August 22, 2017

Professor Kala Vairavamoorthy announced as new Executive Director of the International Water Association

Kala Vairavamoorthy

Kala Vairavamoorthy

Internationally recognised water resource management expert, Kala Vairavamoorthy, has been appointed Executive Director of the International Water Association (IWA). He takes up his position on 25 September 2017, and will be based in the IWA’s Global Operations Office in The Hague, Netherlands.

Vairavamoorthy has a particular interest in urban water issues, combining a strong engineering background with practical international experience. He has published extensively and has a strong international profile working closely with the World Bank, African Development Bank, UN-Habitat, Global Water Partnership and the European Union.

Commenting on the appointment, Diane d’Arras, President of the International Water Association, said: “Professor Vairavamoorthy brings many years of high-level international experience, including as an active and well-respected IWA member. His wide scientific, managerial and cultural experience will be invaluable in shaping the IWA’s future strategy. In particular, how we as a global network of water professionals can be instrumental in achieving the water-related targets of the Sustainable Development Goals.”

Vairavamoorthy is joining IWA from the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), where he was the Deputy Director General for Research. He expressed enthusiasm regarding the IWA appointment, “IWA can help the international water sector navigate a period of rapid change, and its membership is well placed to provide both innovative and well-tested solutions. IWA can also provide critical help to emerging economies in their quest for sustainable water management.”

Prior to IWMI, Vairavamoorthy was the Founding Dean of the Patel College of Global Sustainability, and a tenured Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of South Florida. Prior to that he was a full Professor and Chair of Water Engineering at the University of Birmingham, UK, and Professor and Head of Core of Sustainable Urban Water Infrastructure Systems at UNESCO-IHE.

Vairavamoorthy has been a member of many International Scientific Committees. Currently he serves on the Stockholm World Water Week Scientific Program Committee and the Global Water Partnership’s Technical Committee. He was Co-chair of the IWA’s Cities of the Future Program and also a member of Singapore International Water Week’s Program Committee.

Vairavamoorthy has a PhD and MSc in Environmental Engineering from Imperial College, London and a BSc (Hons) in Civil Engineering from King’s College, London. He is a Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers (UK).



For further information please contact: Paul Bell, International Water Association:, +31 6 4660 7771


Editors Notes

The International Water Association is a global knowledge hub for water professionals and anyone concerned about the future of water. It has sixty-year heritage connecting water professionals worldwide to find solutions to the world’s water challenges as part of a broader sustainability agenda. As a non-profit organisation with members in more than 130 countries, the IWA connects scientists to practitioners and communities so that pioneering research delivers sustainable solutions. It further fosters technological innovation and drives best practice through international frameworks and standards.