Our Leaders

Officers for the current term (September 3, 2015 to October 2017) are:

our staff

Dr. Emilio Gabbrielli, Brazil

President

/ gabbrielli.emilio@toraywater.com

Director, Overseas Business Development, Global Sales Water Treatment for Toray, Dr. Emilio Gabbrielli has 40 years of experience in water. His first exposure to desalination was in 1975; while in Peru, he became involved in the design and construction of a solar desalination plant to produce drinking water for a marginal community in the desert region of the north.

This experience was enough to convince him to pursue a career in water resources development and protection, making desalination his technical focus. His first projects included desalination plants in Libya, Algeria and Saudi Arabia based on EDR and on MSF technology associated with power generation. In 1981, he moved to Australia, where his focus moved to membrane technology. He played a key role in the design and construction of most of the desalination and reuse projects in Australia at the time.

From 1995, Emilio spent a few years with Thames Water developing PPP projects, mainly in Indonesia, Spain, the Caribbean and Latin America. In 2003, after four years as Managing Director of Thames Water do Brazil, Emilio was appointed Executive Secretary of the Global Water Partnership (GWP). GWP is an international network of institutions committed to the sustainable development and management of water resources. It was founded by the United Nations Development Program, the World Bank and the Government of Sweden. At GWP, he was able to continue pursuing his ideals of a better life for all through policies that lead to a more sustainable and equitable use of water.

In 2009, Emilio returned to Brazil with a global business development role for Toray, focused on Latin America, Spain and Australia. In 2012, the Australian Water Association (AWA) appointed him to the honorary position of AWA Global Ambassador.

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Ms. Shannon McCarthy, Italy

1st Vice President

/ mccarthy@united4water.com; mccarthyida@gmail.com

Shannon McCarthy is Co-founder and a Partner of United4Water, a consulting firm operating in the water, food and energy sectors, providing strategic advice and assistance in business development, project planning and management, capacity building, environmental stewardship and corporate social responsibility.

Ms. McCarthy has over 20 years experience working with the Middle East and North Africa region, including 17 years’ experience in the field of water sustainability and non-conventional water resource technologies, specifically desalination. She currently serves the International Desalination Association in the role of Vice President and Chair of the Foundation and Public Outreach Committee.

Prior to U4W, Ms. McCarthy, served as the Deputy Center Director of the Middle East Desalination Research Center, an international intergovernmental non-profit organization, born through the Water Working Group of the Middle East Peace Process and based in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman. As part of the MEDRC start-up team, she developed and implemented cooperation programs in education, training and research for the Middle East and North Africa region, including the Core Parties of the Middle East Peace Process (Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority), focusing on desalination and water reuse technologies. She has a strong record of mobilizing resources and bringing together stakeholders from both government and the private sector to support education, scientific research, professional training programs, and specialized technology workshops related to desalination and water sustainability.

Ms. McCarthy participated in executive study programs related to Public Policy and Management for Infrastructure Development at John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University and an undergraduate degree in International Relations, specializing in US- Soviet relations, at San Francisco State University.

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Ms. Zamzam Saleh Alrakaf, Kuwait

2nd Vice President

/ zamzamr@yahoo.com

Zamzam Saleh Alrakaf is Deputy Chief Engineer, Director of Design in Desalination Projects, Ministry of Electricity & Water, State of Kuwait. In this position, she is responsible for executing and supervising all desalination projects in Kuwait.

From 1984-1989, she was Process Engineer in Doha West Power Station and was the first female engineer to work in a Power Station in Kuwait. In 1989, she became Process Design Engineer in Design Department Desalination Project and in 1992 was named the Director of Design Department in Desalination Project. In 2001, she became the Deputy Chief Engineer and the Director of Design Department, and continues in that role today.

She is also a Qualified Arbitrator in the Ministry of Justice inKuwaitand is a member of Save International and Kuwait’s Engineering Society.

Zamzam Saleh Alrakaf received a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering degree in 1984 with an Honor list From Kuwait University.

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Mr. Michel Canet, France

Treasurer

/ michel.canet@veoliawater.com

Michel Canet joined Veolia Water Group 15 years ago and is presently Executive Vice President – Business Development within Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies, a subsidiary of Veolia Water. Under his leadership, the Veolia Water Group has been successful on large desalination projects such as Gold Coast, Sydney, the hybrid desalination project of Fujairah2, and the Az Zour desalination plant in Kuwait. Recently he has participated in the award of the Sadara Desalination project for Marafiq.

Veolia is the largest company worldwide involved in thermal and membrane desalination technologies and is committed to always promoting more sustainable solutions with optimized carbon footprint.

