement.

During the R&D period with experts from Max Planck Institute, LMU Munich University and international scientists the company (called before “Meteo Systems”) developed most valuable knowledge and IP, which positioned the team as the technology leaders.

The company worked on three continents for different governments like Switzerland, Australia and UAE. The project starting 2016 in Jordan is headquartered in Amman with four emitter sites in the country.

Elena Davydova

As co-founder, Elena Davydova is one of the most knowledgeable persons regarding weather modification worldwide. Starting her career in the field of disarmament and non-proliferation, Elena participated in negotiations between security, civil, scientific and environmental interest blocs.

She also collaborated with respected companies and experts around the globe and gained invaluable insights inter alia into potentials of freshwater enlargement by various technical means including weather modification on different continents.

Mrs. Davydova is a co-author of the article "Abstraction of Atmospheric Humidity" published in the Chapter "Water-Quality Engineering", "Treatise of Water Science", Elsivier, 2011

Elena Davydova is President of the “Academy for Climate and Water Security”, which provides executive customized training courses in the subjects climatology, meteorology and water security, also joining and supporting them in international negotiations like the climate summits COP 21, 22.

Ismat Sawaqed

His long experience in the Gulf States, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas helps WeatherTec to develop its technology in countries with water scarcity.

Matt Sawaqed has a long career as a Financier, Entrepreneur, Government Advisor in numerous Arab and overseas countries, esp. in economic development and economic free trade and offshore zones.

He was the advisor responsible of "Project U.A.E. 1" to HH Sheik Saud Bin Saqr Al Qassimi, then Crown Prince and now the Ruler of the Emirate of Ras Al Khaima.

Dr. Ana Mancheno Gren

Dr. Ana Mancheno Gren / Ana Gren - is currently the Senior Policy Specialist for Water Resources Management and Sanitation at the Department for International Organisations and Policy Support at the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).  In her current role she leads Sida’s Water Global Network and follows developments and progress of Water Resources Management and Sanitation programs supported by Sweden at the global, regional, and through bilateral development cooperation.  In previous roles at Sida and throughout her career, Dr. Gren has managed funds and led the work for the implementation of a number of bilateral water and sanitation and infrastructure programs, as well as lead and managed scientific research cooperation programmes with global research institutions in various countries in Latin American, Africa, and Asia. Currently, she represents Sida in the IFC 2030 Water Resources Group (WRG) Steering Board; and in the External Reference Strategy Group for UNICEF-Water and Sanitation Program. 

During 2010-2012 she served as Consul at the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, at the Consulate General of Sweden, Jerusalem, managing Swedish funds and cooperation support for the water and infrastructure and environment sectors through Gaza and the West Bank.

Before joining Sida, Dr. Gren conducted research at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, and worked in the United States and Latin America in various roles in the private development, urban planning, Real Estate finance and infrastructure development.  Her particular areas of interest include all aspects related to environmental sustainability and development, urban and rural resilience and infrastructure, water and sanitation, governance, public finance, gender and women’s rights, as well as scientific capacity building and innovation. 

Ana holds a Ph.D. in Infrastructure and Planning from the Royal Institute of Technology, KTH in Sweden, a Master’s Degree in City and Regional Planning from the University of Pennsylvania; and a BSc in Economics from Stockton University, USA.  In August 2015, Dr. Gren was appointed as one of the members in the Global Advisor Panel for the REACH Global Water Security Program at Oxford University, UK.


Ms. Yana Abo Taleb

Yana Abu Taleb is the Jordanian Deputy Director of EcoPeace Middle East. She received a Bachelor Degree in Archeology from the University of Jordan in 1996.

As Regional projects manager at EcoPeace Middle East, she leads EcoPeace’s projects and advocacy and her responsibilities include supervising project development, planning and management, serving as a liaison to and lobbying of governmental and private sector figures and organizations on major regional policy issues relevant to environmental protection and national and regional water issues. She has organized many regional conferences, workshops and study tours, co-authored reports and policy papers and speaks regularly at local and international conferences.

Christopher Lindsay

Christopher Lindsay – Director of Government Relations, The IAPMO Group

Christopher Lindsay brings over a decade of nonprofit and international development experience to IWSH. He began his career serving in the White House where he played a pivotal role analyzing and reporting trends on the thousands of nonprofits who partner with the government – representing billions of dollars. In this capacity, Christopher also worked to rebuild the United States’ refugee program in the years following the attacks of September 11th, helping populations in the most desperate circumstances.

Later, he would work with corporations and high net worth families to structure their philanthropic activities on issues ranging from creating microfinance projects in Peru to rebuilding schools in Haiti following the 2010 earthquake. An outspoken advocate for clean water and sanitation, Christopher has worked with government ministries in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and the MENA region to improve governance, develop human capital, and implement the mechanisms necessary to build supply chain capacity.

Dain Hansen

Dain Hansen – Senior Vice President of Government Relations, International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (The IAPMO Group)

Dain Hansen has over 15 years of global policy, philanthropic, nonprofit and international charity experience. Dain began his career living in Australia working with indigenous and immigrant populations. Since that time, Dain worked on Capitol Hill for Senators and Congressmen on domestic and global environmental issues. Dain has worked with USAID, foundations and organizations from the WASH community on projects throughout the globe, including; Southeast Asia, the Middle-East, and Africa. Dain is currently based in Washington, D.C., and works with water-related charities, foundations, domestic and international policy makers, and governmental aid organizations. This engagement is done to further expand and provide assistance to developing nations to increase quality of life through training and vocational programs, standardization and governance in the demand-side water.

Danko Aleksic

Danko Aleksic has graduated at the Faculty of Forestry, University of Belgrade, where he has subsequently completed two years long International Master Program in Forest Policy and Economics (FOPER) supported by the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Following his interests in the field of international affairs, in 2013 he has also completed the master program in International Security at the Faculty of Political Science, University of Belgrade, as a holder of the OSCE scholarship. He started his professional engagements in the field of environment and sustainable development in 2005, subsequently gaining experience in several sectors, including NGO, parliamentary committee, academia, regional development, and international organizations. He joined REC in 2012. From April 2012 to December 2015 he worked within the for Sustainable Consumption and Production/Sustainable Resource Use Topic Area, and from December 2015 onwards he has been working in the Local Governance Topic Area of the REC as Deputy Project Manager of the Water Security Component of the WaterSUM Project. He is a PhD student in International and European Affairs at the Faculty of Political Science in Belgrade.

Location and Venue

area full of great hotels and restaurants.

This stunning conference center is uniquely located at the lowest point on Earth and on the shores of the Dead Sea in Jordan, our convention centre is near Mount Nebo, Madaba and the Mujib Nature Reserve. We're only a 65-km drive from Queen Alia International Airport. Host your next meeting, event or wedding in this spectacularly designed venue with modern technology while staying at the adjacent Hilton Dead Sea Resort & Spa.
King Hussein Bin Talal Convention Centre Managed by Hilton


King Hussein Bin Talal Convention Centre Managed by Hilton

Arab Countries Water Utilities Association (ACWUA),

Umm Umarah Street 19 A, Alrasheed Area, P.O. Box 962449, Amman 11196, Jordan

Phone: +962 6 5161700,

Fax: +962 6 5161800

E-Mail: [email protected]