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Speakers in the Scientific Segment



Elena María Abraham 

Elena María Abraham is a Scientific Researcher of the CONICET (National Council of Scientific and Technical Research), Director of IADIZA (Argentine Institute for Research on Arid Lands) and Professor of Environmental Planning and Management at the Congress University, Argentina. She is working on developing methodological frameworks able to consolidate integrated, participative and multi-scale approaches to desertification assessment and on the generation of local development strategies to combat desertification in the Monte desert, Argentina. To date she has published over 120 contributions to the knowledge of theoretical, methodological and application aspects related to the environment and human settlements in drylands.

Reza Ardakanian

Reza Ardakanian (*1958 in Iran) holds a PhD in water resources management. He is a faculty member of Sharif University of Technology (Tehran, Iran) and a former Deputy Minister for Water Affairs in the Ministry of Energy of Iran.

Dr. Ardakanian sat on the Boards of various international organizations such as UNESCO-IHP, UNESCO-IHE, the International Hydropower Association and UNU-EHS.

Since 2007 he is serving UN-Water as Founding Director of the UN-Water Decade Programme on Capacity Development (UNW-DPC), and in October 2012 he was appointed as the Founding Director of the new United Nations University Institute for Integrated Management of Material Fluxes and of Resources (UNU-FLORES) in Dresden.

Felipe Arreguìn

Felipe Arreguìn, Doctor in hydraulics engineering by the National Autonomous University of Mexico, UNAM. Since 2002 he is Deputy Technical Director at the National Water Commission. He is responsible for the care of floods and droughts impacts in Mexico and he has participated in various forums about those topics and climate change. He is Professor of the Division of the Graduate Studies of the Faculty of Engineering, UNAM. He is the current President of the Mexican Association of Hydraulics, and the International Commission on Large Dams and Vice President of the College of Civil Engineers of Mexico. He has been creditor to some national awards to research, teaching and writer of papers and books on hydraulics, and he obtained the Best Theoretical Paper Award for 2002, awarded by the ASCE journal of Water Resources Planning and Management. He has published more than 220 articles in national and international journals, and written several books and chapters in texts on hydraulics and mathematics

Cynthia Bantilan 

Cynthia Bantilan is the Research Program Director on Markets, Institutions and Policy at the International Crops Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) with headquarters located in India. Dr. Bantilan obtained her Ph.D. degree in Economics and Statistics from the North Carolina State University. She has over 250 publications to her credit, including 21 books, 52 book chapters and 40 articles in various international journals. She specializes in agricultural research evaluation and impact assessment, monitoring and evaluation, poverty and income distribution, econometrics, agricultural economics and agricultural statistics, information systems management, and applications for decision support and policy analysis. Before joining ICRISAT, she held the position of Associate Professor of Economics and Professor of Statistics at the University of the Philippines at Los Banos. She also served the Philippine Government in various capacities: as national policy adviser for poverty and income distribution in the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) from 1988 to 1992; as national adviser in Agricultural Statistics for the Department of Agriculture; and as principal adviser in the National Statistics Office for 5 years starting 1987. At ICRISAT, she spearheaded the Research Evaluation and Impact Assessment Program starting early 90s, covering sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. She currently heads the development and implementation of key research programs on markets, institutions and policy in agriculture, using macro- and micro- (village level) studies in eastern and southern Africa, west and central Africa and South Asia. More recently she completed a comprehensive 7 country project in Asia supported by the Asian Development Bank on “Vulnerability to Climate Change: Adaptation Strategies and Layers of Resilience.”

Beekman Gertjan B.

Beekman Gertjan B. ACADEMIC BACKGROUND: Civil Engineer Scranton Schools-PA-USA; Faculty of Technology São Paulo; Dip. Hydrologist-Applied Hydrology- IHE-Delft-The Netherlands; Licentiate Thesis and Doktorandus Thesis in Social Change and Resettlement Related to Water Resources Planning and Development -KTH-Stockholm-Sweden.

JOB EXPERIENCE: Currently, acting as Coordinator of Natural Resources, Environment Management and Adaptation to Climate Change at the InterAmerican Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture-IICA, in Brasilia-Brazil. As Consultant for about 18 years carried several technical cooperation projects related to Water Resources Planning, Development and Management. More recently coordinated a Program to Combat Desertification and Mitigation of Drought in South America, comprising six countries. Presently, a Econormas-UE Project on desertification issues is being carried out to benefit the Mercosul countries. Within the scope of the international cooperation activities, topics related to Irrigated Agriculture, Ecologic and Economic Zoning Studies for several regions in the country, and Evaluation of Dam Safety Studies, were coordinated as well.  Besides his international cooperation experience, also acted in the private sector engaged in the design of hydropower development schemes.

Ines Beernaerts

Ines Beernaerts has been working for 15 years with the UN in developing and managing programmes on land and water management at country and (sub-) regional levels. She is currently Land and Water Resources Officer at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations at the Sub-Regional Office for Central Asia (Ankara, Turkey). She is an accomplished project management expert with significant field experience in formulating, planning and operating projects in the framework of food security. She is an experienced strategic planner with specific experience in identifying priority areas on land and water management. She is an Agricultural Engineer from the University Libre de Bruxelles (Belgium) and has a post-graduate degree in Hydrology and Water Resources Engineering from the University of South Australia (Australia).

Pr. Abdelkrim BEN MOHAMED

Pr. Abdelkrim BEN MOHAMED was the former Director of the Institut des Radio-Isotopes (University of Niamey, NIGER), and is currently Special Advisor on Water and Environment at the Office of the President of the Republic of Niger. He obtained his Doctorat de Spécialité degree in Nuclear Physics from Université Louis Pasteur (Strasbourg, FRANCE), and a Doctor of Science degree in Atmospheric Physics from Université de Niamey (NIGER). Prof BEN MOHAMED was a research associate with a number of international institutions; he served as Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the African Center of Meteorological Applications for Development (ACMAD) for 15 years, and on various committees on climate change and drought.

He has 30 articles published in various international journals, wrote a climate change course for various West African Universities and has also peer reviewed several publications. His current research area is weather modification, namely cloud seeding, participating in operational activities in some Sahelian countries. 

Sabina Bokal

Sabina Bokal is newly appointed project manager of a Integrated Drought Management Project (IDMP) for the GWP Central and Eastern Europe. She received her degree in Geography from University in Ljubljana, Slovenia. She has been involved in the Drought Management Center for Southeastern Europe (DMCSEE) and from 2010 till 2012 was also a project manager of DMCSEE project (supported by EU Transnational coordination programme) with 15 cooperating partner institutions. In the past two years she has been involved into preparation or coordination of 3 other transnational projects (co-financed by EU) which were dealing with different environmental issues (climate change, sustainable development, revitalization, etc.).

