our team

The Aquaya team delivers research excellence, practical experience, and local knowledge.

Rachel Peletz

Rachel Peletz

Interim Executive Director

Rachel leads Aquaya’s research portfolio and supervises the Research and Programs team. She has 15 years of experience in the water and sanitation sector, collaborating with partners from over 20 countries in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. With over 30 peer-reviewed publications, she brings an interdisciplinary research approach that combines engineering, public health, nutrition, microbiology, and economics. Rachel currently oversees research on innovative solutions for water safety management in Ghana and Uganda, sanitation economics in Kenya, and pro-poor targeted program interventions in Ghana. Rachel joined Aquaya in 2012 and led the team in Kenya for five years before returning to the USA.

Prior to joining Aquaya, Rachel was a Research Fellow and doctoral student at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and an International Technical Advisor for the Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology (CAWST) in Canada. Rachel’s 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.

Rachel has a PhD from the London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, a MSc from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and a B.S. in Environmental Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.

Ranjiv Khush

Ranjiv Khush

Co-Founder and Project Director, REAL-Water

Ranjiv guides Aquaya’s development as a leading research and consulting organization dedicated to effective water quality management in developing countries. Ranjiv brings a science and technology-focused approach to Aquaya that builds on extensive basic research and policy experience. Ranjiv co-founded Aquaya in 2005 following a Fellowship with the Office of the Science and Technology Advisor to the U.S. Secretary of State.

Previously he was a research scientist at Stanford University and the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Paris, France.

Ranjiv holds a PhD degree from the University of California, Santa Cruz and M.S. and B.S. degrees from the University of California, Davis.

Jeff Albert

Jeff Albert

Co-Founder and Deputy Project Director, REAL-Water

Jeff currently serves as the Deputy Chief of the USAID-funded Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Partnerships for Learning and Sustainability (WASHPaLS) project, where is he responsible for the design and execution of all program research outputs. He has over 20 years of research experience spanning water, sanitation, and hygiene services delivery and water resources management.

Prior to co-founding Aquaya with Ranjiv Khush in 2005, Jeff was a AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the United States Environmental Protection Agency. He held joint appointments a lecturer in Geological Sciences and Environmental Studies at Brown University between 2002 and 2004.

Jeff holds PhD and M.S. degrees from Yale University and BA from Brown University.

Caroline Delaire

Caroline Delaire

Director of Technology & Innovation

Caroline leads several of Aquaya’s research programs and supervises five research staff in Ghana, Kenya, and Uganda. She has nine years of experience conducting applied research in the water and sanitation sector in sub-Saharan Africa, India, and Haiti. She joined Aquaya in 2016 and worked two years from the Kenya office before returning to Europe. Caroline has 19 peer-reviewed publications in various disciplines, including engineering, data science, social sciences, and economics. She currently oversees research programs that apply new technologies and data science to promote pro-poor access to safe water and sanitation services.

Prior to Aquaya, Caroline’s doctoral research focused on a low-cost technology to remediate arsenic and microbiological contamination from groundwater. She also analyzed drivers of water consumption behaviors in arsenic-affected communities of West Bengal, India.

Caroline has a PhD and a Masters of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, and an Engineering Diploma (B.S. and M.S. level) from the Ecole Polytechnique in France. Caroline is also a native French speaker.

Morris Mwangi

Morris Mwangi

Deputy Director of Finance

Morris manages all of Aquaya’s finances, encompassing accounting, compliance, budgeting, financial reporting and analysis.

Prior to Aquaya, Morris hailed from the manufacturing sector working in administration and finance & accounting departments for over 10 years. Most recently he worked at Skanem Interlabels Nairobi Ltd. where he served as a financial controller.

Morris is a Certified Public Accountant in Kenya, he attended the Catholic University of Eastern Africa where he graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce degree and is currently pursuing his MBA on a part-time basis at Kenyatta University.

Tari Lewis

Tari Lewis

CONTROLLER

Tari overseas financial plans, policies and reporting, human resources and treasury management.

