''Leadership for Positive Change''
Skip Navigation Links
  Home  
  About Us  Expand   About Us  
  What We Do  Expand   What We Do  
  News  
  Media Center  Expand   Media Center  
  Publications  Expand   Publications  
  Contact Us  
  Get Involved  
Staff
Dr. Tobias Schmitz
Senior Advisor-Water Resources Management
Dr. Tobias Schmitz obtained a PhD in Development Studies at Radboud University in the Netherlands, focusing on Integrated Water Resources Management and water scarcity in South Africa. He has worked as a university lecturer in Development Studies, as research manager at the Centre for Policy Studies in South Africa, team leader for policy development at an environmental NGO in Amsterdam (Both ENDS), and Director of the Operations Desk at WaterLex International Secretariat in Geneva.
 
He has worked on a training manual on a human rights based approach to Integrated Water Resources Management with UNDP Cap-Net, on a book on best practices in wastewater re-use, treatment and disposal for UNEP, and on a human rights based approach to indicators and monitoring for UN-GLAAS. He is a member of the Task Force for Monitoring and Evaluation of the African Ministerial Council on Water. He joined GIWEH in January 2016 as a Director of the Africa program. 
 
Marguerite Lançon
Program Manager

Marguerite graduated with a degree in International Relations from Tsinghua University in Beijing, China where she lived for three years. Throughout her studies, she cultivated a deep interest for water issues and conducted research on transboundary water management. Prior to joining GIWEH, she worked within another non-profit organization as a Country Analyst and contributed to building a database and writing an analytic report covering six domains (human rights, gender equity, environmental stewardship, poverty reduction, governance, and global peace and justice). Today, she works in our team as a Program Manager, develops project proposals, and is our coordinator for Asia. 

Youness Chtaini
Scientific Officer/Hydrogeologist

Youness is a geologist in charge of GIS (Geographic Information System) and of hydrogeology within our organization. Graduated from the University of Grenoble in Geosciences, Youness Chtaini has accumulated a great range of experiences on the field during his previous positions. He has also been involved in sustainable development in Switzerland, as well as internationally. Additionally, Youness works on projects supporting the popularization of sciences within schools. He is also a member of the Swiss Association of Environmental Professionals, the Swiss Society of Hydrology, as well as the Swiss Society of Geology.

Olivia Braud
Project Coordinator / Development Scientist

Olivia Braud graduated from King’s College London, where she completed an MSc in Environment and Development. She studied the links between environment and development issues, and how to shape new models of development, through adaptation and resilience. During her Master program, she focused on water policies and the different paradigms shifts. She also focused on the concepts of water footprint and virtual water trade, and how it can shape new models of international cooperation. 

She joined the GIWEH team in Geneva in February 2018, as a Junior Project Coordinator. She works on water-related projects in Africa and participates to GIWEH events at the UN as a speaker. Prior to that, she worked at the UNHCR, in Paris and in Washington D.C., as a Public Information assistant. 

Benedetta Gambatesa
Water, Land and Ecosystems Researcher

Benedetta is a first-year student of the Master Degree in International Law program at the Graduate Institute of Geneva, Switzerland, where she is further developing her international legal skills, particularly focusing on climate change issues, International Environmental Law and Global Health Law. She received her first master's degree in Law in Italy, with a graduation thesis concerning the international protection of the human right to freshwater, especially in armed conflicts. Indeed, she has always had a strong interest in water-related issues, both from a legal and environmental perspective. After interning in other NGOs specializing in health, food and climate change, she is now part of our team as a water, land and ecosystems researcher. 

Dr. Martin Bruza
Program Manager

Martin is a civil engineer with expertise in flood risk analysis and flood protection measures focusing on the GIS (Geographic Information Systems)

He has received a Master of Civil Engingeering degree specializing in Economics and Management, Bioenergy and Environment Impact Assessment from Technical University in Prague, Czech Republic, in 1999. In 2006 Martin obtained a PhD degree in the Applies Ecology for Risk analysis and techniques developed for a prediction of flood losses. During his doctorate studies, he worked on grants related to Flood Analysis and Its Mitigation on the Orlice river in cooperation with EPFL (Ecole Polytchnique Fédérale de Lausanne) and the Environmental Aspects in Civil Engineering provided by the government of the Czech Republic. As a result, he has developed a new concept for risk assessment and building claims "Methodology creation of flood hazard maps and flood risk" which is now used by Ministry of the Environment of the Czech Republic.