Orivaldo Brunini

Orivaldo Brunini is senior researcher at the Institute Agronomico of the Secretariat of Agriculture and Supply of the Government of the State of São Paulo, Brazil. He has the BSc in Agronomic Engineering from the São Paulo State University-UNESP-; holds a Masters in Nuclear Energy in Agriculture completed a PhD in Agrometeorology by the University Of Guelph. Currently  he is SCIENTIFIC RESEARCHER  - VI of the Agronomic Institute of Campinas (IAC), a member of the Foundation for Research Support Fund, of which he was Chairman of the Board trustee from 1997 to 2002 and current Executive Chairman of the Board, for the triennium 2007/2010 and 2010/2013. He was Director General of IAC from 1988 to 1991 and director of the Center for Biophysics and Ecophysiology from March 1998 to February 2008.He is Coordinator of CIIAGRO, INFOSECA, and the SIASECA, programs implemented by the Government of the State of São Paulo, to give agrometeorological support to agricultural activities and reducing risks to agriculture and drought in particular. He has published 116 articles in professional journals and 232 papers in conference proceedings. He has 16 chapters in books published, and has 4 software and other 520 items of technical production. He participated in 180 events in Brazil and abroad. He was the supervisor of 8 Master dissertations and 6 students of doctoral degree; he also was the supervisor of 4 Pos Doctoral students. He also gave professional supervision for more than 90 professionals from various fields. His main fields of interests are: Agronomy and Soil-Water System Plant Atmosphere, with emphasis on Agrometeorology, Water Resources, and Environment. In their professional activities interacted with 393 researchers in co-authorship of scientific papers or not. His research areas are: weather adversities and climate risks for crops, drought effects and mitigation, agrometeorology of corn, sugar cane, crop agrometeorological modeling, water balance, operational agrometeorology, crop zoning and phenology. He has visited technically more than 25 International centers of research and teaching. Member of the World Meteorological Organization Agrometeorology since 1988.Co-Chair of OPAG2 2002 to 2006, member of OPAG 1 from 2006 to 2010 and Chair of OPAG 2 - 2010 to 2014

Vikas Chandhoke

Vikas Chandhoke is the dean of the College of Science at George Mason University, one of the largest public universities in Virginia. He has served Mason in a variety of faculty and administrative roles for more than 20 years, and was appointed dean of the college when it was founded in 2006.

A visionary leader, Chandhoke has implemented innovative research programs in molecular medicine, infectious diseases, and bioinformatics and has developed synergistic, cutting-edge translational research opportunities to bring personalized medicine to the forefront of patient care. In collaboration with international partners, the college is engaged in creating a global consortium to address food and water security importance.

Chandhoke earned his PhD from the University of Maine, and received his MSc (Hons.) and BPharm (Hons.) degrees from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science in India. He is currently the co-director of the George Mason University-Inova Health System Translational Research Institute.

Siddharth Chatterjee

Siddharth Chatterjee
Chief Diplomat - Head of Strategic Partnerships & International Relations at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

Prior to joining the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in June 2011, Siddharth Chatterjee served the United Nations for over 14 years providing organizational leadership in the Europe, Middle East, Asia and Africa regions. He has worked extensively in complex emergencies and fragile states.

From 2009 to 2010, he was Regional Director for the Middle East, Europe and Central Asian Republics at the United Nations Office for Project Services based in Copenhagen, Denmark. From 2007 to 2009, he was Chief of Staff for the UN Mission in Iraq based in Baghdad, Iraq.

He was Deputy Representative for UNICEF in Somalia from 2004 to 2007. He has also held leadership positions in UNICEF in Sudan(South Sudan and Darfur), Indonesia and with the UN Peace Keeping Operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Iraqi Kurdistan.

Siddharth Chatterjee is a graduate of the Woodrow Wilson School for Public and International Affairs in Princeton University, USA, where he obtained a Masters in Public Policy.  

Cody, Betsy A.

Cody, Betsy A.  Cody is a specialist in natural resources policy with the Congressional Research Service (CRS), U.S. Library of Congress.  She specializes in U.S. western water policy and national water policy issues. Issue areas include water transfers and markets, water reuse, watershed and river basin management, rural water supply, drought policy, and projects, policies, and programs of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. She has published numerous reports and analytic memos for the U.S. Congress, and has testified before Congress on national water commissions, water reuse, and other topics.  She also has testified before the National Research Council, National Academy of Sciences. Cody is past president of the local American Water Resources Association chapter, past finance chair for the national AWRA, and past editorial board member of Choices magazine.  (B.S. in Urban Design/Land Use Planning, Lewis & Clark College, Portland, OR; Masters in Public Administration, Univ. of Washington, Seattle, WA.)

Dr. Erwin De Nys

Dr. Erwin De Nys is a Senior Irrigation and Water Resources Specialist at the World Bank, in the Sustainable Development Department of the Latin America and Caribbean Region. He obtained his M.Sc (Water Resources Management) from the Institut des Régions Chaudes (IRC) of Montpellier SupAgro, France, and his Ph.D. in Irrigation Management from the University of Leuven – KU Leuven, Belgium. Dr. De Nys is currently coordinating the World Bank’s portfolio in Brazil related to investment projects and analytical work in the field of water resources management, irrigation management and adaptation to climate change. Prior to joining the World Bank in 2005, he served as food security officer for the European Commission.

Prof Siegfried Demuth

Prof Siegfried Demuth is Chief of the Hydrological Systems and Global Change Section at the Division of Water Sciences in UNESCO, Paris. He obtained his Diploma (Physical Geography), his Doctoral Degree (Natural Sciences), his Habilitation and his Professorship in Hydrology at the University of Freiburg, Germany. He was Deputy Director of the Institute of Hydrology at the University of Freiburg. He was Director of the German IHP/HWRP Secretariat. Prof Demuth served as officer on various committees of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences (IAHS), particularly as Secretary of the International Commission of Surface Water (ICSW) and later as the President of the International Commission of Surface Water. He served on the IHP Bureau as Vice-Chairperson representing UNESCO Member States from Europe and North America. He served as Chairperson of the German IAHS Committee and as a member of the Scientific Board of the German Hydrological Society (DWA). He acted as Hydrological Adviser of the President of the German Weather Service to WMO and was member of the Advisory Working Group of the Commission for Hydrology (Chy) of WMO. He also served as a member of the German National Commission for UNESCO. Prof Demuth served as an associate editor and reviewer of several International and National Hydrological Journals and has over 130 publications to his credit. He received the CSIRO Medal for Research Achievements for advances in sustainable management of Australia’s water resources and was awarded the UNESCO Team Award for the Natural Science Sector of UNESCO addressing water hazards through an integrated approach.

Prof. Anantha Duraiappah

Prof. Anantha Duraiappah is Executive Director of the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (UNU-IHDP). He is an experienced environmental-development economist whose work largely focuses on the equity of access and use of ecosystem services. In his  previous post as Chief of the Ecosystem Services and Economics Unit of the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) Prof. Duraiappah helped to initiate the Intergovernmental Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) and has since then played a pivotal role in its recent approval. He additionally served on the scientific committee of DIVERSITAS, one of the Earth System Science Partnership (ESSP) partners. He has authored two books on environment and international aid and development, as well as articles in several internationally recognized journals. Prof. Duraiappah continues to successfully incorporate his expertise in science-policy interaction, economics, development and ecosystem services into his work at IHDP.

Dr Mahmoud El Solh

Dr Mahmoud El Solh, Director General of ICARDA, holds a PhD in Genetics from the University of California, Davis, USA, and has an impressive record of scientific publications. He has more than 30 years’ experience international agriculture research and development in developing countries particularly in dry areas. He started his professional career in the Ford Foundation starting in 1972, then with ICARDA, the American University of Beirut, and FAO, before assuming the position of Director General of ICARDA. He in-depth knowledge of the needs and aspirations of the national agricultural research and development systems in non-tropical dry areas,  particularly in West, Central and South Asia and North and East Africa. Throughout his career his activities have focused on contributing to food security, alleviating poverty, and developing sustainable agricultural research systems; planning, implementation, and evaluation of agricultural research projects for research and development; institutional and human resource capacity development; and promoting north-south and south-south cooperation. Dr. El Solh is the author of more than 120 publications/papers and articles including books and chapters of books. His contribution to agricultural research and development has been recognized through several prestigious awards and honors.

Gideon Galu

Gideon Galu, is a USGS/Famine Early Warning Systems Network regional scientist for East Africa with over 10 years’ working experience in the region. Focusing on Agro-Climatic monitoring and early warning in support of the USAID’s FEWS NET project activities. He has vast experience in the region and has been instrumental in developing food security outlook scenario’s, among other decision support tools and also in capacity building of local partners in remote-sensing and GIS applications in support of food security monitoring and early warning systems within the region and beyond. He is currently working on climate change/variability trend analysis in collaboration with USGS Scientists with a specific objective of developing long-term adaptation policies in highly food insecure livelihoods of region.