Prior to working for Aquaya, she was the chief financial officer of the National Police Foundation in Washington D.C. She also worked in tax in public accounting for a top four accounting firm consulting with for profit and nonprofit organizations in connection with tax research, reporting, and transaction planning. She led numerous training sessions in the area of nonprofit taxation. Publications include tax newsletters, articles and IRS private letter rulings. She is currently studying disruptive and innovative technologies for finance, enterprise and social use cases.

Tari is a certified public accountant and has a B.S. degree from The Ohio State University.

Alicea Easthope-Frazer

Alicea Easthope-Frazer

SENIOR OPERATIONS MANAGER

Alicea manages operational activities for the entire Aquaya team across six countries. She has 5 years of operations experience in the international WASH context, which she combines with her 5 years of experience in WASH research to better support research and program staff. Her contributions to numerous studies and peer-reviewed papers uniquely position her to understand staff needs and support project work as the need arises. Alicea also supports Aquaya’s fellowship program, AquayaLEARN, and our data initiative, Project W. Alicea was previously based in Aquaya’s Kenya office, assisting with research field team management and technology support.

Prior to working for Aquaya, she focused on chemical water quality in Southeast Asia for her Master’s thesis, studying arsenic and other heavy metal levels in Cambodia and China. Her service in the Peace Corps in El Salvador fostered her passion for working with under-served populations.

Alicea holds a M.S. in Environmental Earth System Science from Stanford University and a B.A. degree in Environmental Chemistry from Skidmore College. Alicea is also a fluent Spanish speaker.

John Trimmer

John Trimmer

SENIOR RESEARCH & PROGRAM MANAGER

John concentrates on developing Aquaya’s research programs related to sanitation outcomes, economics, and markets in urban and rural areas. Based in Kenya, he currently manages research on rural sanitation conditions among pastoralist communities and urban sanitation economics for container-based sanitation. In Ghana, he leads pro-poor targeting and program implementation. John also provides technical support for research related to safe water management in Ghana and Uganda.

Previously, John was a Postdoctoral Research Associate and doctoral student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). He studied the global sustainability and suitability of resource recovery from sanitation, working within an interdisciplinary perspective that incorporated engineering, economics, agriculture, and social-ecological systems. In particular, he focused on resource-limited contexts such as informal settlements in Kampala, Uganda. John also worked in Uganda for three years as a Peace Corps Volunteer, helping develop water, sanitation, and school infrastructure programs with Brick by Brick Uganda.

John has a PhD in Environmental Engineering from UIUC, a M.S. in Environmental Engineering from the University of South Florida, and a B.S. in Civil & Environmental Engineering from Bucknell University.

Chloé Poulin

Chloé Poulin

Senior Research & Program Manager

Chloé focuses on building Aquaya’s research programs related to water quality modelling and data science. She has 6 years of experience in the water sector, with expertise in surface and groundwater resources management, as well as water quality under different environmental contexts, including arid, semi-arid, and tropical regions. Based in Kenya, Chloé has been leading data analysis and modelling projects at Aquaya for the past two years. Currently, she is developing groundwater microbial quality predictive models for Uganda and an AI-based model to predict poor households eligible to receive water subsidies in rural Ghana.

During her PhD, Chloe worked on modelling surface and groundwater fluxes in Lake Chad Basin in Chad by using different geochemical tools. She also assessed historical and current groundwater recharge and the impact of climate change on water resources.

Chloe has a PhD in Environmental Sciences from Aix Marseille University, a Master’s degree in Hydrogeology, and a Bachelor’s degree in Geosciences from the University of Montpellier, France. Chloe is also a native French speaker.

Jessica Tribbe

Jessica Tribbe

RESEARCH & PROGRAM MANAGER

Jessica manages implementation research activities, with a focus on rural sanitation and behavior change. Jessica brings 11 years of experience in research and evaluation, technology innovation for low-resource settings, and project design and management. Currently, she manages Aquaya’s activities under USAID’s Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Partnerships for Learning and Sustainability (WASHPaLS) project. Under USAID WASHPaLS, she led a qualitative study on the sustainability of Community-led Total Sanitation programs in Cambodia and Ghana, and a qualitative analysis of sanitation in Kenya’s pastoralist communities. Jessica is also managing the development of the Sanitation Planning Tool. This web application supports sanitation practitioners in designing and executing sanitation programs by allowing them to explore highly localized, contextual, spatial data.

