Ian E. Warburg, Chair
Ian Warburg is an experienced executive, investor, advisor, and board director with broad ranging experience in a variety of industries including retail, hospitality, sales promotion & loyalty marketing, real estate, and more. Ian currently advises individuals, companies, and not-for-profit organizations including GS America, Inc, RMZ Development, Jump Start Revolution, and The Aquaya Institute. Ian’s community endeavors include more than two decades of dedication to the Hole in The Wall Gang Camp, more than seven years as a board director with The Aquaya Institute, and nearly a decade of service with the American Friends of the Hebrew University, where he was co-founder and chairman of the President’s Council. Ian holds a Masters of Science in Organizational Development from American University and a Bachelor of Arts from New York University in International Politics and Economics.
Mike Freedman, Vice Chair
President at MAF Management, LTD
Mike is a seasoned entrepreneur, having successfully founded, grown and exited from 10 companies in Asia, the United States and Europe over the past 25 years. Mike started his career as an investment banker, initially with the First Boston Corporation in New York and Tokyo, and latterly with Wasserstein Perella & Co.
Mike is a 1983 cum laude graduate of Harvard College in East Asian Studies, and is fluent in Japanese. In addition to his Harvard degree, Mike spent one year studying as an exchange student at Doshisha University in Kyoto Japan, and is a graduate of Middlebury College’s renowned summer Japanese language institute.
In addition to Aquaya, Mike currently sits on the Board of Directors of Edifice Managed Access, Ltd, a real estate commercialization company based in London; New York Collaborates for Autism (NYCA), one of the longest serving organizations in the country which develops innovative programs for the autism community; and Cheshire Academy, the sixth oldest college preparatory school in the United States.
Zorba Lieberman, Treasurer
Multi-organization investor, advisor, and board member
Zorba Lieberman is an investor, advisor, and board member with various information-based companies serving the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries. Mr. Lieberman was founder and CEO of Citeline Inc., the leading provider of global clinical trial intelligence to the pharmaceutical industry. In the mid-1990’s, he cofounded and built Citizen 1 Software, which pioneered the effort to organize and mine business-relevant information from the Internet. Previously, Mr. Lieberman was in strategic and new product planning at both Genentech and Eli Lilly, and was a management consultant at The Wilkerson Group. Mr. Lieberman holds BA and MBA degrees from Cornell University, as well as a Masters in international finance from the Université Catholique de Louvain in Belgium.
Dr. Robert Herdt, Secretary
Adjunct International Professor of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University
Bob is currently Adjunct International Professor of Applied Economics and Management at Cornell University. For 17 years, he was on the staff of the Rockefeller Foundation in New York as Program Director in charge of the Foundation’s work on Agriculture and most recently as Vice President responsible for the Foundation’s budget and for oversight of its agricultural, health, and overseas programs. He earlier served as Scientific Advisor to the CGIAR Secretariat at the World Bank in Washington from 1983-1986 and for 10 years before that was Economist at the International Rice Research Institute in Los Banos, Philippines. Bob sits on the Boards of two other non-profits dedicated to improving well-being in the developing world: The Asia Rice Foundation, USA, and Market Matters, Inc. He received his PhD at the University of Minnesota in Agricultural Economics after obtaining his Undergraduate and Master’s degrees at Cornell. Bob is a “solar geek” having invested in solar PV and solar hot water, and enjoys hiking, gardening and other outdoor activities like cutting and hauling firewood to feed his woodstove.
Dr. Christina Babbitt
Program Manager, Global Supply Chain Innovation and Sustainability, Starbucks
Christina Babbitt manages the California Groundwater Program at Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) where she is working to advance successful implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, California’s landmark new groundwater management law. In this role, Christina is leading efforts to improve water trading policy in California and scale replicable groundwater sustainability projects across California’s Central Valley. Prior to joining EDF, Christina held positions with the National Ocean. Christina is working with the Starbucks team to build a planet positive supply chain of the future. In her role, Christina leads supply chain sustainability strategy, works to influence and compel change through research and innovation, and supports the Global Supply Chain sustainability portfolio of programs and projects. Previously, Christina was a Director, Climate Resilient Water Systems at Environmental Defense Fund, where she worked at the intersection of water, agriculture, and climate, with a focus on supporting the successful implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, California’s landmark groundwater management law. Christina’s past research has focused on water resources governance in stressed watersheds across western U.S., Europe, and eastern Africa and she currently sits on the Rosenberg International Forum on Water Policy advisory committee. Christina holds a PhD in Natural Resources from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln and is currently a University of California, Berkeley Haas Executive MBA candidate.