He has also served in various capacities with regional and international organizations; IGAD, WMO/satellite activities, GEOSS-Ag, UN-ISDR, FAO and International Charter.

He is a graduate of University of Wisconsin – Madison, in Atmospheric Sciences with specialization in satellite meteorology.

José Graziano da Silva

José Graziano da Silva

Dr José Graziano da Silva of Brazil was elected Director-General of FAO by the Organization’s Conference of Member nations on 26 June 2011. His term runs from 1 January 2012 to 31 July 2015.

In 2001 he led the team that designed Brazil’s "Zero Hunger" (Fome Zero) programme. In 2003, he was charged with its implementation by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva who named him Special Minister of Food Security and the Fight against Hunger. Between 2003 and 2010, the “Zero Hunger” programme helped lift 28 million people out of extreme poverty. It also inspired a new set of public policies aimed at promoting economic and social development in Brazil.

Prior to his election in June 2011 as FAO’s eighth Director-General, Graziano da Silva headed the Organization’s regional office for Latin America and the Caribbean between 2006 and 2011. In that role, he actively supported the “Hunger-Free Latin America and the Caribbean Initiative”, which made the region the first in the world to commit to totally eradicating hunger by 2025, emphasizing the importance of family farming, rural development and the strengthening of rural institutions to guarantee food security.

In addition, Graziano da Silva has encouraged joint initiatives with other United Nations agencies, supported South-South cooperation, and opened up the Regional Office to civil society. He actively participated in FAO’s internal reform process, with a special emphasis on decentralization.

An academic by training, Graziano da Silva started teaching at Brazil’s State University of Campinas (UNICAMP) in 1978. He also chaired the Master’s and Doctoral Programme in Economic Development and Environment of UNICAMP’s Institute of Economics and supervised 26 doctoral theses and 13 Master dissertations.  He has written and edited 26 books on rural development, food security, and agrarian economics.

Graziano da Silva holds a Bachelor's Degree in Agronomy and a Master's Degree in Rural Economics and Sociology from the University of São Paulo (USP) and a Ph.D. in Economic Sciences from the State University of Campinas. In addition, he has two post-Doctorate degrees in Latin American Studies (University College London) and Environmental Studies (University of California - Santa Cruz).

Brazilian and Italian by nationality, Graziano da Silva speaks English, Portuguese and Spanish. He was born on November 17, 1949. He is married to Paola Ligasacchi and has two children and two grandchildren.

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picture ©FAO/Alessandra Benedetti.

Gregor Gregorič

Gregor Gregorič has obtained B.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in meteorology from the University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, where he has position of assistant lecturer. He was  assisting in courses ofphysical and dynamic meteorology. He is employed in Slovenian environmental agency since 2002. He has been appointed as member of ad-hoc national committee for estimation of drought impacts during drought episodes in 2003, 2006, 2007 and 2012. Since 2007 he acts as coordinator of activities of the Drought Management Center for Southeastern Europe (DMCSEE). Between 2009 and 2012 he coordinated the initial DMCSEE project (supported by the EU Transnational coordination programme, with 15 cooperating partner institutions). He is author and co-author of more than 20 papers in scientific journals.

Dr Ania Grobicki

Dr Ania Grobicki - Executive Secretary Global Water Partnership

Dr Ania Grobicki became Global Water Partnership Executive Secretary in March 2009. Before joining GWP, Dr. Grobicki was the Head of Secretariat within the World Health Organization established to prepare for the 2008 Global Ministerial Forum on Research for Health.

Dr. Grobicki has spent most of her working life establishing and growing a range of organizations, and working on water-related issues at the sub-national, national and international levels. For 10 years she managed a consulting firm in the UK and South Africa, where she developed projects on water supply, wastewater reuse, water quality, and integrated catchment management issues as well as water law reform. She has worked on the water needs of industry, energy, agriculture, health and the environment.

Dr. Grobicki has worked extensively with various NGOs and UN agencies and is a prolific writer of books and papers, including for the 2nd World Water Development Report. She was the first Coordinator for the CGIAR’s Challenge Programme on Water and Food (now renamed Water, Land and Ecosystems)  and has lectured at universities in South Africa and the UK. Dr. Grobicki has a BA in Economics, a BSc in Chemical Engineering and a PhD in Biotechnology from Imperial College, London.

John Harding 

John Harding works on UN Coordination at the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR). He has 15 years work experience in multi-lateral organizations in support to national and regional governmental efforts to build resilient societies. John Harding has contributed decision support mechanisms for enhanced risk governance, risk assessment and early warning systems.  In 2009-2010, he served as the Political Advisor on Energy, the Environment and Disaster Risk Reduction to the UN Special Envoy to Haiti, President William Jefferson Clinton. Previously, he worked as Team Leader for the Global Facility for Disaster Risk Reduction (GFDRR) at the World Bank in Washington DC. 

Dr. Michael Hayes

Dr. Michael Hayes is currently the Director for the National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC) located within the School of Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  He became the NDMC’s Director in August 2007 and has worked at the NDMC since 1995.  The NDMC now has 16 faculty and staff working on local, tribal, state, national, and international drought-, climate-, and water-related issues.  Dr. Hayes’ main interests deal with drought monitoring, planning, and mitigation strategies.  Dr. Hayes received a Bachelors Degree in Meteorology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and his Masters and Doctoral Degrees in Atmospheric Sciences from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Dr Harvey Hill

Dr Harvey Hill is the Lead of the Climate Decision Support and Adaptation Unit, National Agro-Climate Information Service at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. His unit concentrates its efforts on linking climate information to decision-making at a wide range of scales in the agricultural sector, both temporally and spatially. His current projects include developing: a) A simulation adaptation tool known as the Invitational Drought Tournament (IDT) which allows stakeholders to consider proactive and alternative drought responses in a team game format, b) The Landscape Infrastructure and Resiliency Assessment (LIRA) vulnerability and adaptation cost benefit analysis tool to support disaster risk reduction from flooding on the agricultural landscapes, c) Exploring how to better integrate climate with crop models to improve decision support at the farm-level, d) Linking interpolated climate data to natural oscillations and decision making issues influenced by  oscillations and trends and e) An on-farm tool CANPARTAKE is being developed to help producers estimate their vulnerability to climate related hazards in the context of their farming system.

Harvey and his colleagues’ work integrates economics, physical science, and social science into climate adaptation frameworks. Emerging opportunities that are being considered are how to translate the IDT and other tools into a tool kit for increased ease of use and accessibility. Secondly increasingly refine these tools and others to address asymmetric and inter-generational adaptation.

Dr Mark Howden

Dr Mark Howden is a Chief Research Scientist with CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences, Canberra, Australia. He is also the Theme Leader of the ‘Adaptive primary industries, enterprises and communities’ theme in the CSIRO Climate Adaptation Flagship and is an Honorary Professor at Melbourne University, School of Land and Food. Mark’s work has focussed on climate impacts on, and innovative risk management options for, critical systems: agriculture and food security, the natural resource base, ecosystems and biodiversity, energy, water and urban systems. He has over 350 publications. Mark has worked on climate risk management issues for over 25 years in partnership with farmers, farmer groups, catchment groups, industry bodies, agribusiness, urban utilities and various policy agencies. He has had an ongoing role in linking science and policy in relation to drought. He has been a major contributor to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Second, Third, Fourth and Fifth Assessment reports and various IPCC Special Reports sharing the 2007 Peace Prize with other IPCC participants and Al Gore. He sits on the US Federal Advisory Committee for the National Climate Assessment and several other science and policy advisory bodies. 

