CGIAR Research Center, the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) is pleased to announce that its Board of Governors has extended Dr. Mark Smith’s appointment as Director General, until August 2025.
Smith was first appointed as Director General in August 2020. Since then, he has overseen IWMI’s growing portfolio of bilateral programmes and key partnerships with a range of national and international stakeholders, while steering the organization’s continued focus on building resilience and stronger water systems amidst the pandemic. He continues to lead IWMI through the transition and integration into One CGIAR, and also in his role as One CGIAR Senior Director for Water Systems, as a champion for water systems science within One CGIAR’s mission and new research initiatives.
Over the past two years, IWMI has contributed towards several key international processes such as the UN Food Systems Summit and UN Climate Conference (COP) bringing water to the forefront of discussions and solutions towards a climate-resilient future. Under the stewardship of the Board of Governors, Smith will lead IWMI’s year-long Transformative Futures for Water Security initiative launched in 2022, which will build partnerships and coalitions among the policy, business, development, practitioner, and science communities, in order to focus and strengthen science-based action on water security.
Mark Smith: “I am very pleased to continue leading IWMI for a further three years. It is clear that IWMI’s strategic focus on achieving a water-secure world is more relevant than ever, and I look forward to continuing to work with IWMI’s staff, One CGIAR, and our many partners to advance this vision. I am grateful to the Board of Governors for their trust and support, and I am confident that together, we can strengthen IWMI’s resolve and focus in delivering solutions to the most pressing global challenges.”
In his previous role as IWMI’s Deputy Director General, Smith was responsible for IWMI’s research programs and was instrumental in the design and implementation of the Institute’s current strategy and management structure.
Roberto Lenton, Chair, IWMI Board of Governors: “The Board is delighted that Mark Smith will continue in the role of Director General. Mark has not only demonstrated his outstanding leadership skills, but has also steered IWMI during a global pandemic to maintain financial stability and achieve growth, whilst positioning IWMI as a key leader on water science and solutions globally, and as we move into One CGIAR.”
Smith, formerly IWMI’s Deputy Director General – Research for Development, brings more than 25 years of research and program management experience in water resources, agriculture, climate change and sustainability. He was formerly Director – Global Water Programme at the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). He has led innovative, multi-regional programs in Asia, Africa and Latin America addressing river basin management, climate change adaptation, nature-based solutions, and transboundary cooperation in water management. He has a doctorate in ecology and resource management from the University of Edinburgh and a master’s in climatology from the University of Guelph.