Martin has published analysis on Economic Risk Effects of Floods in the form of a poster for which he won 1st prize in the International Conference on Advanced Engineering Design in 2003.

Doaa Adel El-Shafey
Area Manager - Middle East

Doaa graduated with a BA from the faculty of commerce and business administration from the Helwan University in Egypt. She started her career in PR working in a variety of organizations in Egypt before joining GIWEH in 2012 as an Area Manager. As a Middle East specialist with expertise in dealing with public and private sectors across the region and in working with multi-lateral and bi-lateral agencies, Doaa is responsible for Middle East relations with GIWEH.

Asmita Baidya
Program Coordinator & Administrative Assistant

Asmita Baidya holds Masters in Business Administration (MBA) degree with finance specialization from Shinawatra University, Thailand.  She had worked with various non for profit organizations for last 3 and half years in Nepal. Prior to joining GIWEH, she worked with Society of Public Health Engineers Nepal (SOPHEN) as Accounts & Office Manager, where she played crucial role in successful conduction of “International Conference on Water, Environment and Climate Change (WECC) : Knowledge, Sharing and Partnership-2018”.

Moez Allaoui
Senior Expert-Water Governance

Moez Allaoui is an international expert on water governance, included in the UNEP/Global Wastewater Initiative and the UNDP/Global Water Solidarity rosters. He worked in Tunisia as Director of Legal Affairs in SONEDE (the national drinking water utility) and also served a three-year term on the SONEDE International SA Board of Directors, before moving to Geneva where he worked as a Senior Advisor for international NGOs from 2014 to 2016. Since 2015, he has been a visiting lecturer at the University of Geneva in charge of a module on the right to water within the Certificate of Advanced Studies on Water Governance and Policies. He holds a B.A. in Private Law and a Professional Master of Law degree in Legistic and Translation from the University of Al Manar (Tunisia), as well as an LLM in International Economic and Development Law from the University Descartes Paris 5 (France). He has published numerous articles and studies on the human right to water and about water governance and water utility management in several scientific journals and specialized websites. He also contributed to the recognition of the right to water in the Tunisian constitution, which was approved in January 2014.

Katerina Polyakova
Program Officer
Katerina did her master’s degree at the University of Geneva with a focus on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 
 
Katerina and her fellow teammates are the initiators and project managers of a hackathon for refugees that was organized in Geneva last year. They successfully gathered 100 people to discuss solutions for refugees and employment.
 
Moreover, with she and her classmates developed a crowdsourcing project in Kenya for solving water scarcity, droughts, and related conflicts that helps pastoralists and farmers to adapt easily to climate change and raise their economic power. Later on, Katerina did an exchange student at Tsinghua University in Beijing, studying Public Policy and Management to learn innovative techniques and understand the fast-paced economic growth in Asia.
 
Right now, she is working at GIWEH to develop and implement the project in Kenya for water monitoring.
Loukas Garanis
Program Officer

Loukas graduated holds a BSc in Economics and is finishing his MSc in Innovation, Human Development and Sustainability. He co-created "MajiMap", a project in Kenya built around an internet and mobile platform designed to help pastoralists cope with droughts. By sending out real time data related to water and food needs for livestock, the app aims to facilitate and accelerate the coordination of help from NGOs, IOs and the government. At GIWEH, Loukas is working on projects in Kenya and Nepal.

Victoria Paget
Program Officer

Victoria joined GIWEH in 2019 after graduating from the University of Sussex with a degree in International Development. While a student she was part of the team of students who hosted the inaugual Global Health and Development Conference during which she developed an interest in issues linked to Water, Sanitation and Health, particularly at the community level. She additionally spent a year studying abroad in Tokyo, Japan at the International Christian University.