Prior to joining Veolia, Mr. Canet spent a few years as design engineer in the French Subsidiary of the Bouygues Group. He was then expatriated to perform construction activities:

  • In Africa for four years, to construct facilities for the oil industry
  • In the Middle East for three years, to construct infrastructures
  • In South Africa for eight years, as a manager of a subsidiary of the French construction company Spie Batignolles. During this period, he was involved in projects related to water      and infrastructure sectors

In addition to his current responsibilities with Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies, Mr. Canet is also a Board member of OTV SA, a Board member of SIDEM, and serves as a Counselor of Foreign Trade for France.

Mr. Canet has been an active IDA Director since 2005, First Vice President from 2007 to 2009, Second Vice President from 2009 to 2011, Treasurer from 2011 to 2013, member of the Operation and Technical Committees and Co-chairman of many sessions on various IDA forums and seminars. He has also been active within the Environmental Task Force Committee and has participated in the issuance of the Blue Paper that followed IDA’s Environmental Symposium, held in Bahrain in December 2010.

Mr. Canet is a Civil Engineer from Ecole Spéciale des Travaux Publics in Paris. He also received a Masters degree on Construction and Environment from the Centre des Hautes Etudes de la Construction in 1975.

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Mr. Neil Palmer, Australia

Secretary

/ neil.palmer@murdoch.edu.au

Neil Palmer currently holds the position of Chief Executive Officer with the National Centre of Excellence in Desalination (NCED) at Murdoch University in Western Australia.

He worked as a professional engineer for the South Australian Government’s Engineering and Water Supply Department from 1975 to 1994 in water supply and sewerage planning, design, construction and operation. In 1989 and 1990, he worked in Fiji for the Public Works Department, where he was responsible for operation and upgrading of Suva’s wastewater system.

From 1994 to 1997, Neil was Principal Wastewater Adviser with the South Australian Environment Protection Authority. In 1997, he joined United Utilities Australia (UUA) as Water Quality Manager, progressing to Chief Engineer in 2005 where he was responsible for engineering design and process solutions to support UUA’s operations and business development activities

Neil is a member of the Institution of Engineers, Australia and a Life Member of the Australian Water Association. He is a past President of the AWA SA Branch and was a member of AWA’s national Board for six years. He is a Member of the International Desalination Association.

He graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) from the University of Adelaide in 1974 and completed a Master of Engineering Science (Public Health Engineering) at the University of New South Wales in 1983.

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Ms. Lisa Henthorne, United States

Comptroller

/ lhenthorne@waterstandard.com

Ms. Henthorne has served as CTO of Water Standard since 2009. She was appointed to the board of the Produced Water Society and is recognized as a leading expert in water treatment worldwide in both industrial and municipal applications. Ms. Henthorne formerly headed the desalination business for CH2M Hill, acting as technical advisor on many of the most challenging desalination projects in the Middle East, Australia, North America, and Asia. She has more than 25 years of experience in the desalination and water treatment industry. Ms. Henthorne also holds three U.S. patents in water treatment, with multiple US and international patents pending.

Ms. Henthorne is currently Comptroller of the International Desalination Association (IDA), acted as President from 2007-2009, 1st and 2nd Vice President from 2003-2007, Treasurer from 2009-2011, Editor from 2011-2013 and also served as a member of the Board of Directors for sixteen years.

Ms. Henthorne graduated from the Colorado School of Mines with a Master’s of Science in Chemical Engineering and Missouri State University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Chemistry.

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Mr. Antonio Casanas, Spain

Editor

/ acasanas@dow.com

Antonio Casanas holds a MSc in Chemical Industrial Engineering, with several masters in water treatment, water desalination and environment. He also holds a degree in Risks Prevention.

He began his career working with the Australian multinational Hardie Irrigation and later with ESSO. He joined Dow Chemical in 1989, being initially the technical-commercial responsible for the Liquid Separations business in the Canary Islands and actually the Account Manager for Dow Liquid Separations for Spain and Portugal. He has been directly involved in the design of the largest R.O. projects of Dow worldwide and has given the technical assistance during the start-up of the main Spanish desalination plants like Ceuta, El Atabal, La Tordera, Javea, Lanzarote IV among others.

He has participated as a teacher in the Desalination Master organized by the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and in the most important desalination courses organized in Spain and has presented works in several international congresses and for several national and international magazines. He belongs to the AEDyR board of directors being actually its secretary and the AEDyR representative in the IDA board.

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Ms. Patricia A. Burke, USA

Secretary General

/ paburke@idadesal.org

Patricia Burke is the IDA Secretary General and an officer on the Board of Directors for the International Desalination Association (IDA). Ms Burke was one of the founding members of the association and has been actively involved in IDA and its predecessors since 1973.

In her capacity as the Secretary General, she is responsible for the association’s activities from congresses, seminars, workshops, publications and website in all areas of the globe.

Ms Burke has been a member of the US Water Resources Export Council, IDA Director, NWSIA Director and led a number of US Dept of Commerce Missions and is a representative to the UN NGOs and maintains membership in many professional societies.