Director, IUCN Global Water Programme
Expertise: water, environment and development, water policy, water and climate change, food security, governance, resilience
Dr Mark Smith is the Director of the IUCN Global Water Programme. He leads IUCN’s work on water, environment and development at global level and provides strategic leadership for IUCN on water policy and development. He coordinates the Water Programme’s portfolio of water projects including BRIDGE ‘Building River Dialogue and Governance’, the Nexus Dialogue on Water Infrastructure Solutions, WISE-UP ‘Water Infrastructure Solutions from Ecosystem Services Underpinning Climate Resilient Policies and Programmes’, and SUSTAIN ‘Sustainability and Inclusion Strategy for Growth Corridors in Africa’. He led IUCN’s Water and Nature Initiative (WANI) from 2009-2012. Dr Smith steers the work and knowledge on Water and Climate Change, Food Security, Governance, and Resilience at IUCN Headquarters as well as through collaboration with IUCN offices in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Oceania.
Prior to joining IUCN, Dr Smith was a scientist with areas of specialisation in agriculture, forestry and hydrology. This included work on agroforestry in West Africa, with the University of Edinburgh, and in Kenya, with the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology. Dr Smith was leader of the interdisciplinary ‘Livelihoods and Environment’ research group at CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems in Australia, supporting sustainable development in tropical river catchments. Following this, he became policy advisor on climate change and poverty at the UK development NGO Practical Action. Dr Smith holds an undergraduate degree in Agriculture, Masters in Climatology, and a PhD in Ecology.