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Blog Post

On July 1, Dr. Vladimir Smakhtin began his term as Director of the UN University Institute for Water, Environment and Health. Based in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, UNU-INWEH is supported by the Government of Canada and hosted by McMaster University. It seeks to help resolve pressing global water challenges through the synthesis of existing scientific knowledge, cutting-edge research to identify emerging policy issues, application of on-the-ground, scalable solutions, and relevant public outreach.

Vladimir Smakhtin brings to the role three decades of experience as a researcher and research manager in the broad area of water resources, with an emphasis on global and regional water variability and scarcity, environmental and agricultural water management, climate change, water-related disaster risk management and water security. He holds a PhD from the Russian Academy of Science, and worked at Rhodes University and CSIR in South Africa, and as a research program director at the CGIAR research Center -International Water Management Institute (IWMI), headquartered in Sri Lanka. Since 2008, he has led the Water Availability, Risk and Resilience Research Department at IWMI with projects in over 20 countries in Asia and Africa. In parallel, since 2011 he has led a component of the global CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE) focusing on water resources variability management and competing water uses, and coordinated the IWMI research portfolio of the CGIAR Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS).

“I am excited for the opportunity to further strengthen UNU-INWEH’s role as a UN interdisciplinary ‘think tank’ on water and development and ensure that it has significant water policy influence globallyā€¯ says Vladimir.

Dr. Smakhtin succeeds Dr. Zafar Adeel, who is now the founding Executive Director of the Pacific Water Research Centre at the Faculty of Environment of Simon Fraser University, in Burnaby, British Columbia.