News Espace membre FR EN ES Search

The members of IFGR

Visit of the dam-hydropower plant of Génissiat (France) – october 2017

The panel members are managers working for decision-making bodies, port administrations and hydroelectricity operators; they are also government representatives or acknowledged experts in disciplines essential for understanding all the challenges of rivers: hydrology, climatology, urbanism, anthropology, archaeology, the sociology of religions, environmental engineering, etc. Our different panellists have been selected for their expertise and areas of influence.

The decision to entrust the chair of the panel to Erik Orsenna is based on the observation that the general public knows little of river environments, since they are often considered as industrial tools approached from technical and scientific angles. Through its association  with such a  writer and storyteller, IFGR wished to make the subject more accessible. Erik Orsenna has written numerous works on economic topics aimed at the general public (a collection devoted to globalisation, with “The future of water” in particular).

Ricardo Javier Álvarez

Vice-President of the Argentine subsidiary of the Ibero-American Maritime Law Institute (IIDM) and the legal affairs coordinator of Hidrovias Latin America.

Open / Close

He is a lawyer specialised in maritime law and a consultant working on behalf public and private clients, on questions relating to port and navigation infrastructures, and to the environment and coast.

The Ibero-American Martime Law Institute (IIDM) was founded in 1995 in view to developing and harmonising maritime law in South America. It is composed of different government and port authorities, companies, legal practices and specialists on navigation from more than 20 countries.

Pascal Bourdeaux

Historian, Associate Professor of the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (Religions of Southeast Asia).

Open / Close

He is a specialist in the religious and cultural history of Vietnam (19th – 20th centuries). He contributes in particular to project studies on hydropower developments in the Mekong delta and on the development of a river civilisation by linking historic archives and field studies.

The Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes
The Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (EPHE) is an internationally acknowledged higher education and research establishment whose mission is to educate students through practice in fundamental and applied research devoted to a vast range of disciplines.

Corinne Castel

Archaeologist, Director of research at CNRS, Director of the French-Syrian Archaeology Mission of Al-Rawda, and a member of the laboratory “Archéorient. Environnement et sociétés de l’Orient ancien” of the Maison de l’Orient et de la Méditerranée (MOM).

Open / Close

A specialist in the pre-classical Middle East (Bronze Age), her research covers different subjects relating to the river societies of the Middle East: Urbanisation in Syria-Mesopotamia, the first towns / Habitat and urbanism / Religious architecture / Human adaptation strategies in steppe regions / Nomads and sedentary populations on the arid margins of the Fertile Crescent.

The Maison de l’Orient et de la Méditerranée (MOM) was founded in Lyon in 1975 to bring together several research teams working on Mediterranean civilisations, from the first steps of humanity to the present.

Julien Clément

Doctor of Anthropology

Open / Close

Graduated from the Ecole Normale Supérieure of Paris and holder of a post-doctoral degree from the University of California in San Diego, one of the world’s leading research centres specialised in the Pacific, he is the author of several scientific publications and a book titled Physical Cultures, Rugby in Samoa published in 2014.He was Deputy Director of the Research and Education Department of the Quai Branly Museum from 2012 to 2018.

Daniel Dagenais

Vice-President of Operations of the Montreal Port Administration.

Open / Close

Daniel Dagenais has more than 25 years’ experience in the maritime industry (operator of bulk terminals, containerised and non-containerised goods). He holds a degree in specialised transport and logistics management from McGill University and a finishing studies diploma for acting managers from the HEC.

The Montreal Port Administration (APM) is an autonomous federal agency responsible for managing the Port of Montreal. It built and maintains the installations that it rents to private companies for tying off, and operates its maritime station and railway network.

Katherine Daniell

PhD and researcher with the Australian National University; member of the Australian National Committee on Water Engineering; specialist in water governance and participatory procedures.

Open / Close

Katherine Daniell has worked in France, Australia, Bulgaria and the Pacific on projects linked to water governance, risk management, community resilience, urban development, adaptation to climate change and international scientific and technological cooperation. She has written many publications and received different prizes and distinctions for her work.

The Australian National University (ANU) is a national research university located in Canberra, specialised in the challenges facing Australia and the rest of the world.

Thierry Guimbaud

Managing director of Voies Navigables de France (VNF)

Open / Close

Expertise: General administrator and a graduate of the National School of Administration (ENA), Thierry GUIMBAUD is a transport expert, who led various missions within the Ministry of Equipment, Aéroports de Paris (ADP) and the Transport Union of Ile-de-France (STIF). In 2011, he was appointed Director of Transport Services at DGITM (General Department for Infrastructure, Transport and the Sea) at the Ministry of the Environment, Energy and the Sea and in May 2017, Managing director of the public establishment Voies navigables de France.