Ana Iglesias

Ana Iglesias is a Professor of Agricultural Economics at the UPM, Spain and previously a Research Scientist at Columbia University, New York. Her research focuses on the interactions between global change, agriculture, and water, with particular emphasis on economic impacts, adaptation and vulnerability. She currently leads several EU projects related to drought management and adaptation policy. Her work has been published in over one hundred papers and she is a contributing author to the IPCC since 1995. She is currently Review Editor of the Economics of Climate Change for the IPCC.  She is the lead author of the Drought Management Guidelines that have been translated into seven languages and applied in Mediterranean countries of Europe, North Africa and Iran. She currently works in a Protocol for Drought Early Warning Systems in Africa as part of the DEWFORA project (EC, 7th Framework Programme).

Dr. Dasarath (Jaya) Jayasuriya

Dr. Dasarath (Jaya) Jayasuriya is the Acting Deputy Director Climate and Water and a member of the Executive at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology since August 2011.

Heading of the 330 people strong Climate and Water Division at the Bureau, Jaya has carriage over delivering the stretch outcomes associated with the $450million, 10 year Water Information Initiative and over viewing the Climate and Environmental programs at the Bureau.

Jaya started his carrier in Sri Lanka in 1978 as a Water Resources engineer prior to completing his Master at AIT Thailand in 1981. A Civil Engineer by profession, Jaya completed his PhD from Monash University in Australia in the mid 80's and worked at Melbourne Water Corporation for 22 years prior to joining the Bureau as the Assistant Director responsible for Water Forecasting in February 2009.

At Melbourne Water, Jaya was responsible for the strategic planning of the water supply system which included the management of over 150,000ha of forested catchments supplying water to around 4 million people living in metropolitan Melbourne. Jaya has also worked with State and Local Government developing sustainable water strategies. He has hands on experience leading studies and implementing actions dealing with water entitlements, environmental flows, water conservation, pricing and regulation and forestry.

Dr. Jayasuriya is also one of the six members of the Expert Group established by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) to advise the global community on Climate, Water and Food Security.

Gulchekhra Khasankhanova

Gulchekhra Khasankhanova is the Head of the Soil Reclamation and Irrigation Department of the Design and Research UZGIP Institute, Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources, Republic of Uzbekistan. She obtained her M.Sc (Soil Science) from the State University, Tashkent; and Ph.D in Agriculture from the Tashkent Irrigation Engineering and Agriculture Mechanization Institute (Uzbekistan).  Dr. Khasankhanova has over 58 articles and publications in various national and international journals. She has professional experience in water and agricultural sectors in Uzbekistan and Aral Sea basin with significant field experience in formulating, appraisal, planning, monitoring and implementation projects and environmental impact assessment studies related to water and land management and agricultural development. For the past seven years, she has worked for the Central Asian Countries Initiative for Land Management (CACILM) Program in the spirit of the UNCCD. Her current research area is monitoring and assessment of land degradation and reporting climate change impacts on agricultural systems and drought effects and mitigation measures and practices to build resilience to drought. 

Dr. David Korenfeld Federman

Dr. David Korenfeld Federman is currently the Chairman of the National Water Commission in Mexico. He earned his B.A. (Law), Master and Ph.D. in Public Administration from Anahuac University (Mexico). He was the Mayor of Huixquilucan Municipality (2003-2005) and Water & Public Works Ministry of the State of Mexico (2005-2011).

Dr. Korenfeld has a broad experience within the Water Sector; he has held different chief executive officer positions in several Water organizations from the public and private sectors in Mexico. He has also been a member of the American Water Works Association and the World Water Council Board of Governors, and has participated as editor, coordinator and author of different books regarding Water issues and protection.

Due to his career and achievements in the Water field, he has been honored with the “Netzahualcoyotl” Prize, granted by the Civil Engineering College of the State of Mexico, and the George Warren Fuller Prize, awarded by the American Water Works Association (2009).

Johan Kuylenstierna

Johan Kuylenstierna is Executive Director of the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI). SEI is an international research organization focusing on environment/development research for sustainable development with about 150 staff spread over 9 offices in 6 countries. Johan has previously had positions with the UN system (UNDESA at the UN HQ in NY, WMO in Geneva and FAO in Rome) and has also worked many years at the Stockholm International Water Institute. He has also a background as a consultant focusing on sustainability issues and corporate core value processes within both the private and public sector. His academic background is Earth Sciences and his research focused on palaeoclimatology in the polar regions. He currently holds an adjunct professorship in international water resources at the Stockholm University.  

Mr. Magalhães

Mr. Magalhães is a Brazilian National. He holds a doctorate in Economics by the University of São Paulo. He is presently Chairman of the UNCCD Science and Tecnology Committee (CST) and Advisor to CGEE – Center for Strategic Studies and Management, in Brazil. He has been a member of the IPCC and of the Brazilian Panel on Climate Change. Among other positions, he was Vice Minister of Planning for Brazil, Secretary of Planning of the State of Ceará, Principal Country Officer of the World Bank and Distinguished Visiting Professor of World Peace at the University of Texas at Austin, USA. He published several books and articles on themes linked to sustainable development, climate impacts and regional development, with a focus on the Semi-arid Northeast of Brazil. He was the organizer of the First and Second International Conferences on Climate, Sustainability and Development in Semi-arid Regions (ICID Conferences). 

Rodrigo Jorge Fonseca de Oliveira Maia

Rodrigo Jorge Fonseca de Oliveira Maia. PhD in Civil Engineering by the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto (FEUP). Associate Professor (AP) at FEUP. Affiliate AP at Colorado State University. Vice-President of EWRA (European Water Resources Association) and EU research evaluation expert. Research Project coordinator on: water resources management with emphasis on extreme events; fluid mechanics and its applications to channel flows. Involved in studies and research on international rivers basins, namely of the Iberian Peninsula. Research Group coordinator in several national and international projects, namely FP5, FP6 and FP7 (currently 3) EU Projects. Involved in the creation of a Drought Early Warning Management System for the Portuguese National Water Authority. Currently supervising 4 PhD Thesis and several MSc Thesis. Author/co-author of 6 chapters in books with 80 publications in international periodicals with referee and papers in conference proceedings.

Dr. Li Maosong

Dr. Li Maosong is a Senior Agro-Meteorologist at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences(CAAS) in Beijing of China. He obtained both his Ph.D (Agro-Meteorology) from the Graduate School of Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences.  Dr Li Maosong devoted himself to the Agro-Natural Disaster Mitigation, Agricultural Adaption to Climate Change nearly 30 years. He is the Team leader of experts formed by the Ministry of Science and Technology of Chinese Government that lead the national framework design on agro-forestry natural disaster monitoring and early warn system and disaster control, also he is the Team leader of experts formed by the Ministry of Agriculture of Chinese Government that consult and guidance the government officer how to treat the emergence events, especially for the extremely drought and flood. He has extensively researched on agricultural droughts and mitigation measures in China, and published more 80 scientific papers and more than 10 books in Chinese, he also transfer the good practice of agricultural drought mitigation in China to Africa country under the invitation of UNDP-DDR in Kenya, Oct. of 2012.

Eduardo S. P. R. Martins

Eduardo S. P. R. Martins is a Professor and Researcher at the Federal University of Ceata (UFC) since 2010 and President of  the Ceara State Research Institute for Meteorology and Water Resources (FUNCEME) since 2006.  He teaches at undergraduate and graduate level in water resources-related courses of the same university and as visinting professor in other national & international programmes.  He also serves as Associate Editor for the Water Resources Research Journal (American Geophysical Union) desde 2003 and is researcher for the Brazilian National Science Foundation (CNPq) since 2003. He is working in developing new methods for using climate information for the water & agricultural sectors in order to properly evaluate the impacts of  the climate variability and change in such sectors. 