Rémy Loneux
Marketing and Communications Officer

Rémy is currently studying Business & Marketing in France at the Burgundy School of Business. His decision to work with GIWEH in Switzerland was motivated by his desire to discover a different perspective on the general workings and objectives within an organization. This allowed him to discern the differences between for-profit companies and non-profit organizations. He is passionate about marketing, numerical graphics and web design and is presently in charge of the design of our website, Facebook Page and YouTube Channel.  He has made videos presenting the organization for our Youtube channel to allow people to learn about GIWEH.

Rachel Huxhold
Water–Food–Energy Nexus Researcher

Rachel graduated from the College of Wooster in Ohio, United States, with a degree in Political Science. During her studies, she received the Melissa Schultz Research Prize in Sustainability and the Environment for her thesis project, which analyzed the effectiveness of water conservation campaigns in the United States.  She first worked with GIWEH when studying Global Health and Development Policy in Geneva, and published a report on water literacy and management in Italy. Today, Rachel supports GIWEH by conducting research on the Water-Food-Energy Nexus in continuation of the Flagship Project: “Support the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda,” and producing and editing reports on recent projects and activities.

Dr. Sami Rtimi
Innovation Director / Wastewater Treatment Expert

Sami is a photo-chemist with a strong background in surfaces engineering and microbiology. He was awarded a Ph.D. in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering from Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL, Switzerland) and a Doctorate in Biological Sciences from the University of Carthage (Tunisia). His expertise relates to the design, synthesis, evaluation and surface property characterization of antibacterial films for environmental and medical applications. His current research addresses coupling nanostructures for a targeted biological response at solid-air-interfaces showing potential practical applications. He published several papers in high impact journals in the field, numerous book chapters, patents and presented in several national and international conferences.

He is editor in some journals (Euro-Mediterranean Journal for Environmental Integration, Earth Systems and Environment…), edited some special issues (Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, MDPI-Coatings, Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces) and few books (Nanomaterials Based Coatings: Fundamentals and Applications, Elsevier 2018). He is member of many national (Swiss Chemical Society) and international societies / associations (ACS, RSC, EPS, IAAM). He was awarded some prizes for the transfer of science from lab to applications (PERL, VentureKick, MassChallenge…).

 

Nynke Schaap
Water Governance Researcher

Nynke was studying Arabic Language and Culture when she visited an Integrated Water Resources Management project in Syria. This fieldtrip made her realize that water is a cross-cutting issue, related to many other fields having her interest (politics, development, sustainability, culture). Back in her home country, the Netherlands, she signed up for a minor in Sustainable Development Studies and after completing her bachelor’s degree, she started a master’s program in Environmental Communication and Management in Sweden. Although water in the Middle East is still her main interest, she has broadened her perspectives to include water-related issues over the whole globe. For GIWEH, she researches civil society participation in transboundary water management and advises project proposals and GIWEH’s reporting. Additionally, she follows up on, and contributes to, the OECD Water Governance Initiative. 

André van den Berge
Senior Manager for Partnerships

André has more than 15 years of experience in building sustainable partnerships and relationships. He also has an extensive experience in grant seeking/giving and (EU, government, and private) fundraising. For the last nine years, André has been responsible for Resource Mobilization & Fundraising at the Municipality of the Hague, the Netherlands. André’s educational background lies in Social and Political studies.

Jeya Wilson
Consultant

Dr. Jeya Wilson has extensive advisory, research, and work experience in international development and health. She holds a BA (First Class Hons) from Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand, a doctorate degree in International Relations from the University of Oxford as a Commonwealth Scholar, and the Financial Times Non-Executive Director Diploma. She was elected President of the Oxford Union, and completed the Women’s Executive Leadership program from Harvard Business School in the United States.


She has served on 12 Committee Boards from 1994 to today, including the South African President’s Business Advisory Council and the International Labour Organization’s Independent Oversight Advisory Committee. She served as the Chief Executive Officer for the Chamber of Commerce & Industry in South Africa, the Director of the Business Partnerships Division within UNDP in the United States, the Vice President of Global Alliances within CBM International in Germany, the Chief Executive of the World Heart Federation in Switzerland, and a Partnerships Consultant for the World Health Organization. She was recognized at the World Sustainable Development Summit for establishing the first HIV/AIDS and Business Center in the world, for which she raised $72 million (USD) in funding. Dr. Wilson contributes to GIWEH’s work as an external consultant.