Who are we
Learning from the experiences of other social and environmental standard holding organizations, AWS is simultaneously building an International Water Stewardship Standard and the organization that will manage the Standard in the long term. Currently, both the Standard and the organizational model are under development.
With the exception of our Executive Director, AWS staff are currently seconded from our board organizations (notably TNC and WWF). As we build our organization AWS will gain operational independence from its board organizations.
Like the watershed-level actions we aim to facilitate, AWS as an organization must be based on continuous improvement and we intend to evolve and strengthen our organizational model with stakeholder input. Where feasible, we aim to link our work to other standards programs to improve the quality and efficiency of our work and that of other standards.
Our eleven Board Organizations each bring unique perspectives, skills and resources to help create the multi-stakeholder platform essential to our shared success.
The Nature Conservancy
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people.
Visit TNC here.
Water Stewardship Australia
Water Stewardship Australia Limited emerged from the drought that afflicted South Eastern Australia in 2006 to develop a stewardship tool that would benchmark and recognise superior water management in agriculture, industry and commerce and thereby promote responsible water use among major water users.
Visit WSA here.
The Pacific Institute is a nonpartisan research and policy organisation working to advance environmental protection, economic development, and social equity. A world leader on freshwater issues, the Institute is actively involved in sustainable water management and the U.N. CEO Water Mandate.
Visit PI here.
World Wildlife Fund
WWF's ultimate goal is to build a future where people live in harmony with nature.
Visit WWF here.
Water Witness International
The Water Witness's vision is of a world where rivers, streams, lakes and groundwater are managed on a fair, efficient and sustainable basis in order to provide water of good enough quality and in sufficient quantity to support human health and well-being, diverse ecosystems and society's economic and agricultural needs.
Visit WWI here.
Water Environment Federation
The Water Environment Federation (WEF) is a not-for-profit technical and educational organization that works with water quality professionals throughout the world. WEF and its member associations proudly work to achieve our mission of preserving and enhancing the global water environment.
Visit WEF here.
European Water Partnership
Committed to the Water Vision for Europe by initiating, supporting and enhancing initiatives and projects, giving water a common voice in Europe.
Visit EWP here.
The CEO Water Mandate
The CEO Water Mandate is a unique public-private initiative designed to assist companies in the development, implementation and disclosure of water sustainability policies and practices. The CEO Water Mandate recognizes that the business sector, through the production of goods and services, impacts water resources both directly and through supply chains. Endorsing CEOs acknowledge that in order to operate in a more sustainable manner, and contribute to the vision of the UN Global Compact and the realization of the Millennium Development Goals, they have a responsibility to make water-resources management a priority, and to work with governments, UN agencies, non-governmental organizations, and other stakeholders to address this global water challenge.
Visit CEO Water Mandate here.
Carbon Disclosure Project
The Carbon Disclosure Project is an independent not-for-profit organization that aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve water management and accelerate the solutions to climate change by putting relevant information at the heart of business, policy and investment decisions.
Visit CDP here.
United Nations Environment Programme
UNEP's mission is to provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations.
Visit UNEP here
AWS's Board of Directors consists of designated representatives of our eleven Board Organizations. At present the Board of Directors is:
- Michael Spencer (Chair), representing Water Stewardship Australia
- Kevin Agnew, representing the CEO Water Mandate
- Jacqueline Alder, representing UNEP
- Randy Curtis, representing The Nature Conservancy
- Nick Hepworth, representing Water Witness International
- Jason Morrison, representing the Pacific Institute
- Marcus Norton, representing the Carbon Disclosure Project
- Laila Petrie, representing World Wildlife Fund
- Matt Ries, representing the Water and Environment Federation
- Dr. Sabine von Wirén-Lehr, representing the European Water Partnership
As we develop both the International Standard and AWS as an organization, regional partners are critical to our success. Our regional engagement section outlines the main developments in each of the regions defined under the Global Water Roundtable process, and the partners who have made this possible.
Adrian Sym, Executive Director
Adrian Sym joined the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) as Executive Director in 2011. Adrian has a diverse range of experiences in the international development sector, including with social and environmental standards, and in running his own business. Adrian joined AWS from Fairtrade International, where he led Fairtrade’s partnerships program. Before this, Adrian worked for many years on disability-related programs in South Asia (Bangladesh and Nepal).
His diverse experience, together with his academic background (Masters in International Policy and Diplomacy), has helped to shape Adrian's view on sustainable development, believing that true development can only be achieved through effective partnerships amongst and between stakeholder groups.
Originally from Scotland, Adrian is now based in Bonn, Germany, where he lives with his wife, Natasha, and children, Delta and Jamison.
