Amanda Loeffen, MBA, B.Sc.
Amanda Loeffen is a water governance expert, leading a qualified team of lawyers, policy makers, and technical experts with expertise in water law and policy at WaterLex. Prior to joining WaterLex, Amanda directed a water resource project management company in New Zealand, where she oversaw the design, environmental consent and multi-stakeholder engagement for a large community-owned hydro-irrigation scheme. She has also worked in business management in the private sector, predominantly in natural resources. She has a BSc (hons) in Chemistry from the UK, and an MBA in finance from Chicago Booth University.
Programme Manager, Africa Region
Cynthia Bleu-Lainé is an environment and energy policies specialist. Prior to joining WaterLex, Cynthia was an Environmental Specialist at the World Bank, in Washington DC, where she cross-supported on projects with the Water department. She has contributed to the analysis, expansion, implementation and monitoring and evaluation of several operations in Africa, Middle-East and North Africa and South-East Asia regions. She has also collaborated with the African Development Bank, in evaluating its strategy on sustainable development. She has a B.A. in International Relations from the College of Charleston in South Carolina and a M.A. in Global Environmental Politics from John Hopkins University in Washington DC.
Géraldine Gené, Lawyer, Notary Public
Legal Advisor, Latin America
Geraldine has practiced law in Costa Rica for 30 years, as a Judge and as Litigator and owner of her own firm, with a focus on international business, litigation, project management, human rights, conciliation and mediation. Geraldine is a dual citizen of Venezuela and Costa Rica. She came to WaterLex to develop projects that would allow us to help Latin American countries to fully understand and secure their right to water. Géraldine holds a degree in law from the Autonomous University of Central America (Universidad Autónoma de Centro America) in Costa Rica, and a degree from the University of Georgetown and INCAE in Legal Issues of International Business (Nicaragua). She has participated in the XXV Interdisciplinary course on Human Rights held by the Inter American Institution of Human Rights, and is a trained Mediator and Conciliator from de Costa Rican Chamber of Commerce.
Rakia Turner, JD, LLM
Senior Legal Officer
Rakia, a U.S. qualified attorney, manages legal research projects and works with the NHRI Water Initiative delivering trainings on water governance and human rights. Prior to her work at WaterLex, she served as an advocate for immigrant and refugee legal rights and litigated domestic civil matters. In addition to her public sector work, she has several years of experience in private client international wealth planning working for a private bank in Geneva. Rakia holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and a Juris Doctor (law degree) from the University of North Carolina, and an LLM in International Humanitarian Law from the University of Geneva.
Partnership Development Manager
Desmond Gallagher is an experienced business development and training professional, with key expertise in North American communication and software multinationals. He has thirty years of experience in establishing and building business centres, including employment for physically challenged and blind personnel, particularly in remote areas of Canada. Having studied Business Administration from Brock University in Canada, and with strong partnership development skills in a range of US multinationals and product lines, Desmond offers an approachable point of contact for charitable foundations and private donations.
Maria Querol, Ph.D, D.E.S.
María Querol is an independent international law consultant. Prior to moving to the United States, she was an Associate Professor of International Law at Austral University in Buenos Aires, where she taught for ten years. She was also a legal counsel at the Argentine Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Commerce and Cult and a legal consultant for various international joint river commissions, international organisations and international development banks. She currently advises WaterLex on diverse legal issues. Aside from her expertise in other areas of International Law, María has published widely in International Water Law, both in her country, Argentina, and abroad.