Dr. Francisco Javier Maté Caballero

Dr. Francisco Javier Maté Caballero (Madrid 1962), Civil Servant of Veterinary Board, actually National Coordinator of the Adverse Weather and Environmental Office (AWEO), in the Analysis, Prospective and Coordination General Unit of the Spain Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment. His professional over 14 years was related to Border health controls (animals and food). Then 2 years was Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer of Animal Health. After that he spent 2 years as Deputy Director General of Food Quality (Appellations of Origin and Organic Agriculture). Over 4 years later was responsible for animal identification and traceability, as well as the Spanish coordinator of the Official Control of Food Chain National Plan. For the past 2 years is the national coordinator of the AWEO, whose functions include the Bureau of Drought, the Agronomic Expert Panel, developing reports on Forest Fires, Floods, Hail, Torrential Rains, Frost, etc. affecting agrifood sector. This includes the coordination of large teams of specialists in meteorology (Spanish Meteorological Agency), hydrology (Water General Directorate), in prevention and fight against forest fires, agronomy (agricultural and livestock), Economic, Agricultural insurances, biodiversity and National Parks.

During his official career, in the Ministry of Health and in the Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental had participated in international forums as Codex Alimentarius Committees (FAO-WHO), World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) or the International Organization of Wine (OIV) and in European Institutions: Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health (SCOFCAH), the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), and Standing Committees of Origin Appellations/Geographical Indications and Organic Agriculture. In Spain had participated in the Management Committee of the Spanish Agency for Food Safety and Nutrition, the Interministerial Commission on Food Management (CIOA) as well as various sectorial coordinating bodies such as the National Commission of Animal Byproducts, the National Committe Livestock Identification and Registration Holdings, Spanish Committee of Animal Electronic Identification, Coordination Board Traceability Animal Products, etc.

Dr. Elena Mateescu 

Dr. Elena Mateescu is a senior expertand has more than 20 years of experience in the field of agrometeorological research activity. Currently, she is the Executive Director of National Meteorological Administration of Romania in charge with the scientific and management activities for national and international projects/contracts. Based on her professional experience, she is/was member in several national committees in charged with climate change and adaptation measures on water scarcity and drought in agriculture and natural environment. In the last 10 years, as Project Manager is in charge with the implementation of national (16) and international projects (5) related with climate change impact on agriculture and adaptation measure to the extreme climatic events including droughts and land degradation. Dr. Elena Mateescu has over 75 publications, including 3 books as main author or co-author, 72 scientific articles published in Romanian Journal or International Proceedings. Also, Dr. Elena Mateescu received in 2012 the Award “Gheorghe Ionescu-Sisesti” from the Romanian Academy as author of book “Climate change impact on agriculture in Romania” published in 2010.   

Dr. Vikram Mehta

Dr. Vikram Mehta earned M.Sc. in Physics from Gujarat University, India in 1977; and Post-graduate Diploma in Space Sciences and Their Applications from Gujarat University in 1979.  He was an ISRO Research Fellow at Space Applications Centre, ISRO, Ahmedabad, India from 1979 to 1982.  He then studied Upper Atmosphere Physics at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Canada from 1982 to 1984, earning a Post-Graduate Diploma in Physics.  A strong interest in more applications-oriented scientific research led him to the Department of Meteorology at the Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida, U.S.A. where he earned M.S. in 1986 and Ph.D. in Meteorology in 1990.  Vikram was then a research scientist for over 12 years in NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center, further specializing in understanding of ocean-atmosphere interactions that give rise to decadal climate variability (DCV).  Strongly motivated to use climate science for societal benefits, Vikram founded the Center for Research on the Changing Earth System (CRCES; in Maryland, U.S.A. in 2002, and is its President and Executive Director.  His major research interests are understanding and prediction of DCV; assessment of impacts of DCV on water resources, agriculture, public health, and the economy; and climate and public policy.  Vikram has published over 100 research papers and Conference/Workshop presentations, and is currently writing two books on DCV and its societal impacts. 

Cesar Morales

Cesar Morales worked for many years at ECLAC, (Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean). He was Director of Regional Project ECLAC/GTZ on Indicator system of Economic and social impacts of degradation and desertification in some Latin American countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Bolivia and Peru). He was in charge of agricultural  innovation area focused in the economics and social impacts in Latin America & Caribbean, and participated in several missions as part of a team of ECLAC to evaluate the impacts of natural disasters in Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Brazil. Currently he is working as consultant at ECLAC as coordinator of a Regional project on inaction costs of land degradation, desertification and drought impacts in LAC countries.

Cesar Morales is PhD in the Study of Latin American Societies, specialty in Economics (U. ARCIS/U.  La Sorbonne), Visiting Scholar University of California, Davis, Department of Agricultural Economics and Natural Resources, and  Agronomist engineer specialized in Agricultural Economics ( U. of Chile.) 

Dr. Antonio Divino Moura

Dr. Antonio Divino Moura is currently First Vice-President of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the Director of the Brazilian National Institute of Meteorology. He obtained his Electrical Engineering degree form EEUFMG, Brazil, and a PhD degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Meteorology. He was recipient of the Rossby Award for his thesis at MIT, under guidance of N. Phillips, P. Stone and J. Charney.  Also the WMO Young Scientist Prize for a paper (part of his thesis) published in JAS in 1976. As Chief Scientist at the NOAA´s Office of Global Programs has engaged in proposing and implementing an International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI/Columbia University) and promoting applications in agriculture and water resources, mainly in the developing world. As researcher and director at the Brazilian Institute for Space Research (INPE) he worked in climate and satellite remote sensing applications for weather prediction, agriculture and water resources. There he guided several M.Sc. and PhD thesis. Has made significant contribution to the understanding and prediction of droughts in Northeast Brazil after a seminal paper in 1980, using observations, theory and numerical experimentation with GCMs (with J. Shukla). Dr. Moura is a Member of the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS) and currently President of the Brazilian Meteorological Society (2012). Has published several articles and books in Meteorology and applications and received several awards for his accomplishments

Lucky Ntsangwane

Lucky Ntsangwane is a Research Manager at the South African Weather Service where he is involved in research projects related to climate change and variability, and their socio-economic impacts, particularly in South Africa. He is responsible for climate change and variability research, air quality modelling and forecasting, applications and the Global Atmosphere Watch program. He started working on climate issues when he joined the South African Weather Service as a Research Scientist working on seasonal climate prediction. During this time, he also worked with the farmers educating them on the use, understanding and interpretation of seasonal climate forecasts. At present, he is a member of the South African Society for Atmospheric Sciences (SASAS), the National Association for Clean Air (NACA) and HIOC. He is responsible for several projects as a project manager. He was a member of the Steering Committee on the Climate for Water project focusing on using the advance knowledge of climate science for the benefit of water resources management.

Prof. LABAN AYIEKO OGALLO Prof. LABAN AYIEKO OGALLO. He is also a Professor of Meteorology at University of Nairobi Kenya.  Prof. Ogallo is currently the Director of the IGAD Climate Prediction and Application Centre (ICPAC). ICPAC is a climate risk reduction Centre for eleven countries in the Greater Horn of Africa. Prof Ogallo has worked briefly with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), as well as serving as the Secretary (CEO) of Kenya National Council for Science and Technology. He has published and contributed to over 100 scientific papers and books, mainly in the field of meteorology, climate change and related applications
Dr. Omondi Philip Amingo

Dr. Omondi Philip Amingo is a Senior Climate Research Scientist at the IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC) in Nairobi, Kenya. He obtained both his Ph.D and M.Sc (Meteorology) from the University of Nairobi (UoN) in Kenya.  Dr Omondi recently completed his Post Doctorate research study under a joint collaboration of UK-Met Office and ICPAC. He has 10 articles published in various international journals and has also peer reviewed several publications. He is the Team leader of experts formed by the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) that lead the analysis of climate change information over the African continent known as Coordinated Regional Climate Downscaling Experiment (CORDEX) using Regional Climate Models (RCMs). He has extensively researched on droughts for the Greater Horn of Africa countries and contributed to a book on Agricultural Drought Indices Proceedings of an Expert Meeting in Spain 2010 sponsored by WMO/United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR). 