Alexis Morgan, Global Water Roundtable Coordinator, WWF
Alexis Morgan leads the Alliance for Water Stewardship's (AWS) Water Roundtable on behalf of WWF. Alexis has spent the majority of the past ten years working for WWF on collaboration solutions for business and biodiversity, including multi-stakeholder commodity standards. His expertise lies in sustainability indicators, conservation planning and spanning the gap between conservation and the private sector. He has operated as a consultant to various clients of different sizes ranging from the World Bank to the City of Toronto, to small non-profits, such as the Hood Canal Coordinating Council in Washington State, USA (integrated watershed management planning). Alexis is a part-time lecturer at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, BC where he teaches courses in urban environmental economics, and also sits on the board of the White Ribbon Campaign, an international effort of men working to end violence against women.
Alexis has a BA (Hons) in Geography, Anthropology and Biology, an MSc in urban hydro-ecological modeling, and a Masters of Business Administration in strategy & sustainability from the Schulich School of Business at York University. He resides in Vancouver, Canada with his partner Kristina, his son Bevyn, and his golden labrador retriever, McGregor.
Nicole Tanner, Assistant Global Water Roudtable Coordinator, WWF
Nicole Tanner is based in Washington, DC and has been working with the World Wildlife Fund's Markets Unit since 2008. In 2009 she also began work with the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS), on behalf of WWF, as the Assistant Global Coordinator of the Water Roundtable process.
Nicole earned her MA in International Development in 2007 from the University of Denver's Korbel School of International Studies.Through her work with WWF and AWS, Nicole continues to advocate for sustainable development and freshwater stewardship.
Sarah Davidson, Regional Initiatives Coordinator, TNC
Sarah Davidson is the Global Regional Initiatives Coordinator for the Alliance for Water Stewardship. She joined The Nature Conservancy in 2007 and is currently an International Freshwater Policy Advisor. Sarah supports the design and implementation of effective policy initiatives and strategic partnerships for international freshwater conservation.
Sarah has previously worked on various international development issues, including water resources management, environmental health, gender and rural alternative development projects in the Middle East and Latin America.
Sarah holds a Master of Science in Environment and Development from the London School of Economics, and a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from Cornell University.
Lisa Downes, North America Regional Coordinator, TNC
Lisa Wojnarowski Downes is the North America Regional Coordinator for the Alliance for Water Stewardship. In this role she works with partners from across the U.S. and Canada to advance the development of the international water stewardship standard. She joined The Nature Conservancy in 2011.
Prior to joining AWS, Lisa was a Program Manager for the Council of Great Lakes Governors. At the Council, Lisa worked with the Great Lakes states and provinces in developing and implementing the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact. She managed programs on topics including water conservation and efficiency, water use information sharing, and aquatic invasive species.
Lisa holds a J.D. from DePaul University College of Law and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Communication from DePaul University. She lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with her husband Tom and two cats.
Ricardo Monsivais, Regional Coordinator for Latin America and the Caribbean, TNC
Ricardo Monsivais is Coordinator for AWS-Regional Initiative for Latin America and Caribbean (AWS-LAC) and based in The Nature Conservancy (TNC) office in Monterrey, Mexico. Ricardo began his work for AWS in mid-2010 where, under the guidance of AWS-LAC Coordination Committee, he works with a diverse range of stakeholders in the region.
Since 2004, Ricardo has worked with various institutions and organizations in Latin America and the Caribbean, on areas such as human rights, promoting the rule of law, international technical and scientific cooperation in agriculture, education, energy and the environment. Ricardo worked for the NGO Freedom House, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the Mexico's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE).
Ricardo earned his MA in International Studies from Tecnologico de Monterrey's Graduate School of Public Administration (ITESM-EGAP) and has a BA in International Relations from the same institution.
The International Standard Development Committee (ISDC) is the fifteen-person group that is tasked with overseeing the development of the International Water Stewardship Standard. The committee members were selected on a cross-regional and cross-sectoral basis to ensure balanced representation in the process. For more information see our page on the Global Water Roundtable.
Former members of the ISDC include Dr. Pedro Roberto Jacobi, Mr. Ma Jun, and Mr. Riaz Ahmed Khan.
Imane Abdel Al - Civil Society, Lebanon
Maureen Ballestero - Civil Society, Costa Rica
Sanjib Bezbaroa - Business and Water Service Provider, India
Peter Cookey - Civil Society, Nigeria
Axel Dourojeanni - Public Sector, Chile
Carlo Galli -Business and Water Service Provider, Italy
TBD - Public Sector, South Asia/Central Asia/China
John Langford - Public Sector, Australia
Marco Mensink - Business and Water Service Provider, The Netherlands
Gerphas Keyah Opondo - Civil Society, Kenya
Jiseon Matilda Park - Public Sector, South Korea
Ed Pinero - Business and Water Service Provider, USA
Peter Ruffier - Public Sector, USA
Boleslawa (Lesha) Maria Witmer - Civil Society, The Netherlands