Prior to Aquaya, Jessica served as WASH Innovation Specialist for UNICEF, where she managed a portfolio of emerging technologies, including products to improve emergency sanitation for people with disabilities and water quality monitoring. Jessica has also worked on national-level political campaigns in the U.S., women’s rights in urban India, mobile health in rural India, and systems strengthening for Malawi’s agriculture sector.

Jessica has a M.P. from Sciences Po, Paris, and a Bachelor’s degree in Diplomacy and Foreign Affairs from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

Katherine Marshall

Katherine Marshall

Research & Program Manager

Katherine manages Aquaya’s water safety management research programs in Uganda. With five years of experience in Uganda, she supports the development and implementation of action-research projects focused on testing innovative approaches to achieve universal, safe, sustainable water supply coverage. Currently, Katherine is managing research that evaluates novel chlorination technologies to improve water safety. She is also examining innovative approaches to improve the financial viability of rural water points.

Prior to joining Aquaya, Katherine worked on water supply projects focusing on groundwater development and point source infrastructure. As a Peace Corps Volunteer, she helped to assess and improve water supply access in urban and rural communities of Northern Uganda.

Katherine has a M.S. degree in Engineering Science (Environmental Engineering concentration) from the University of South Florida and a B.S. degree in Geology from the College of Charleston.

Kara Stuart

Kara Stuart

Research & Program Manager

Kara leads Aquaya’s research efforts on quantitative analysis, data science, and web development. Based in Kenya, she is leading data analysis efforts under the USAID Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Partnerships and Learning for Sustainability (WASHPaLS) project and is developing a web application to aid decision-makers in designing and planning sanitation programs.

Prior to joining Aquaya, Kara was a Projects & Membership Manager with the Coalition for Urban Rural Environmental Stewardship and the Central Coast Groundwater Coalition, where she worked on various projects to monitor and improve drinking water quality on irrigated lands in California, and facilitate growers’ compliance with the requirements of the California Regional Water Quality Control Boards. Kara’s Masters research included work with high solids anaerobic digestion and a life cycle analysis of an innovative ammonium recovery system from urine.

Kara has a M.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of California, Davis and a B.A. in Earth Science and Environmental Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Joyce Kisiangani

Senior Research & Program Officer

Joyce coordinates and oversees quantitative and qualitative data collection, data analysis, and partner engagement for research projects across sub-Saharan Africa. She has six years of experience in sanitation and water research. She also supports Aquaya’s implementing partners as they apply evidence-based findings into their programming. Joyce currently manages research on pro-poor targeted sanitation interventions, sanitation economics, and safe water management in Ghana. Joyce joined Aquaya in 2014 as an AquayaLEARN Fellow in Nairobi, Kenya.

Previously, Joyce was a research fellow with the School for Field Studies, Boston University, where she studied the health impact of the Kenyan Community Health Strategy. She has also worked as a researcher under Funzo Kenya, a USAID-funded program.

Joyce holds an MPH degree and a BSc degree in Microbiology from Moi University in Eldoret, Kenya.

Michal Usowicz

RESEARCH & PROGRAM OFFICER

Michal is currently leading Aquaya’s research on improving water safety management in Ghana. Under the Monitoring for Safe Water program, he coordinates the evaluation of innovative chlorination technologies to improve water quality in piped water systems serving rural communities. He is also expanding Aquaya’s Water Quality Assurance Fund, which encourages existing laboratories to provide water quality monitoring services to small water systems.

Prior to working with Aquaya, he spent five years working on engineering and WASH projects in sub- Saharan Africa, initially as a United States Peace Corps volunteer in Madagascar. He has worked with a variety of NGOs in Madagascar on projects related to self-supply well pumps, water quality testing, groundwater treatment, and rural emergency transportation.

Michal holds a M.S. in Environmental Engineering with a concentration in Engineering for International Development from the University of South Florida and a Bachelor’s in Science in Physics from Case Western Reserve University.

