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Dragan Savic hands over KWR CEO role to Mariëlle van der Zouwen

  • Dragan Savic hands over KWR CEO role to Mariëlle van der Zouwen

About the entity

KWR generates knowledge to enable the water sector to operate water-wisely in our urbanised society. At KWR, we have a sense of professional and social responsibility for the quality of water.

KWR CEO Dragan Savic has decided to step down from his role effective 1 June 2024. He is handing over his position to deputy director Mariëlle van der Zouwen and will remain at KWR as a global advisor digital sciences. Mariëlle will assume the role of CEO ad interim for up to nine months.

Dragan Savic, CEO at KWR since 2018, will continue as a global advisor on digital sciences at our research institute. In this role, he will further advance the applied research in digital sciences for KWR. He will also mentor early career researchers on this topic.

Prof. Dragan Savic FREng,  said: “Working alongside some of the best minds in water science has been both an honour and a privilege. Teamwork, collaboration, co-creation and commitment to excellence have been the key to our success and the highlights of my leadership role. Throughout my tenure as CEO at KWR balancing management and scientific duties, I have witnessed remarkable achievements, groundbreaking research and immense impact on the water sector that have pushed the boundaries of our knowledge and practice.”

The Supervisory Board thanks Dragan Savic for the development KWR has undergone under his leadership and is pleased that he remains with the institute in his new role as an international ambassador for KWR. 

Mariëlle van der Zouwen, CEO ad interim 

The shareholders have, on the recommendation of the Supervisory Board, appointed Mariëlle van der Zouwen as CEO ad interim from 1 June 2024 for up to nine months. The KWR Works Council has also given a positive recommendation. The interim period will be used to develop a profile for and recruit a new CEO. The Supervisory Board has every confidence that Mariëlle van der Zouwen will keep the organisation on track and continue its development during the coming period.  

Mariëlle van der Zouwen has been with KWR since 2009 and has been a management team member since 2013. She leads the Sustainability & Transitions knowledge group. With the experts from the group, she shapes the KWR motto – ‘bridging science to practice’ – ranging from short to medium and long-term perspectives on the water sector and research challenges. 

Mariëlle van der Zouwen PhD MA, said: “I perceive the nomination by the Supervisory Board and the appointment by the shareholders as a sign of trust in the quality and impact of the daily work of our colleagues. Dragan has grown our organisation into a nationally and internationally renowned institute. A fantastic legacy to build upon. I am very grateful for that.”

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