Professor Kaveh Madani is a globally recognized scientist, educator, and activist, working on complex human-nature systems at the interface of science, policy, and society. He is currently the Director of the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH) and a Research Professor at the City University of New York’s Remote Sensing Earth Systems Institute (CUNY CREST).
He has previously served as the Deputy Head of Iran’s Department of Environment, Vice President of the UN Environment Assembly Bureau, and Chief of Iran’s Department of Environment’s International Affairs and Conventions Center. He held different strategic roles during his public service and led Iran’s delegation in different major intergovernmental summits, including the COP23 climate change negotiations. Before public service, he was a tenured faculty member of the Centre for Environmental Policy at Imperial College London. He joined the United Nations University from Yale University in 2021 as the Head of Nexus Research Programme at UNU-FLORES, where he founded the Resource Nexus Analytics, Informatics and Data (AID) Programme.
Professor Madani is an expert in developing and applying mathematical, economic, and systems analysis models to complex problems involving water, energy, food, climate, and environment to derive policy and governance insights. His publications address issues such as water management, environmental policy, energy systems, food security, climate change impacts, and adaptation, environmental and financial risk analysis, sustainable development, transboundary conflicts, and environmental security, diplomacy, and justice.
He is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) and Environmental & Water Resources Institute (EWRI) of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and has received numerous awards and recognitions for his fundamental research contributions, teaching innovations, as well as outreach and humanitarian activities, including the New Face of Civil Engineering (ASCE), Arne Richter Award for Outstanding Young Scientists (EGU), Hydrologic Sciences Early Career Award (AGU), Walter Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize (ASCE), and Ambassador Award (AGU).