At the 2016 WaterLex General Assembly, the Assembly elected four new Board Members for the 2016-2019 period. WaterLex is fortunate to have the guidance and input from the newest Members: Dr. Ania Grobicki, Acting Secretary General of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands; Ms Cécile Molinier, former Director of the UNDP Office in Geneva; Mr François Münger of the Geneva Water Hub and Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation – they have officially joined the Board of Directors of WaterLex as of May and will hold their first meeting together in September in Geneva. Mr Jean-Benoit Charrin, Executive Director of WaterLex is the fourth new Member who will step up to the Board on 1 August 2016.
Below, please find short biographies of our newest Board Members.
Dr Ania GROBICKI
Dr Grobicki took up the position of Deputy Secretary General of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands in March 2015, and since November 2015 she has been leading the Convention Secretariat as Acting Secretary General of the Convention. Previously, she worked in the oil industry in South Africa, started a consultancy firm, developing projects on the restoration of urban wetlands and urban catchment management, as well as writing and publishing on the water needs of cities, industry, agriculture and energy. From 2002, Ania led the CGIAR Challenge Programme on Water and Food, based in Sri Lanka. Thereafter she was based for 3 years at WHO in Switzerland working on issues of Research for Health. As Executive Secretary of the Global Water Partnership (2009-2015), based in Sweden, she managed a world-wide network of over 3000 partner organizations, and developed global action programmes including a focus on water and climate change adaptation.
Dr Grobicki holds degrees in Chemical Engineering and in Economics, and a PhD in Biotechnology.
Ms Cécile MOLINIER
Cécile is a current Member of WaterLex. She joined the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in 1992 from the UN Secretariat. Her first assignment in UNDP was as Deputy Resident Representative in Tunisia followed by Resident Coordinator/Resident Representative assignments in Sao Tomé and Principe, Togo, and Mauritania. She was reassigned as Director to the UNDP Office in Geneva in August 2007, and retired from UNDP in October 2012. . As UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative at country level, Cécile contributed to the achievement of national development objectives in strategic areas such as community based management of natural resources in Tunisia, environmental protection, poverty reduction and capacity development in Sao Tomé and Principe, mobilization against HIV/AIDS in Togo, support to democratic transition and human rights in Mauritania. At Headquarters level, she was instrumental in promoting the UN reform agenda and UNDP corporate priorities by developing innovative partnerships with non-traditional partners such as sub-national authorities, the academic community, civil society organizations and the private sector.
Ms Molinier holds both Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees in English from the Sorbonne in Paris, a Master’s degree in English Literature from Queen Mary College, London University, and an MBA (Organisational Behaviour) from Pace University in New York.
Mr François MÜNGER
François is a current Member of WaterLex. He is the former head of Global Programs Water Initiatives at the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, SDC, where he launched, developed and profiled many large programmes in his eight years there. He is now the Swiss Special Envoy for Water at SDC. He launched the Geneva Water Hub, (Pôle eau de Genève) in 2015, an international platform for hydro-politics in International Geneva. The Geneva Water Hub has three pillars: (i) Networking of the water units in the international Geneva, (ii) post-graduate courses & research on water governance and hydro-diplomacy, and (iii) a think-tank on water & security.
Mr Münger holds a MSc in geophysics and mineralogy (University of Lausanne), MSc. in hydrogeology (University of Neuchatel) and an European MSc. in environmental engineering and biotechnology (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology –EPFL), as well as a CAS in geological hazards (University of Geneva). He worked previously as a scientific researcher for the EPFL, as director of a dams & deep boreholes project in Africa, as Chief of SDC Water Program in Central America and as Senior Water Specialist in the World Bank.
Mr Jean-Benoit CHARRIN
Jean-Benoit Charrin has been the Executive Director of the WaterLex International Secretariat since January 2011, overseeing strategy and operations. He progressively specialized in the undertaking of country-specific water and sanitation legal and institutional sector assessments, as well as human-right-to-water compliance reviews. Mr Charrin’s commitment to the human right to water and sanitation and to improving international water governance is unparalleled. Under his leadership, WaterLex has become a true catalyst for change.
Mr Charrin holds an LLM in international human rights law from the University of Essex (United Kingdom) and a Master’s degree in theology from the University of Fribourg.
More information on the WaterLex Board is posted here.