Executive Director, Supportive Housing WORKS
David has twenty years experience creating and building market-based solutions to alleviating poverty in North & Central America, Africa and Asia. David grew up in the Middle East and South Asia and received degrees from Yale, Southern Connecticut State University and the Kellogg School of Management. David is the former Country Director of IDE in India where he was responsible for developing and marketing low-cost appropriate technologies to over 250, 000 rural households throughout the country.
Chairman of the Board, North American Properties Group
Desmond is a Graduate of Harvard College and has an M.A, from Columbia University. He is Chairman of the Board of North American Properties Group and US Guaranteed Finance Corporation, Board Director of Hilliard Farber & Co, Williams Capital Management and Holland Balanced Fund Inc, Advisory Director of Putnam Trust Company, Trustee of the Children’s Aid Society, and a Member of Harvard University Art Museums Visiting Committee.
Dr. Len Finocchio
Principal Consultant, Blue Sky Consulting Group
Len Finocchio, DrPH is Principal Consultant at Blue Sky Consulting Group, a public policy and economics consulting firm specializing in strategic and analytical services for public, not-for-profit, and private sector clients. Len is a senior leader in health policy with extensive experience in health care reform, Medicaid administration, philanthropy, health services research, and advocacy. Most recently, he was on the executive team implementing the Affordable Care Act at California’s Medicaid agency. He has provided strategic and effective leadership across government, non-profit, academic and philanthropic organizations whose goals are to serve vulnerable populations in the safety net. He received his Doctor of Public Health degree in Health Management and Policy at the University of Michigan.
Shareholder, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck
Stephanie Hastings has played a leading role in several of California’s most complex and precedent-setting water matters. With 20 years of specialized expertise in water law, Stephanie brings a wealth of experience to the acquisition, maintenance, protection and management of water resources and water rights. Her practice spans every aspect of California and national water law. She represents the interests of all water users—wholesale and retail water providers, public and private corporations, government enterprises, investment funds and banks, large landowners, land developers and home builders, ski resorts and golf courses, traditional and renewable energy developers, high tech industries, agriculture and vineyards — in both transactional and litigation matters. Stephanie is also the Co-Founder and Co-Chair of the California H2O Women Conference.
Dr. Steven Choi
Chief Quality Officer and Associate Dean for Clinical Quality, Yale Medicine/Yale University School of Medicine
Steven Choi, MD, is the inaugural Chief Quality Officer for Yale Medicine and Yale New Haven Health System. He is responsible for developing and executing a single, unified strategy to deliver the highest quality and safest care across all inpatient and ambulatory clinical practice sites for Yale New Haven Health System and Yale University School of Medicine. Dr. Choi spent the first two decades of his career caring for critically ill children, serving as the medical director of several pediatric cardiac intensive care units, before transitioning to health care quality leadership. Dr. Choi has trained over 200 healthcare quality leaders; many of whom have become chief quality officers and directors at other academic institutions.
Dr. Jeff Albert
Co-founder, The Aquaya Institute
Jeff has worked in the water field for 15 years, on issues that include water reclamation and efficiency in irrigated agriculture, hydrologic cycle aspects of climate change, water treatment in low-resource settings, and the uptake of household water treatment. Jeff co-founded Aquaya in 2005 following a Fellowship with the Office of the Global Change Research Program the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, where he was awarded a Bronze Medal for his work on drinking water in response to the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. From 2002 to 2004, he held a joint faculty appointment with the Center for Environmental Studies and the Department of Geological Sciences at Brown University. He was also a Visiting Scholar at Brown’s Watson Institute of International Studies during that time.
Jeff holds a PhD degree from Yale University and a BS degree from Brown University.
ex officio, Executive Director
Rachel oversees Aquaya’s strategic direction, sustainable growth, and execution of its mission to build the evidence base for water, sanitation, and hygiene development. She joined Aquaya in 2012 and led the team in Nairobi, Kenya, for five years before returning to the United States. She has extensive water and sanitation experience, having collaborated with partners from more than 20 countries in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.
Prior to joining Aquaya, Rachel was a research fellow at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and an international technical advisor for the Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology in Canada. Her doctoral research included a randomized, controlled trial of a safe water intervention to evaluate health impacts on young children born to HIV-positive mothers in Zambia. With more than 30 peer-reviewed publications, she brings an interdisciplinary research approach that combines engineering, public health, nutrition, microbiology, and economics.
Rachel holds a PhD from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, an MEng from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a BS in environmental engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.