Mr. Francis Opiyo

Mr. Francis Opiyo is currently a Project Coordinator with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Dryland Development Centre, Nairobi Kenya, where He is part of the team developing a standardized resilience conceptual framework and methodology for measuring community drought resilience in the Horn of Africa. Prior to joining UNDP, Mr. Opiyo worked with International Rescue Committee (IRC), and German Agro Action/Welthungerhilfe as a Disaster Risk Reduction expert. He holds both Master of Science (M.Sc.) and Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) degrees in Range Management from the University of Nairobi, Kenya and has published a number of scientific papers in reputable international journals. Mr. Opiyo frequently writes in the daily newspapers in Kenya, as a guest writer on community resource based conflicts, community risk reduction and general dry land livelihoods issues. In recognition of His outstanding research projects on climate variability and change adaptation (CCA) as a young scholar, Mr. Opiyo was awarded  The African Climate Change Fellowship Program (ACCFP)  grant in 2011, and The global change Systems for Analysis, Research and Training (START) in 2012. The National Council of Science and Technology (NCST) recently gave him a grant through the Department of Land Resource Management and Agricultural Technology, University of Nairobi where He is a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) research fellow. 

Dr. Roger S. Pulwarty

Dr. Roger S. Pulwarty is Director of the National Integrated Drought Information System and the Climate and Societal Interactions Division Chief at the NOAA Climate Program and Earth System Research Laboratory. His research focuses on climate, adaptation, and climate services design and implementation in the western US, Latin America and the Caribbean. Roger is a convening lead author on the IPCC Fifth Assessment Working Group II chapter on Adaptation Planning and Implementation, lead author on the UNISDR Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction (2011), and on the IPCC Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extremes and Disasters (2011). He has acted in advisory capacities on climate risk management to several national, U.S. state and tribal governments, and to the UNDP, UNEP, WMO, OAS, and the World and InterAmerican Development Banks. Roger has provided testimonies before the US Congress on climate, water resources, and on adaptation. He is a co-recipient of the 2008 NOAA
Administrator's award, and the 2010 Department of Commerce Gold Medal, for outstanding achievements in integrating climate research into decision-making. He is the co-editor of “Hurricanes: Climate and Socio-economic Impacts” (Springer, 1997) which has recently been re-released in paperback (2012). Roger is on the Associate Faculty of the University of Colorado, Boulder and the University of the West Indies, Barbados.

Dr L S Rathore

Dr L S Rathore is Director General of Meteorology, India Meteorological Department, New Delhi. He has vast experience in the field of Weather Forecasting, Agriculture Meteorology and Tropical Meteorology. He joined the India Meteorological Department (IMD) in the year 1980 as Meteorologist and served in various capacities before joining as Principal Scientific Officer in National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF). He made significant contribution in setting up Integrated Agro-meteorological Service in India as Head, Application Division of NCMRWF and also as Head, Agro-meteorological Services in India Meteorological Department, Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India.    He has more than 32 years of experience in Planning, Programming, Budgeting and Managing Meteorological Services including research relating to Weather Prediction, Synoptic Meteorology and Agro-meteorology.  He has published about 100 research papers and written seven books. He is Fellow of Indian Meteorological Society. He is recipient of Dr Lakhi Ram Memorial Award 2011, conferred by Society for Recent Development in Agriculture. He achieved several distinctions in his career such as Vice-President of the Commission for Agriculture Meteorology of WMO, President of Indian Meteorological Society, President of Association of Agro-meteorologists etc. 

Carlo Scaramella

Carlo Scaramella is the UN World Food Programme (WFP) Coordinator for Climate Change, Environment and Disaster Risk Reduction. Over the last four years he has been leading the strategy, policy and capacity development work of the organization through integrated approaches to food security, environment, climate change and disaster risk management, and resilience. Mr. Scaramella has also been WFP’s focal point for the climate change negotiations and related processes, initiatives and programs, including UNFCCC and the IPCC, and the GFCS. He has been working closely with UN and non UN partners to enhance the collective ability of governments and the international community to address the new challenges to food and nutrition security posed by the rapidly changing global risk environment.

Mr. Scaramella has previously served in different functions and capacities at WFP where he also established and for several years led the Emergency Preparedness and Response Branch of the organization. Almost half of his professional career has been spent in challenging field positions working with WFP and other institutions in humanitarian, transitional and development settings in Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. Mr. Scaramella holds a Doctorate and Post Doctorate in Political Science.

The World Food Programme is the UN frontline agency in the fight against world hunger, reaching every year over 100 million among the most food insecure and vulnerable people living in the world’s poorest countries and regions. 

Siegfried Schubert

Siegfried Schubert is a senior research scientist in NASA’s Global Modeling and Assimilation Office (GMAO), where he leads the group on sub-seasonal to decadal climate.  He received his Ph. D. in Meteorology from the University of Wisconsin- Madison in 1983.  His research interests include climate variability and predictability, droughts, the hydrological cycle, extreme weather and climate events, and reanalysis.  Dr. Schubert has authored or co-authored over 100 research articles, and has served as an editor of the Journal of Climate.  He is currently a member of the international CLIVAR scientific steering group, and serves on the advisory committee of the Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere studies (COLA).   As a member of the WCRP drought interest group, he recently helped organize two international workshops on drought, and as the lead of a NOAA drought task force, he is helping to coordinate and facilitate NOAA -funded drought research projects.

Bekele Shiferaw

Bekele Shiferaw is currently Director of the Global Socio-Economics Research Program at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT). Previously, he worked for over eight years as Senior Scientist in Development and Resource Economics in Asia and Africa with the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi Arid Tropics (ICRISAT). His research interests cover the role of institutions and policies for sustainable management and intensification of agro-ecosystems, adoption and impact of agricultural and resource management research, analysis of market relations and value chains, policy and institutional innovations for remedying market failures and adaptation to and mitigation of climate change impacts on agriculture. He has published over 30 articles in peer-reviewed professional journals and books. One of his widely cited publications is the book: Natural Resource Management in Agriculture: Methods for Assessing Economic and Environmental Impacts. CABI Publishing. Dr. Shiferaw received his Ph.D degree in Development and Resource Economics from the Department of Economics and Resource Management, Agricultural University of Norway. He currently works on various initiatives in the developing world related to smallholder technology adoption, strategies for sustainable intensification, vulnerability to drought, and policies for adaptation to and mitigation of climate change.

Dr Naveen P Singh

Dr Naveen P Singh is currently working as Principal Scientist/Agricultural Economist with ICAR at NIASM, Baramati, Pune. Prior to that he served ICRISAT wherein he coordinated the Asian Climate Change program. He obtained his PhD (Agricultural Economics) from the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), New Delhi; He has nearly 15 years’ of experience working in various countries of Asia including China. He has expertise in Impact Assessment, Priority Setting, Conservation Agriculture, Participatory research and Adaptation Strategies to Climate Change. Earlier, he has also worked with CIMMYT as Post-Doctoral and was also consultant to UNESCAP. He has practical experience and knowledge of a wide range of Agricultural systems, Diversification and other agricultural development issues in Arid tropics of Asia. He has good theoretical and applied knowledge in various econometric techniques suiting to the policy framework. He is also Associate Fellow of National Academy of Agricultural Sciences (NAAS), India.The experience of working with Asian NARS and knowledge of the intricate issues of socio-economic research critical for uplifting the livelihood of rural poor is a distinct edge. He has published nearly 50 refereed research papers and equivalent numbers of other publications including working papers, proceedings, research reports, policy briefs, popular articles, chapters in book besides a book.

Kelly Helm Smith

Kelly Helm Smith is a Drought Resources and Communications Specialist at the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA. She has worked extensively on the U.S. Drought Impact Reporter and on developing the Guide to Drought-Ready Communities. Ms. Smith is also involved in developing a database of drought risk management solutions and in collaborative projects with the American Planning Association to integrate drought into widely used planning processes. She earned a master’s degree in Community and Regional Planning from UNL in 2005 and a master’s in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, in 1985. She was one of the original employees of the NDMC, from 1995 to 2000, then spent several years working with African refugee populations in Lincoln, Nebraska, on behalf of various non-profit and faith-based organizations, before returning to the NDMC in 2006.

