UNESCO Chair in Hydropolitics


Prof. Géraldine Pflieger


Professor Géraldine Pflieger is the Director of the Institute for Environmental Sciences (ISE) at the University of Geneva, where she also is a Professor of urban and environmental studies. Her current research focuses on the regulation of shared natural resources (mainly water and land) – at the international, regional and local scales – as well as the transformation of the governance of urban spaces in the face of the major contemporary infrastructural and environmental challenges (for example the links between transport and land-use or between urbanization and resource consumption). Together with Professor Christian Bréthaut, she holds the UNESCO Chair in Hydropolitics at UNIGE.


Prof. Christian Bréthaut

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Professor Christian Bréthaut is the Director of the Education and Knowledge Component of the Geneva Water Hub. He holds a PhD in Geosciences and Environment from the University of Lausanne. His area of expertise is water governance and policy, with a particular focus on the management of transboundary rivers, institutional adaptation, the water-food-energy-ecosystem nexus and the science-policy interface. He is the co-editor of the book series entitled “Palgrave’s Series in Water Governance”. Together with Professor Géraldine Pflieger, he holds the UNESCO Chair in Hydropolitics at UNIGE. 


Dr. Thomas Bolognesi


Thomas holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Grenoble, and is a Scientific Officer with the Education and Knowledge Component of the Geneva Water HUB. He is responsible for managing the Hub’s research network and contributes to the development of resources for the online platform. His research focuses on the management of urban water systems, and the impact of institutional change on the dynamics and sustainability of socio-ecological systems. With Professor Bréthaut, he is the co-editor of the book series entitled “Palgrave’s Series in Water Governance.” Thomas is a researcher associated with the UNESCO Chair on Hydropolitics at UNIGE.


Dr. Fatine Ezbakhe


Fatine Ezbakhe holds a PhD in Civil Engineering, with a dissertation on decision analysis theory and methods to explore the issue of data uncertainty in the prioritization of policy options and the monitoring of progress in the water, energy, and health sectors. She is a Scientific Officer at the University of Geneva, and associated with the Geneva Water Hub’s Research and Education component. Her research interests lie in the interplay between data, information, and knowledge for water and environmental governance, particularly the political dimension of data and knowledge production and use.


Dr. Louise Anne Gallagher

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Louise is a researcher associated with the UNESCO Chair on Hydropolitics at UNIGE. She holds a PhD in Environmental Studies from University College Dublin and has broad science-policy experience gained over ten years of working with organisations such as UN Environment and WWF. Her technical expertise includes valuation of natural capital and environmental externalities for integrated decision making in sustainable development. Louise’s research interests lie in environmental governance and exploring how transdisciplinary science can contribute to improved public policy in practice. She currently leads a project on the role of indicators in governing the food-energy-water nexus with Luc Hoffmann Institute, WWF, University of Bergen, University of Maryland, University of Montana, KnowlEdge Srl and the NOMIS Foundation.


Dr. Hannah Hilbert-Wolf

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Hannah Hilbert-Wolf holds a PhD in Geology (James Cook University, Australia), and recently completed an MSc in Innovation, Human Development, and Sustainability at the University of Geneva. She worked as a sedimentologist prior to beginning her MSc on projects in Australia, New Zealand, the U.S., and South Africa. Hannah also has experience in science education and communication, working as a STEM careers coordinator at Scitech in Western Australia. Hannah is interested in combining her experiences and training in the natural and social sciences to contribute to innovative, sustainable water governance and development. At the Geneva Water Hub, Hannah’s main responsibilities included contributing to the team’s Back-to-Back Safe Spaces project and the Politics of Dams action track.


Dr. Denis Lanzanova

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 Denis Lanzanova is a scientific officer at the research and education component of the Geneva Water Hub and a researcher associated with the UNESCO Chair in Hydropolitics at UNIGE. He has research interests in natural resource management, valuation of ecosystem services and decision analysis. His current work attempts to develop and apply holistic approaches to support practical decision-making under the veil of uncertainty and to characterize how tools from social sciences can complement existing decision support systems for the governance of the water-food-energy nexus. Denis holds a PhD in Economics from the Toulouse School of Economics.


Léna Salamé


Léna graduated from the Sorbonne University in Paris as a lawyer in international public law. She specialized in water diplomacy and mediation at a Harvard-MIT-Tufts joint programme and MWI, Boston, respectively. She served in the United Nations’ system for 17 years as the strategic and operational coordinator of its programme on water conflict and cooperation. Sensibilisation to cooperative water management has been a major focus of her career: she conceived around a 100 training courses and capacity building activities on international law, conflict management, confidence building and cooperation processes. Her audiences encompass young, mid and high-level professionals, executive officers, as well as media professionals, decision-makers and the civil society from all continents. She also lectured in over 200 international events around the world.

Marie J. Senghor


Marie Jeanne SENGHOR is a PhD candidate and teaching assistant at the Pole of Environmental Governance and Territorial Development (PGEDT). She has experience in research and development projects on environmental governance, agroecosystem management and water salinity in Senegal. Marie Jeanne's current research focuses on analysing the Senegal River Basin's environmental governance, mainly the ecosystem services mainstreaming transboundary policies. She also currently provides technical support to the Dakar Water Hub implementation, collaborating with the Ministry of Water of Senegal and IUCN. Marie Jeanne holds a Master's Degree in Development, majoring in "Environmental Management", from Senghor University in Egypt and an Engineering degree in land use planning and urban management from Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar (Senegal).


Aline Telle

Aline completed her MSc in Law, Economics and Management, Major in International Affairs, at the University of Jean Moulin Lyon 3, and a double B.A. in Management at Reims Management School and the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing, China. Prior to joining the University, Aline has worked for over 10 years in public administration and consultancy in the energy sector for a large range of projects from China, Turkey and the United Kingdom. Aline has a legal approach to River Basin Organisations, and is interested in the reception of international water law principles at a national scale, through an RBO. She focuses on the role of a river basin national committee in the implementation of water management and its interactions with both the RBO’s and a national government in multi-scale legal and political context. She has chosen to study the Mekong River Commission and its Lao National Mekong Committee as the fast development of hydropower in Lao PDR enables the observation of legal and implementation evolutions regarding water management and environment protection.


Laura Turley

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Laura is a PhD researcher and teaching assistant at the University of Geneva’s Institute for Environmental Sciences (ISE). She has extensive science-policy experience gained through nearly a decade of work in the international NGO sector and as an independent consultant. Laura completed her MSc in Water Science, Policy and Management at the University of Oxford, and her B.A. in International Development at McGill University. Current research interests lie in the operation of institutions and infrastructure in the context of freshwater scarcity. Her doctoral thesis explores reservoir operations in semi-arid river basins, and investigates the extent to which their historical and present day operations reflect “commons” management. She is a researcher associated with the UNESCO Chair on Hydropolitics at UNIGE.