The United Nations University, the organization’s academic and research arm, has appointed prominent Iranian scientist Kaveh Madani as the next Director of the Institute for Water, Environment and Health. 

The UNU announced on Wednesday that the globally recognized environmental scientist, educator, and activist will take up the post of UNU-INWEH Director as of February 2023.

Madani came to UNU from Yale University in 2021, and has been working as Head of the Nexus Research Program at the Dresden-based UNU Institute for Integrated Management of Material Fluxes and of Resources (UNU-FLORES). He also serves as a Research Professor at the City University of New York Remote Sensing Earth System Institute. Madani used to be a tenured faculty member of the Centre for Environmental Policy at Imperial College London.

“I’m delighted that Prof. Madani will lead UNU-INWEH, after having focused on the nexus between water, waste, and soil at UNU-FLORES. His impressive experience in both academia and public service will help UNU-INWEH bridge the gap between water resources research and the practical needs of decision makers in the Global South”, said UNU Rector David Malone.

“Professor Madani has an impressive range of experience on water issues, both in the research and policy worlds, and at the national and international level,” said Michael Small, the chair of the UNU-INWEH International Advisory Committee. 

Madani served as the deputy head of Iran’s Environment Organization for nearly one year after returning to the country upon an invitation by individuals close to former president Hassan Rouhani. He resigned and left the country after the Revolutionary Guard arrested several of his colleagues, mainly former expats on espionage charges.

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