International Advisory Committee

UNSW-GWI receives advice from an international panel of renowned global water experts, spanning many sectors and geographies. The International Advisory Committee is comprised of:

Birgitta Liss Lymer, Director, Water Resources, Stockholm International Water Institute

Birgitta has more than fifteen years of experience from international development cooperation in the areas of freshwater, coastal and marine management. Before joining SIWI in 2011, Birgitta worked for different UN agencies, leading project activities ranging from WASH service delivery in Somalia for UNICEF, intergovernmental cooperation on coastal and marine environmental protection in Southeast Asia for UN Environment and regional fisheries management in West Africa for FAO. At SIWI, she has led several multi-stakeholder initiatives, including the setting up of and running the Action Platform for Source-to-Sea Management during its first five years in operation. Birgitta holds a Master of Science in Aquatic and Environmental Engineering from Uppsala University, Sweden.


Richard McLoughlin, Chief Executive Officer, North Queensland Water Infrastructure Authority, Canberra, Australia

Richard currently has responsibility for delivery of a number of major Commonwealth-funded water infrastructure projects in North Queensland.  This follows more than a decade of being responsible in the Commonwealth for international engagement on water matters including formal MoU’s with China, India, Indonesia and the United States, in addition to national water policy matters.   Richard holds a B.Sc.(Hons) and Sc. from the University of NSW.


David Molden, Director General, International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD)
Kathmandu, Nepal

David is a development specialist with more than 30 years of experience in designing, planning, executing, and monitoring programmes on water management, livelihoods, environment, and ecosystem services. He has worked in several Hindu Kush-Himalayan countries, including China, India, Nepal, and Pakistan, and has experience in projects in the Indus, Ganges, Yellow, Mekong, Yangtze, and Amu and Syr Darya river basins.


Rod Naylor, Executive General Manager, Water Services, Downer
Sydney, Australia

Rod Naylor has over 30 years’ experience in the water industry in Australia, New Zealand, the UK and the USA.   Rod has worked in both the public and private sectors in consulting, operations and capital project delivery, and in operational, executive and project governance roles as well as serving as a company Director of Veolia Water and its subsidiaries in Australia and New Zealand, the Australian Alliance for Energy Productivity and other advisory roles.


Nicola Nelson, Research and Innovation Manager, Sydney Water
Sydney, Australia

Nicola is the Manager of Research and Innovation at Sydney Water and has over 20 years’ experience managing complex science, research and development programs for industry and government. She has worked across multiple industry sectors including agribusiness, health, biotechnology, creative industries and for 15 years in the water industry. Nicola is an active collaborator in the Australian Water industry with lead roles in driving research and innovation, technology development and climate change adaptation.

Pech Sokhem, Executive Director, Cambodia Development Resource Institute
Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Dr. Pech Sokhem is currently the Executive Director of the Cambodia Development Resource Institute (CDRI). CDRI celebrates its 30th anniversary in June 2020. It has steadfastly maintained its status as a leading independent development policy research institute in Cambodia, the region and beyond. Since its establishment, CDRI has earned a well-deserved reputation from academics, policymakers and development practitioners for high standards of rigor and integrity in its research.


Tom Soo (Chair)
Consultant, Water Policy Group

Tom is a senior executive with experience in sustainability, natural resources sciences, policy, and water resources management at an international level.




Michael Spencer, Research Fellow, Monash Business School and Board Member, Alliance for Water Stewardship
Melbourne, Australia

Michael has extensive experience with the establishment and management of social and environmental standard setting organisations.




Louise Whiting, Senior Water Management Specialist, Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO)
Bangkok, Thailand

Louise Whiting joined RAP as a Senior Water Management Specialist effective in October 2018. Louise will lead the Land and Water program for Asia Pacific. Louise is an experienced policy-maker, program developer and project manager at national and international levels, specialising in water resources management and policy as it relates to irrigation and food production, climate change, environmental flows and ecosystem services. 



Dr William Young, Water Leader, World Bank
Washington DC, USA

Bill Young has been the Asian and Global leader of the World Bank water program for several years.  Bill is well connected internationally and in a good position to identify where Australian organisations can play a role globally.