Vanessa Guenther

Vanessa Günther

COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER

Vanessa leads Aquaya’s communication and dissemination efforts to make research more accessible. She communicates Aquaya’s high-level analyses to international stakeholders and enhances outputs with harmoniously designed visuals. Vanessa builds Aquaya’s brand awareness through website and social media management and search engine optimization. She also supports Aquaya’s data initiative, Project W.

Prior to joining Aquaya, Vanessa was a Duke University Global Policy Fellow with international work experience in places such as the Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva, Switzerland. Her marketing experience ranges from American professional soccer clubs to small startup businesses. Vanessa’s Masters’ project analyzed the impacts of air quality on diabetes risk in California.

Vanessa has a MESM from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a B.A. in Strategic Communication from the Hubbard School of Journalism at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. Vanessa is also a native German speaker.

Edinah Samuel

Edinah Samuel

Senior Research Assistant

Edinah supports the design, development, and management of research programs. Based in Kenya, she leads and coordinates literature reviews, quantitative and qualitative data collection, data management, analysis, and dissemination to improve water, sanitation, and hygiene in development settings. Her expertise includes strategic sanitation planning and economics, urban planning, multi-stakeholder engagement, and programming for basic service delivery and behavior change. Edinah is currently coordinating a study on innovative solutions for water safety management in rural Uganda. Since joining Aquaya as an AquayaLEARN fellow in 2018, Edinah has coordinated research programs focused on sanitation among pastoralists in Kenya, urban sanitation economics, willingness-to-pay for sanitation services, and fecal sludge market assessments.

Prior to joining Aquaya, Edinah represented Africa as an AGUASAN young water professional in Switzerland and a Research Fellow at the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology under the Eawag Partnership Program for Developing Countries. Her Master’s thesis contributed to the Eawag Environmental Social Science Department as part of the Sustainability Transitions of Sanitation Regimes in Urban Africa project in Nairobi, Kenya.

Edinah holds a Master’s degree in Environmental Planning and Management from Kenyatta University and a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from Egerton University.

Bashiru Yachori

Bashiru Yachori

Senior Research Assistant

Bashiru supports Aquaya’s research in Ghana through desk reviews, fieldwork coordination, data collection, and qualitative analysis. He has seven years of experience in the water and sanitation, nutrition, monitoring, and evaluation sectors collaborating with development partners and local government agencies in Ghana. His expertise includes monitoring and evaluation, statistics, nutrition, environmental sanitation, water resources, and development planning and management. Bashiru joined Aquaya in 2019 and coordinated the implementation of the Monitoring for Safe Water project in Ghana, which received national recognition as the best Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) practice by the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) in Ghana. Bashiru is also coordinating fieldwork for a targeted water subsidy study, which evaluates methods for identifying the poor and administering water subsidies. He is also working with district stakeholders to respond to water contamination data by evaluating water treatment options, including innovative chlorination technologies.

Prior to joining Aquaya, he was a Development Planning Officer, where he coordinated WASH programs with the local government and development partners.

Bashiru holds an MPhil degree in Development Planning and Management and a Bachelor’s degree in Integrated Community Development from the University for Development Studies, Ghana.

John Orapa

John Orapa

STAFF ACCOUNTANT

John supports all accounting activities in our Nairobi office, including full preparation, entry and management of all bills, checks, invoices and advances. He also assists in ensuring timely preparation of Aquaya’s financial reports.

Prior to joining Aquaya, John was a Financial Trainer with Africa (YES) Young Entrepreneurs Support, training social entrepreneurs in setting up sound financial systems. He also worked as a Consultant with several donor funded projects including USAID and DSW. John contributes articles to The Accountant Journal of Kenya on corporate governance and other emerging issues in the financial sector.

John is a Certified Public Accountant of Kenya and a member of The Institute of Certified Public Accountant of Kenya. He holds a Bachelor of Science in International Business Administration from United States International University (Africa).

Allan Mutegeki

Allan Mutegeki

Program Assistant

Allan started working with Aquaya in 2020 where he oversees the implementation of Monitoring for Safe Water program activities in Kabarole district, Uganda. Allan coordinates fieldwork and data collection which supports Aquaya’s research aimed at improving the financial health of rural water systems. Currently, this involves evaluating Village Savings and Loans associations as a mechanism for pooling and managing community funds to support water safety management.