Dr Lianchun Song

Dr Lianchun Song is currently the Director-General of the National Climate Center, of the China Meteorological Administration (CMA).  From 1986 to 1994, he worked in the area of Climate impact assessment in National Meteorological center in CMA.  From 1994 to 1999, he served as the Director of Climate Data Center in National Meteorological Center, CMA and then as the Assistant  Director-General of the National Meteorological Center.  From 2001 to 2006, Dr Song served as the Director-General of the Gansu Meteorological Bureau and then from 2006 to 2007 as the Director-General of the Department of Forecasting Service and Disaster Mitigation in CMA. He was the Director-General of the Meteorological Observation Center of CMA from 2007 to 2010.

Currently Dr Song is serving as the Chair of OPACE 1 of the Commission for Climatology of WMO.

Professor Roger Stone

Professor Roger Stone has lengthy career in meteorological and climatological research extending over 37 years, particularly in regards to research and development in climate systems modelling applied to catchment and landscape/drought systems and agricultural production. Roger Stone received his PhD from the University of Queensland in 1992 in the field of regional climate systems and has since held the positions of Senior and Principal Research Scientist at the Agricultural Production Systems Research, Director of the Predictive and Precision Systems Research Unit, Science Leader of the Climate and Systems Technologies Research Unit, and more recently as Director of the Australian Centre for Sustainable Catchments and Professor in Climatology at the University of Southern Queensland.

Professor Stone also currently occupies the position Open Program Chair within the United Nations-WMO Commission for Agricultural Meteorology (CAgM) to provide research leadership globally in the field of Climate Change, Climate Variability and Natural Disasters in Agriculture. Professor Stone is also an Expert Team leader within the UN Commission for Climatology, Geneva and is also an Expert Team member for the Climate Services and Information Systems - ET-CSIS. Although largely occupied in senior management roles since 2000, Professor Roger Stone has continued to publish widely in the international scientific literature, led climate applications modelling research and development programs, especially those that integrate statistical/mathematical climate models, agricultural models, and preparedness-decision systems that have direct relevance to rural industry and farmers, and has been a keynote speaker on climate applications R&D in numerous countries.

Professor Stone provides frequent science policy input to national and state and local organisations, government and industry. Recent examples include: as an Australian representative to the European Commission-Australia Joint Science and Technology Cooperation Committee (JSTCC) in Brussels; provision of keynote address to the United Nations Association of Australia (UNAA); keynote address to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation special meeting on agricultural decision-systems, as a member of the Federal Rural Adjustment Scheme Advisory Council (RASAC) involved in the provision of drought exceptional circumstances for regional Australia; provision of advice to State Premiers and associated Departments on drought, provision of advice and information to key rural, regional and industry agencies. Professor Stone has provided keynote and other presentations at numerous international symposia on drought preparedness, notably including those for WMO. 

Mark Svoboda

Mark Svoboda, Climatologist - Monitoring Program Area Leader, National Drought Mitigation Center - School of Natural Resources, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Mark has been with the NDMC since it was formed in 1995. As the NDMC’s Monitoring Program Area Leader, his duties include overseeing the center’s operational national drought monitoring activities. Mark’s responsibilities include providing expertise on climate and water management issues by working closely with states, federal agencies and international governments as well as the media and private sector. Mark co-founded the development of the U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) in 1999 and serves as one of the principal authors of both the weekly USDM and monthly North American Drought Monitor products. Mark is heavily involved with drought monitoring, assessment and prediction committees at state, regional and national levels. He currently sits on the American Meteorological Society’s Applied Climate Committee as well as NOAA’s National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) Program Office’s Implementation Team. In addition, he has extensive experience working with the international drought, water and climate community via project collaboration, consultation and through various training and outreach opportunities with over 50 countries and international organizations to date. Mark earned both his Bachelor’s Degree in Geography specializing in Climatology and a Masters Degree in Geography with a specialization in Remote Sensing, Climatology and GIS from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Mr Bai-Mass Taal

Mr Bai-Mass Taal, first Executive Secretary of the African Minister’ Council on Water (AMCOW) was appointed to the position 10 May 2008. A top class environment and water specialist, Bai-Mass has served as a Cabinet Minister in his country, The Gambia, first as Secretary of State for Fisheries, Natural Resources and the Environment from 2004-2005 and later as Secretary of State for Fisheries and Water Resources from 2005 to 2006.

Prior to the cabinet office position, Mr Taal has had an illustrious record in national and international civil service arenas, having occupied several top government appointments in the Gambia before joining the United Nations system where he had a distinguished career in the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) from 1991 to 2004. Working variously as Senior Programme Officer/Chief of Forest and other Ecosystems to Task Manager (Biodiversity Programme) and finally as Head of Interagency and Intergovernmental Processes, Taal’s distinguished stint of prolonged responsibility at UNEP was preceded by equally impressive professional engagement at the national level where he served as Assistant Conservator of Forestry (1978-1982) before rising to become Director of Forestry, a position he occupied for ten years.

As a direct consequence of this range of political and professional experience, Mr. Taal continues to actively bring to the job of AMCOW Executive Secretary a formidable combination of skills in diplomacy, policy formulation, partnership building, programme development and management, resource mobilisation, capacity building, and institution management that has helped position AMCOW to effectively tackle its mandate its mandate as a Specialized Technical Committee on water and sanitation in the African Union. 

Dr Seydou B. Traore

Dr Seydou B. Traore obtained his Master of Sciences degree in agricultural meteorology in 1984 from the Odessa Institute of Hydrometeorology, Ukraine and his PhD degree, also in agricultural meteorology in 1999 from Iowa State University, Ames, IA, USA. He worked from 1986 to 2000 as agroclimatologist at the Soil Water Plant Laboratory of the Institute of Rural Economy in Mali. In July 2000, he joined the AGRHYMET Regional Center, a specialized Institute of the Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS), where he is in charge of crop monitoring and yield forecasting for food security early warning. Besides operational activities, he also conducts research towards the improvement of the crop monitoring tools and methodologies, and studies on climate change impacts on crop yields in the West Africa region. This includes setting up agrononomic trials to measure crops responses to various environmental factors, and also conducting on-farm surveys to adapt and evaluate crop simulation models. In this regards, he took part in several international research initiatives, such as the African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analyses (AMMA) project, and most recently in the African Monitoring of Environment for Sustainable Development (AMESD) project, and the Agricultural Models Inter comparison and improvement Project (AgMIP). Dr Traore is also involved in training activities, namely short courses on elaborating agrometeorological bulletins, the analysis of climate data using GIS and statistical software, the use of remotely sensed data in agrometeorology, etc... He supervised several BS, MSc and PhD students in the fields of agronomy, crop physiology and agricultural meteorology, and contributed to several publications on the characterization of the rainy season in the Sahel, the impact of various cropping practices on crop yields (millet, sorghum and maize) in West Africa. He also participated in several international conferences where he made communications on the issues of drought, food security and climate change in the Sahel and West Africa. Since February 2007, Dr Traore is heading the Scientific Coordination Unit of the AGRHYMET Regional Center.

Adrian Trotman

Adrian Trotman is the Chief of Applied Meteorology and Climatology at the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology, the training, research and development, and data archiving arm of the Caribbean Meteorological Organization (comprising the national Meteorological Services of sixteen Caribbean member states). Mr. Trotman has  responsibility for Climate related issues, data management and dissemination, and the provision of weather and climate information and advice to multiple economic sectors. In his technical capacity, he focusses on the Agriculture and Food Sector, with his specialised training in Agrometeorology. Driven by his interest in agricultural drought and its impacts, Mr. Trotman established the Caribbean Drought and Precipitation Monitoring Network in 2009 under the Caribbean Water Initiative project, which was quickly brought into action during the severe 2009-2010 Caribbean drought. He has and continues to manage other regional projects and initiatives aligned with his responsibilities, including the Caribbean Agrometeorological Initiative, the Caribbean Data Rescue and Recovery Programme, and CARICOM/Brazil Cooperation on Disaster Risk Reduction in Drought.

