Gerard Payen
Former adviser on water to the UN Secretary General, Honorary President of AquaFed, Vice-president of ASTEE, former Chair IWA Strategic Council and IWA Board Member


Gérard is an experienced practitioner of water management and delivery of water services. He has been working for 30 years to solve water issues in many countries all around the globe. Today, he acts in various capacities to better mobilize the international community towards improving water management and achieving the water-related global targets (SDGs). From 2004 to the end of 2015, he was a Member of the UN Secretary General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation (UNSGAB). From 2004 to 2014, he was President of AquaFed, the International Federation of Private Water Operators. As Chair of the IWA Strategic Council and Member of the Board from 2006 to 2016, he strived to assist the International Water Association to remain a well-governed membership organisation, and to become respected as the global voice of water professionals. He also guided IWA on the road towards Sustainable Development Goals and he was awarded the IWA Outstanding Service Award in 2016. His efforts to make the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation a reality, led him to contribute to the related Manual for practitioners, which has just been issued by IWA. He wrote a book on the many misunderstandings in the public opinion that create delays or obstacles to public water policies. Until 2002, he headed all water activities of the business group that was successively named Lyonnaise des Eaux then Suez to make them (with the brand Ondeo, nowadays named Suez) the world leader in delivering water and wastewater services. 7 million people have gained access to safe drinking water via Ondeo during Gerard’s tenure.