Prior to joining Aquaya, Allan worked with Hofokam Limited, a Ugandan microfinance institution, as a Loans Officer focused on group lending. At Hofokam, Allan established and supported village banks to manage loans and operate micro-credit schemes.

Allan holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Quantitative Economics from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, and a Certificate in data management and statistical analysis.

Matteus Van Der Velden

Matteus Van Der Velden | Affiliated Expert

Water, Sanitation & Hygiene Consultant

Matteus joined Aquaya in 2021 where he coordinates an assessment looking into long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on water, sanitation and hygiene access and behavior in multiple countries as part of Aquaya’s WASHPals engagement funded by USAID. 

Prior to joining Aquaya, Matteus worked for six years with the Water Supply & Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC), initially as a Senior Program Officer for the Global Sanitation Fund and later as the Regional Manager for Asia. At WSSCC he oversaw development and implementation of a USD 35m grant portfolio of sanitation and hygiene programs and coordinated technical support for sector systems strengthening and advocacy initiatives in a number of countries across Asia and Africa. Between 2005 and 2014 Matteus worked as a WASH Specialist for UNICEF in Mozambique and Nepal on the implementation of large WASH service delivery and capacity building programs. Prior to working with UNICEF Matteus led a feasibility study on low-cost membrane filtration technology for household settings in Myanmar, and worked for various projects on natural resource management and rural development in Latin America.

Matteus holds a Masters of Science degree in Environmental Sciences & Policy from Central European University and a Masters of Science degree in Biology from Utrecht University, with a focus on natural resources management.

Fredrick Gudda

Fredrick Gudda | Affiliated Expert

WATER, SANITATION & HYGIENE CONSULTANT

Gudda joined Aquaya in the summer of 2021 as an AquayaLEARN fellow and stayed on after the fellowship. He is working on integrating Project W, where he finds and organizes water sanitation and hygiene-related data focusing on developing countries and supervises Junior Data Editors. Also, he supports USAID’s project on risk assessment of environmental pathogens pathways among under two-year-old children in southeastern Madagascar.

Before joining Aquaya, he was a research fellow under the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Water Research Commission, South Africa Funded Sanitation Research fund for Africa project. He studied Onsite Sanitation systems fill-up rates, user activities, design, and fecal sludge management in Nakuru, Kenya. He has worked as an Independent Consultant for eight years with private organizations, Academia, and the Kenyan government on projects covering shared onsite sanitation systems, fecal sludge treatment and disposal, impacts of development activities on socioeconomic, and public health policy. Gudda also held an adjunct Teaching Assistantship at Egerton University between 2015 and 2018.

Gudda holds BSc. Environmental Science, MSc. Environmental and Occupational Health from Egerton University and has over 10 publications. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Environmental Chemistry working on emerging environmental pollutants risk assessment and control at the Institute of Organic Contaminant Control and Soil Remediation in Nanjing Agricultural University, China.

Valentina Zuin | Affiliated Expert

Valentina Zuin | Affiliated Expert

PROFESSOR, YALE-NUS COLLEGE

Valentina is interested in improving water and sanitation services for the urban poor. Her research and work experience cover institutional development, policy development, evaluation, and project management, with a particular focus on informal sector provision, water regulation, and institutional models of service delivery for the poor. She has been involved in redefinition of institutional arrangements in the water and sanitation sector in Mozambique.

Valentina is an academic collaborator with Aquaya and is currently also working as a Post-doctoral Fellow at Yale-NUS College in Singapore. Valentina has worked in Latin America (Brazil, Ecuador, and Peru), Sub-Saharan Africa (Mozambique, Angola, Benin, and Ghana), and South Asia (India). Valentina’s experience includes working with the Water and Sanitation Program of the World Bank in Maputo, Mozambique, and as an Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at Ashoka University in New Delhi.

Valentina has a PhD from the Emmet Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources at Stanford University, a Master’s in International Development and Regional Planning from MIT, and an undergraduate degree in Public Management and International Relations from Bocconi University, in Italy.