Voies Navigables de France

Voies Navigables de France maintains, operates and develops the largest European network of waterways: 6 700 km of rivers, canals and rivers channeled, 4 000 structures (locks, dams, canal-bridges,… ) and 40,000 hectares of fluvial public domain. The public establishment responds to three major societal stakes: create the conditions for the development of waterway transport; contribute to the development of territory and tourism; ensure the hydraulic management by guaranteeing the safety of the structures and the different uses of the water and by fighting against the floods and the water stress. It also promotes the development of hydropower and preserves biodiversity.

Bernd Gundermann

Architect, founder and director of Urbia-Group – Think Beyond.

Open / Close

Bernd Gundermann has more than 30 years’ experience as an architect and urbanist. In particular he was head architect for the Centre of Hanseatic Trade of Hamburg in the framework of the largest port transformation project in Europe (the Harbour City of Hamburg). He is the author of a large number of works on specific coastal developments relating to the effects of climate change. His philosophy is based on adapting urban actions to the natural environment and points towards innovative areas of exploration such as crossing bio-mimetics with indigenous spirituality. He received the Global Award for Sustainable Architecture in 2014, under the aegis of UNESCO.

Urbia Group – Think Beyond
Urbia Group brings together varied scientific disciplines, designers, economists, philosophers, political representatives and civil society, and operates as a consultancy in strategy, urban development and the design and construction of public and private projects.

Commodore M. Mahbub-ul-Islam

President of the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA)

Open / Close


Educated at the Naval Academy of Bangladesh, and at a large number of international professional education institutes  (United Kingdom, India, United States), Commodore Mahbub-ul-Islam holds Master degree in Defense Studies from National University of Bangladesh. His tours of duty include both sea and shore billets ranging from patrol craft to frigate and staff appointments at Naval Headquarters. He served with the UN in Northern Iraq (2003). He is promoted to present rank in 2013. Before joining BIWTA on 20 February 2019, he was Commodore Naval Aviation in Chittagong, the second city and largest port of the country.


The Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) is the authority responsible for controlling river transport in Bangladesh.

Mirdad Kazanji

Director of the Pasteur Institute of French Guyana.

Open / Close

A doctor specialised in virology, Mirdad Kazanki directed the Pasteur Institute of Bangui in the Central African Republic for 5 years. He is the author of more than a hundred publications in scientific and medical journals on the natural history of viruses, their origins and their transmissions and on public health problems linked to the monitoring and emergence of viral epidemics.

The Pasteur Institute
The Pasteur Institute of French Guyana is a private foundation recognised as a public utility. It contributes to the prevention and treatment of diseases, mainly infectious, by relying on four components: research, support for public health, education and training, and services.

Kabiné Komara

International consultant, member of the International Action Council

Open / Close

Kabiné Komara has held different posts with the government and with the African Development Bank relating to economic development and international funding. Mr Komara became the Prime Minister of Guinea in December 2008. In March 2010, he became an International Strategy and Investment Consultant for multinational corporations, international institutions and governments. He was elected to the post of High Commissioner of the OMVS on 25 March 2013.

Sergio Makrakis

Associate professor and researcher at the University of the State of Western Paraná - Unioeste (Brazil); specialist in evaluating the impacts of passes for migrating fish on fish populations.

Open / Close

In partnership with hydropower plants (Companhia Energética de São Paulo (CESP) and Neoenergia), Sergio Makrakis evaluates the impacts of hydropower plants on fish. In particular, he was in charge of evaluating the longest fish pass downstream of the Iguaçu falls, and of analysing hydropower feasibility studies on the Mekong River with respect to fish migrations. He has developed partnerships with universities (Department of Hydraulic Energy and Hydrology of the University of Valladolid) and participated in the LIFE Segura Riverlink project sponsored by the European Union.

Western Paraná – Unioeste
The University of the State of Western Paraná is a Brazilian public university founded in 1988. Its head office is located in the city of Cascavel.

Ghislain de Marsily

Emeritus Professor at the Sorbonne University (Paris VI-Pierre-et-Marie-Curie) and at the Ecole des Mines de Paris, member of the Academy of Sciences.

