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From left 1st row : Cecile Molinier, Francois Muenger, Ania Grobicki; 2nd row : Aileen Ionescu-Somers, Amanda Loeffen, Yves Etienne, Eibe Riedel, Catherine Brölmann, Jean Benoit Charrin, Giorgio Malinverni, Board Meeting 10th May 2017


The WaterLex Board of Directors is the supervisory organ of our organisation. According to our Statutes, it is composed of at least three members elected every three years by the General Assembly. The Board of Directors meets at least twice a year. Its members can neither have executive functions nor be paid by the organisation. All board members act in their personal capacity.

The current members of the WaterLex Board of Directors are:

Eibe Riedel (President)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEibe Riedel has been a Professor of Public Law and International Law at the Universities of Mainz, Marburg and Mannheim. He is currently Emeritus Chair of German and Comparative Public Law, European and International Law at the University of Mannheim. He is co-editor of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in International Law: Contemporary Issues and Challenges, published in May 2014 by Oxford University Press. Prof. Riedel has recently been appointed a Judge at the Hague Permanent Court of Arbitration. He is a Director of the Inland Navigation Law Institute and the Director of the Institute of Medical Law, Bioethics and Public Health and a member of the German UNESCO Commission.  He was Member of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights from 2003 to 2012. He is the Swiss Chair of Human Rights at the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights. He studied Law and theology at King’s College London and Law at the University of Kiel in Germany. He obtained his Dr. iuris in 1974 and Dr. iur. habil. in 1983.

Eibe Riedel has been a member of the WaterLex board since March 2013.

Yves Etienne (Vice President)

etienne, yves

Yves Etienne has been working with various private companies in the field of water supply. In 1985, he joined the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) successively as Head o Water programs (1985-1995), Head of the Training Division (1995-2000), Head of the Assistance Division (which included 3 units: Health Services, Water & Habitat, and Economic Security) (2001-2007), and HELP Courses coordinator (2008-2011). During his 27-year-long career at the ICRC, he gained an extensive experience in the management of acute humanitarian crises. He graduated from the University of Geneva in 1978 as geologist-geophysicist, he completed his specialisation in hydrogeology in Spain and his post-graduation in Public Health in Geneva.

Yves Etienne has been a member of the WaterLex board since January 2012.

Catherine Brölmann (Hon. Secretary)

Catherine Brölmann is an associate professor of international law at the University of Amsterdam. She has lectured and published on a variety of topics, including international water law, collective human rights, international organizations and the interplay between national and international law. Dr. Brölmann has been a visiting professor at the University  of Bologna; a visiting lecturer at the University of Helsinki and the University of London; a visiting researcher at the University of Cambridge and the Humboldt University of Berlin; she has acted as amicus curiae to the Court of Appeal in The Hague.  Brölmann is among other things an editor on the board of the International Communitly Law Review (Brill), and a member of the Advisory Committee for  Public International Law to the Netherlands’ Government. She earned a Ph.D in law in 2005, an LL.M specialising in public international law and European law in 1992, and a Master of Italian literature and romance linguistics in 1988, all from the University of Amsterdam.

Catherine Brölmann has been a member of the WaterLex board since May 2014.

Ania Grobicki

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.

Ania Grobicki has been a member of the WaterLex board since May 2016.

Aileen Ionescu-Somers (Treasurer)

aileen_-Ionescu-somersDr Aileen Ionescu-Somers has designed and conducted large scale research projects on the business case for sustainability, the stakeholder environment and sustainability partnerships, publishing many resulting articles, prize-winning case studies and books. She is on the board of directors of several non-profit organizations,  and on the sustainability councils of global companies such as Firmenich and Coca-Cola Hellenic . She has particular expertise in sustainability strategy in the global food & beverage industry and is an expert participant in the Google Innovation Lab for Food Experiences. Dr Ionescu-Somers previously worked for 12 years with the international conservation NGO WWF, first in program management for the Latin America/Caribbean and Africa/Madagascar regions and then as head of WWF’s international project operations, overseeing project financing of projects and program offices globally. She holds a PhD Commerce (business strategy), MA, H. Dip. Ed. and BA (1stClass Hons) from NUI-National University of Ireland (UCC), as well as a MSc in Environmental Management from Imperial College London, UK.  

Aileen Ionescu-Somers has been a member of the WaterLex board since May 2014.

Giorgio Malinverni

MalinverniHonorary professor Giorgio Malinverni taught law at the University of Geneva from 1980 till 2006. He became a Judge at the European Court of Human Rights in 2007. He was also a member of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Since December 2011 he has been president of the NGO TRIAL (Track Impunity Always). He is also a member of the Executive Council of the International Association of Constitutional Law. He earned a Masters Degree from the University of Fribourg (CH) in 1965 and a Ph.D. from the University of Geneva’s Graduate Institute of International Studies (CH) in 1973.

Giorgio Malinverni has been a member of the WaterLex board since May 2014.

Cécile Molinier

Cécile MolinierCécile 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 Tome 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.

Cécile Molinier has been a member of the WaterLex board since May 2016.

François Münger

Francois MüngerFrançois 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.

François Münger has been a member of the WaterLex board since May 2016.

Jean-Benoit Charrin

Jean-Benoit CharrinJean-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. His 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.

Jean-Benoit joined the Board on 1 August 2016.