Tom Mahin

Tom Mahin | Affiliated Expert

WATER, SANITATION & HYGIENE CONSULTANT

Tom has worked for 35 years at the Massachusetts Department of Protection (DEP) as an environmental engineer on drinking water, water pollution and solid waste projects including as a regional Drinking Water Section Chief for 13 years. Tom’s experience also includes emergency WASH responses in Haiti, Nepal and Zimbabwe (Oxfam); arsenic filter testing research in Bangladesh and Cambodia (MIT); trainer for HIV/WASH trainings in Zambia, Ethiopia and Nepal (CAWST); lead evaluator of a USAID-funded multi-year private-public project in Mozambique (CRS) and lead evaluator of national drinking water regulatory programs in Bhutan and Indonesia (WHO/Aquaya). Tom also worked for 2 years supervising the construction of UNICEF-funded rural drinking water systems in Nepal. He has presented at technical conferences/workshops in a number of countries including Australia, Japan, Thailand, Ghana, Hungary and Lithuania.

Tom holds a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering/Engineering Science from the University of Texas at Austin and a Graduate Certificate in Global Nutrition Programming from Tufts University.

Salim Haji | Affiliated Expert

Salim Haji | Affiliated Expert

PRINCIPAL, SIERRANNA PARTNERS

Since March 2005, Salim has been an independent management consultant. Prior to becoming an independent consultant, he was Senior Vice President of Strategy at MacDermid, a ~$700M global specialty chemical company based in Denver, CO. Prior to joining MacDermid in 2003, Salim was a Vice-President and Partner at Oliver Wyman (formerly SPA), a leading strategy consultancy with over 2, 500 consultants in 40 offices around the world. In 2007 Salim also founded Distributors Solutions LLC (“DSI”) to serve as a co-op purchasing organization for the ~500 independently owned and operated distributors of MillerCoors brands around the country. Between his time at Oliver Wyman and MacDermid, Salim spent a year as a Visiting Fulbright Professor at a business school in Tanzania (East Africa), where he lectured on Corporate Strategy and Economics.

Salim holds an MBA from Stanford University and a BA degree, magna cum laude, in Economics and Development Studies from Brown University, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.


Our board of directors

Ian E. Warburg, Chair

Independent Consultant

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

Senior Manager, CA Groundwater Program at Environmental Defense Fund

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 Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Coastal Services Center in Oakland, California, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Water in Washington, D.C. Christina’s past research has focused on water resources governance in stressed watersheds across western U.S., Europe, and eastern Africa. She holds a PhD in Natural Resources from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, an MSc in Environmental Science and Geographic Information Systems from Florida International University, and a BA in International Relations from Rollins College.

David Rich

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.

Desmond FitzGerald

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.

Dr. Lisa Ozaeta

Assistant Professor, University of Southern California – Sol Price School of Public Policy

Lisa Ozaeta, DrPH, JD, MBA is an assistant professor at the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy. Dr. Ozaeta teaches courses in health finance, strategy, health information technology and innovation. Her research interests include shared decision making, innovation, and physician/hospital relationships. In addition to teaching full time, Dr. Ozaeta is an attorney and consultant with more than 25 years of senior executive healthcare experience.

Dr. Ozaeta holds a DrPH from UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, a MBA from Yale School of Management, and a JD from OCU School of Law.

Stephanie Hastings

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 & 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

ex officio, 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.

Dr. Ranjiv Khush

ex officio, Co-founder, The Aquaya Institute

As Executive Director, Ranjiv guides Aquaya’s development as a leading research and consulting organization dedicated to effective water quality management in developing countries. Ranjiv brings a science and technology focused approach to Aquaya that builds on extensive basic research and policy experience. Ranjiv co-founded Aquaya in 2005 following a Fellowship with the Office of the Science and Technology Advisor to the U.S. Secretary of State. Previously he was a research scientist at Stanford University and the Centre National de Recherché Scientifique in Paris, France.

Ranjiv holds a PhD degree from the University of California, Santa Cruz and MS and BS degrees from the University of California, Davis.


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