Yves Etienne has been working for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) since 1985, successively as Head of the Water and Sanitation Unit (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 and Vice-President of the WaterLex board from January 2012 till 2020.