IWMI names Simi Kamal as new Board Chair


LAHORE – Simi Kamal has been appointed as the Board Chair of the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), effective from 1st January 2024, by the Board of Governors. 

Kamal is the Founder and Chairperson of the Hisaar Foundation in Pakistan and co-founder of the Panjwani-Hisaar Water Institute at NED University in Karachi. Alongside founding and leading various non-profit and for-profit organizations and networks, she is a geographer with 40 years of experience in the water sector, gender equality and women’s empowerment, poverty alleviation, food security, climate change and the environment. She is an alumna of the University of Cambridge.

She feels honoured and privileged to chair the Board of IWMI, an organization that mentored her in her early professional growth. She respects IWMI’s global scientific research and hands-on support at grassroots levels through its country programs. She aims to contribute to its strategic positioning and continuing growth as the organization moves forward on its new strategy with One CGIAR.

Ms. Kamal’s professional experience ranges from grassroots institutions and projects to significant national and international water, development and poverty reduction programs. She has worked across Pakistan, South Asia, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, Europe, and Africa. She is currently a member of the Board of Trustees of WaterAid UK and CABI UK, and she is also on the board of Pakistan’s leading microfinance banks. She was a former member of the Technical Committee of the Global Water Partnership.

Mark Smith, Director General of IWMI, is greatly looking forward to working under Kamal’s leadership as they move towards implementing IWMI’s new 2024-2030 strategy and the next stages of One CGIAR integration. Kamal succeeds the current Chair, Roberto Lenton, whose term finishes on 31st December 2023.

Lenton expressed his delight that Simi has agreed to be the next Board Chair of IWMI and considers Kamal to be a safe and experienced hand for the future. Kamal has been a member of the IWMI Board since February 2018, Chair of the IWMI Program Committee since 2019 and Board Vice Chair since 2021.

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