Throughout her career, Diane D’Arras has held many positions of responsibility and was able to develop extensive operational experience within utilities, first in her native country France and since 1993 worldwide within different continents. This has enabled Diane to gain a broad vision and experience both nationally and internationally within developed and non-developing countries worldwide. Diane’s experience has made her conscious of the various issues faced by international organisations and is therefore highly aware of the diversity of circumstances and challenges facing our world today within the water sector.
In 1977, Diane started her career at French Public Water Authority (Seine Normandie), as an engineer. Diane worked for the department in charge of financial support for the research on drinking water and deployment of new technologies in municipalities’ waterworks. This enabled her to understand the importance of integrated resources management. In 1981, she joined Lyonnaise des Eaux, a French Water Company, where she was in charge of the Corporate Office for water subsidiaries.
From 1984 to April 1993, Diane joined the water operations in the Western Parisian Region (1 million inhabitants served). In 1988 she was promoted to Water Operations Director, managing operations and investments for maintenance and new infrastructures. In 1993, Diane received the great opportunity to join Aguas Argentinas (Buenos Aires), where she served first as Manager of Water Production and Wastewater (4 million m3/day for 7 million inhabitants) and then as Operations Manager (Network and Customers management, 7 million inhabitants, 2.5 million clients served, 2,000 employees).
In 1998, Diane made a switch to Research and Development first within Degrémont, (Turnover: 1,6 billion €, 4,600 employees) where she served as Research and Development Senior Vice President and then in 2003 at Suez, where she was appointed Technology and Research Senior Vice President . Within this position, Diane developed a structured international network of research centres through a new organisation of shared research and has implemented a broader Innovation strategy for Suez through the use of new tools and investments (Suez Ventures). In addition, Diane also developed the concrete and day-to-day technical support to the Suez operations through technical assistance and concrete know-how, sharing & transfer worldwide. During that period, Diane participated in organising structured research coordination and cooperation within Europe through the foundation and development of a non-profit organisation, the Water Supply and Sanitation Platform of which she was the first president.
In both Degremont and Suez, Diane has developed many internal and external partnerships with the water R&D networks and with various professional associations, universities, utilities and industrial entities within Europe and internationally in both developing countries and emerging countries.
In 2011, Diane was appointed Water Europe Senior Executive V.P. for Suez. Diane was in charge of operations, strategy and partnerships in Central and Southern Europe within the field of water; this provides Diane with an extensive view of the European water sector. End of 2017 she was able to retire from the company after 37 years in Suez, taking advantage of a long lasting career.
- International Water Association: Member of the Strategic Committee for several years, Board Member since 2010. Vice President in 2012 and 2014.
- The National Academy of Technologies of France: Member since 2014.
- Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées, Paris, France: Board Member since 2013
- IWA President 2016-2021
- Founding member and first President of Water Supply and Sanitation Technology Platform, a European association focused on Research gathering members from more than 20 countries.
- Member of the Advisory Group on Environment for the 7th Framework Program of the European Research Directorate.
- President during 6 years of the Environmental Strategic Committee of the French Standards National Agency.
- Member during several years of the Environmental Advisory Committee of Singapore Research Agency, as well as the French Research Agency.
Diane D’Arras has been a member/president of several international boards in her career, within companies of different sizes in both the profit and non-profit sector, worldwide.
- Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées
- Institut des Sciences Politiques de Paris
- Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense National
In addition, Diane has received honours and was awarded the French ‘’Légion d’Honneur’’ for her involvement in research.
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