Dr. Bandi Venkateswarlu

Dr. Bandi Venkateswarlu is currently the Director of Central Research Institute for Dryland Agriculture (CRIDA), a premier research institute of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), responsible for rainfed agriculture and drought management research in India.  Dr.Venkateswarlu holds a Ph.D. degree in Soil microbiology from India and has served for a brief period in ICRISAT and later in different capacities as ARS Scientist at CAZRI, Jodhpur  and CRIDA, Hyderabad.  Dr.Venkateswarlu published over 160 research papers, 15 books, 100 conference papers and two patents.    He is the Fellow of National Agricultural Academy of Agricultural Sciences (NAAS)   of India;  received Vasanth Rao Naik Award of ICAR for Outstanding Research in Dryland Agriculture Research in 2009.  He is serving as member/chair of several committees of the Government of India and Planning Commission related to dryland agriculture, climate change and rainfed farming.  He also served as the Member of the Sub Group of the Planning Commission on Natural Resource Management for XII Plan.  Currently, he is coordinating the national research programme in India on rainfed agriculture and climate change.

Juan Carlos Villagrán de León

Juan Carlos Villagrán de León is a Guatemalan citizen and completed his undergraduate education in physics at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute, in Worcester, Massachusetts.  He then continued his graduate education at the University of Texas in Austin, Texas, where he was awarded his PhD degree in experimental condensed matter physics in 1987.   After completing a post-doctoral programme at this University, he returned to Guatemala where he began to focus on disaster risk management and emergency response, in particular in the areas of vulnerability and risk assessment and early warning.  Between 1997 And 2004 he designed and implemented more than 15 community-based flood early warning systems in small basins throughout Central America and conducted experiments focusing on the use of geophysical and nuclear techniques to improve early warning in the case of volcanic eruptions.

In the fall of 2004 he accepted the post of Academic Officer in the United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) in Bonn; where he carried out research in areas related to risk management and early warning.  In 2009 he joined the UN-SPIDER programme of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), which promotes the use of space-based information in all phases of the disaster management cycle.  Currently he is heading the UN-SPIDER Office in Bonn, Germany. 

He has authored, co-authored, and edited more than 70 publications including books, journal papers, research reports, lecture notes, as well as many articles for the media in several languages.

Dr. Jürgen Vogt

Dr. Jürgen Vogt is a Senior Scientist at the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) in Ispra, Italy. He obtained a Diploma in Rural Survey from ITC in Enschede, the Netherlands and MSc and PhD degrees in Physical Geography, Climatology and Remote Sensing from Trier University, Germany. Dr. Vogt chaired the International Working Group on GIS Aspects of the European Water Framework Directive and initiated and led the development of the CCM River and Catchment database for Europe. Since 2008 he is responsible for the development of the European Drought Observatory (EDO). He is a permanent member of the European Expert Group on Water Scarcity and Drought and a partner in the initiative to develop a Global Drought Information System. Dr. Vogt is involved in several research projects on the occurrence and impacts of as well as the vulnerability to drought in Europe, Africa, and Latin America. He has published extensively in these fields, including the edition of a book on Drought and Drought Mitigation in Europe. In 2009 he co-organised the UNCCD 1st Scientific Conference on Understanding Desertification and Land Degradation Trends to Support Decision Making in Land and Water Management, held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, resulting in a set of policy recommendations to UNCCD COP9. 

Dominic Waughray

Dominic Waughray

Professional background:

Senior Director and Head of Environment and Sustainability Initiatives for the World Economic Forum; responsible for the World Economic Forum’s agenda on environment and sustainability related issues including events (Davos Annual Meeting and regional summits), analysis (reports) and initiatives (multi-stakeholder projects). Focus areas include resource scarcity (water-food-energy linkages); water security; climate change and green investment; sustainable production and consumption. Previously, Managing Partner at Environmental Resources Management, a consultancy (1998-2005) and Senior Scientific Officer at the Natural Environment Research Council Institute of Hydrology, UK civil service (1994-1998)


Degree in Geography, Cambridge University (University Prize Winner)

Masters in Environmental and Natural Resource Economics, University College London

Other Affiliations

  • International Fellow of the International Institute of Environment and Development (IIED)
  • Associate Fellow of the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House)
  • Trustee of The Climate Group, an international NGO
  • Vice-Chair of the Water Resources Group Executive Committee, an international public-private partnership on water hosted by the World Bank Group (IFC)

Member of the UNFCCC Momentum for Change Advisory Panel, an initiative to help the UNFCCC Executive Secretary select and showcase the world’s most promising climate change mitigation and adaptation projects 

Marcus Wijnen

Marcus Wijnen is a Senior Water Resources Management Specialist at the central Water Unit of the World Bank (Water Anchor). He has more than 20 years experience in water resource management in arid and semi-arid regions and has worked in a large number of countries in Latin America, Africa, Middle-East and Asia. His experience covers regional water resource studies, projects aiming at strengthening water governance and drafting of national water strategies with a special focus on the specific water management challenges in water scarce and drought prone regions. At the Water Anchor he is in charge of the Water Expert Team facility that provides on-time technical support to WB teams working on water related projects and he leads the World Bank work on Groundwater Governance. He is currently coordinating Bank initiatives on incorporating climate variability in water resources management and on enhancing drought resilience of water infrastructure. He holds a M.Sc. in Hydrogeology (1990) from Free University, Amsterdam (Netherlands).

Dr. Donald A. Wilhite

Dr. Donald A. Wilhite is a Professor of Applied Climate Science at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, U.S.A.  Prior to August 2012, Dr. Wilhite served as director of the School of Natural Resources, a position he held from 2007 to 2012.  Previously, Dr. Wilhite was the founding Director of the National Drought Mitigation Center in 1995 and the International Drought Information Center in 1989 at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  His research and outreach activities have focused on issues of drought monitoring, planning, mitigation, and policy and the use of climate information in decision making.  He has authored or co-authored more than 140 journal articles, monographs, book chapters, and technical reports.  Dr. Wilhite is editor or co-editor of numerous books on drought and drought management, including Coping with Drought Risk in Agriculture and Water Supply Systems: Drought Management and Policy Development in the Mediterranean (Springer, 2009); Drought and Water Crises (CRC Press, 2005); From Disaster Response to Risk Management:  Australia’s National Drought Policy (Springer, 2005); and Drought:  A Global Assessment (Routledge, 2000).  Dr. Wilhite is also the editor of a book series on Drought and Water Crises that is being published by CRC Press, a subsidiary of Taylor and Francis Publishers. 

Dr. Jianjun Wu

Dr. Jianjun Wu is a professor the associate dean of Academy of Disaster Reduction and Emergency Management and the director of Drought Mitigation Center at Beijing Normal University. He is a member of expert committee of Chinese National Committee for Disaster Reduction, and a member of science workgroup of risk governance, affiliated Chinese National Committee of IHDP. Dr. Wu has much experience in the drought research. He has specialized in mechanism of drought disaster, drought monitoring and evaluation, disaster risk governance and remote sensing as well. He has established the Integrated Surface Drought Index (ISDI) which integrated meteorological and remote sensing data, analyzed the formation and development of meteorological drought, hydrological drought and agricultural drought, built a regional agricultural drought risk assessment system and evaluated the damage of drought based on crop models. He has published over 70 scientific papers in refereed journals as well as numerous book chapters and proceedings. In addition, he has participated in the relief and damage assessment on the Wenchuan earthquake in 2008, the drought in the North China Plain in the winter of 2009, the drought in southwestern China in 2010, etc.








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