Pakistani Geographer Becomes First Woman To Head International Water Management Institute

Simi Kamal will be expected to guide the institute's strategic direction and organisational growth

Pakistani Geographer Becomes First Woman To Head International Water Management Institute

Pakistani geographer Simi Kamal has been appointed as the chairperson of the International Water Management Institute's (IWMI) board.

Kamal is the first woman to lead the globally renowned research-for-development organisation.

Headquartered in Sri Lanka, IWMI was established in 1984 and has offices in 15 countries today. The institute operates on its vision of achieving a water-secure world. IWMI has contributed to social and economic development through impactful research results. IWMI is also a research centre of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), a global research partnership for a food-secure future. 

The announcement from IWMI said that Kamal has been instrumental in guiding the institute's strategic direction and organisational growth after being appointed to their board in 2018. IWMI expects to provide leadership in integrating IWMI with One CGIAR. 

Kamal has over 40 years of experience in the water, environment, food security, and related sectors in Pakistan and over 50 countries globally. She has worked extensively for social development and women empowerment.

Recently, Kamal was appointed to the boards of two more well-known international organisations, including the Board of Trustees of WaterAid UK and the Board of Directors of the Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International (CABI), also headquartered in the UK. 

Speaking about these three highly prestigious and important appointments, Kamal said, "As the world grapples with unprecedented impacts of climate change on water, environment and food security, we have to change the way we live."

"My focus in the next ten years is to work with leading global organisations on water and food on strategies that promote transformative futures."

In addition to these international roles, Kamal is the founder and chairperson of the Hisaar Foundation - a Pakistan-based foundation that works on water, food and livelihood security. She is also the co-founder and member of the Executive Board and Advisor to the Panjwani-Hisaar Water Institute (PHWI) at the NED University in Karachi. 

Previously, she served as a member of the Technical Committee of Global Water Partnership (GWP TEC) for nine years, founded and co-founded several non-profit and for-profit national organisations, and developed global platforms and networks. She is also an independent director on the Board of Khushhali Bank, a microfinance bank operating in Pakistan.