The Governing Board of the UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education elected a new Chair during the Board’s bi-annual meeting on 19 and 20 November 2015. Professor Iwona Wagner (Poland) succeeds Dr. Fritz Holzwarth who was appointed as Rector ad interim of the Institute.
The UNESCO-IHE Governing Board is responsible for the programme and activities of UNESCO-IHE and ensures that these contribute to the broader UNESCO policies and strategies established by the General Conference. Iwona Wagner has been a member of the Governing Board since 1 July 2013 and she has been a familiar face at the Institute since 2006. She was involved in the SWITCH project, a major research partnership funded by the European Commission, which looked towards water management in the 'city of the future'.
According to Prof. Wagner, the UNESCO-IHE will continue to address global water challenges “that are very much aligned with the priorities of UNESCO, UNESCO Interational Hydrology Programme (IHP) and the United Nations, particularly in relation to the Sustainable Development Goals. With the new strategy in place, the Institute will further increase its capacity development, innovation and communication. A close link to UNESCO and its programmes, as well as to the Sustainable Development Goals is the natural way forward to address the water needs of the world.”
Iwona Wagner is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Applied Ecology at the University of Lodz and is currently employed by the International Institute of Polish Academy of Sciences and the European Regional Centre for Ecohydrology under the auspices of UNESCO.