Kala Vairavamoorthy

Prof. Kala Vairavamoorthy, Executive Director, International Water Association

Professor Kala Vairavamoorthy is an internationally recognised water resource management expert, with particular expertise in urban water issues. He combines a strong engineering background with practical international experience. He has published extensively and has a strong international profile working closely with the World Bank, UN-Habitat, UNESCO, GWP, SIWI and the EU. This includes leading several urban water management projects for the World Bank, African Development Bank, Asian Development Bank and DFID.

Prior to joining the International Water Association, he was the Deputy Director General for Research at the International Water Management Institute. In this position he was responsible for research strategy and science quality, and driving research to address global development challenges for water security and natural resource management. This included leading the identification of innovative research areas, ensuring relevance of thematic content for the development agenda that contributes to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, global climate agenda, and other regional and national imperatives.

Kala was the Founding Dean of the Patel College of Global Sustainability and a tenured Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, at the University of South Florida (USA). Prior to that he was a full professor and Chair of Water Engineering at the University of Birmingham (UK), and Professor and Head of Core of Sustainable Urban Water Infrastructure Systems at UNESCO-IHE (Netherlands). He still holds professorial appointments at the University of South Florida and UNESCO-IHE.

Kala has been a member of many International Scientific Committees. Currently he serves on the Stockholm’s World Water Week’s Scientific Program Committee and the Global Water Partnership’s Technical Committee. He was Co-chair of IWA’s Cities of the Future Program and also a member of Singapore International Water Week’s Program Committee. Kala has a PhD and MSc in Environmental Engineering from Imperial College, University of London, UK and a BSc (Hons) from King’s College, London.