Congratulations to the UNU-INWEH researchers and staff members for their achievements in 2023.
The year 2023 has been very rewarding for researchers and staff at the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH). Three of the international family of UNU-INWEH have received major awards and recognitions. UNU-INWEH congratulates these colleagues for their achievements and wish them continuous success in their impactful work.
UNU-INWEH’s Director, Professor Kaveh Madani, was awarded the title of “Honorary Diplomate” for “his remarkable contributions to society” by the European Water Resources Association (EWRA). This is the highest-level honor of EWRA for the world’s leading water resource engineers and scientists.
Professor Madani of Iran is a world-renowned expert in complex human-nature systems analysis who works at the intersection of science, policy and society. His transdisciplinary research involves 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.
Professor Madani has previously served as the Vice President of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) Bureau, overseeing the world’s highest-level decision-making body on the environment. 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).
Imelda Pangantihon, UNU-INWEH’s Finance Officer, received the 2023 Professional Service Award in Governance and Public Services from the University of the Philippines Alumni Association.
Ms. Pangantihon is a finance and administration professional with extensive work experience in international disaster relief and development organizations. Her professional experience includes positions with CARE International, the Canadian Red Cross, and the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations.
She has supported relief operations for the Asian tsunami in Banda Aceh (Indonesia), and peacekeeping operations in South Sudan. Her career includes postings in New York, Tirana, Ottawa, Nairobi, and Jakarta. At UNU-INWEH she serves as approving officer, assets’ manager, ensures day-to-day financial operations of the Institute; monitors biennium budget plan; and provides support to projects leaders and the Director in matters related to project financial management, procurement and funding proposals’ budgets.
Dr. Mojtaba Sadegh, Climate and Wildfire Analytics Lead at UNU-INWEH, received the Natural Hazards Early Career Award from the American Geophysical Union (AGU) for “his groundbreaking contributions to characterizing the causes and consequences of emerging climate-related risks.” This award is given annually to recognize significant early career contributions to natural hazards science by an early career scientist within 10 years of receiving PhD or highest terminal degree.
Dr. Sadegh’s research is focused on using geospatial analysis, machine learning, statistical methods, and data fusion/integration techniques, as well as satellite and airborne imagery and products, climate reanalysis data, gridded and in situ observations, and socioeconomic data to unravel mechanisms that drive climate extremes and their societal impacts. With more than 90 peer-reviewed publications, his work is contributing to increasing the resilience of natural, built and social infrastructure to escalating climate/weather extremes. His research interests encompass a broad range of hydroclimate extremes, including multi-hazard events and wildfires.
At UNU-INWEH, Dr. Sadegh is leading a new research initiative on climate and wildfire analytics to develop scientific, educational, and policy materials that facilitate mitigating and adapting to climate change and wildfires. His efforts are focused on bridging the science-policy gap to mitigate the devastating wildfire impacts, globally and regionally, and exchange knowledge and information with the scientific community and the public.