Open / Close

Civil engineer of mines, Ghislain de Marsily obtained his PhD at Paris VI in 1978 and has taught applied geology at the Mines de Paris, then at the University of Paris VI. His field of activity deals with phreatic waters, global water resources, their protection and management, the management of buried wastes, and sustainable development of which water is a fundamental item that affects climate change. He has written many scientific publications. Ghislain de Marsily is also a member of the Academy of Technologies, the French Academy of Agriculture and is a foreign member of the US Academy of Engineering.

The Academy of Sciences
Since it was founded in 1666, the Academy of Sciences has devoted itself to the development of sciences and advised government authorities regarding them.

Gilles Mulhauser

Director of Water for the State of Geneva, Switzerland.

Open / Close

Areas of expertise

Gille Mulhauser is a biologist-ecologist, who has worked since 1987 on impact studies, wetland ecosystem management and environmental services for agriculture. On 1 January 2000 he was appointed to head the public administration of Geneva responsible for nature and landscape. He now manages a hundred employees responsible for implementing public water policy, and by virtue of this he will chair the operational committee of the international Commission for the Protection of the Water of Lake Geneva (CIPEL) until 2019.


The General Water Division (DGEau) is the public authority responsible for managing water resources in the Canton of Geneva (a governmental competence carried out on behalf of the Swiss Confederation). In addition to planning drainage with the municipalities and managing the River Rhone with Services Industriels Genevois, monitoring and action relating to different cycles and resources linked to water is more often performed within a cross-border context (Ain, Haute-Savoie and the Canton of Vaud). Protecting people and property against floods, managing low flows, restoring rivers to their natural states, combating micro-pollutants, ensuring biological corridors and receiving the population on the banks are all ongoing challenges for a city undergoing strong growth.

Tamsir Ndiaye

General Director of the Manantali Energy Management Company (SOGEM) - Mali

Open / Close

From Senegal, Tamsir Ndiaye graduated as a design engineer with an option in Mining and Geology. He was previously General Director of the Diama Dam Management and Operating Company (SOGED) and Director of the Environment and Sustainable Development with the Senegal River Development Organisation (OMVS). He was in charge of coordinating a large number of projects relating to the management of water use and the impacts of hydropower plants built in the Senegal River basin. He was also the Coordinator of the African Network of Basin Organisations (RAOB) for ten years and a member of the liaison office of the International Network of Basin Organisations (RIOB).

The Manantali Energy Management Company (SOGEM) is responsible is responsible for the realisation of Manantali Energy project. The Company is also in charge of operating Félou structures it realised and designing and operating new structures for rural electrification.

Inside look at IFGR: interview of Tamsir Ndiaye

Erik Orsenna

Economist, writer, member of the French Academy, and specialist in sustainable development, the environment, agriculture and emerging economies.

Open / Close

Graduated as an economist, Erik Orsenna was cultural advisor to François Mitterrand, former French President. He is the author of numerous novels (especially “Exposition colonial”, which won the  Goncourt prize in 1988) and reference works on globalisation (L’Avenir de l’eau, Voyage aux pays du Coton, Sur la route du papier). Erik Orsenna observes the impacts of economic, social, environmental and geopolitical upheavals, and shows us facets of the new, emerging world.

The French Academy
An institution founded in 1635, the French Academy is responsible for defining the French language through the compilation of its dictionary which establishes the proper use of French.

Irina Ribarova

Professor at the UACEG, expertise in integrated water management and circular economy in the water sector.

Open / Close


Research experience in the areas of water quality modeling, biotechnologies for wastewater treatment, water saving, phosphorus recovery, eco-efficiency and climate change, public participation.Researcher and leader of a number of EU funded international research projects. More than 80 research publications. External expert of the EU Commission and national ministries for project evaluation. Consultant of PM, Rambol, Grontmij, SHER and the World Bank for development and implementation of water related projects.


University of architecture, civil engineering and geodezy is a national research and higher education institution, situated in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Inside look at IFGR: interview of Irina Ribarova

Papa Abdoulaye Seck

Ambassador of Senegal to the FAO (the Food and Agriculture Organization) and in Italy, former Minister of Agriculture and Rural Facilities of Senegal

Open / Close


Dr Papa Abdoulaye Seck is a specialist in Agricultural Policy and Strategy. He is a member of the Academy of Sciences of Senegal, the African Academy of Sciences and the World Academy of Sciences, agricultural sciences section.

Before being appointed Ambassador of Senegal to the FAO (the Food and Agriculture Organization) and in Italy in September 2019, he was Minister of Agriculture and Rural Facilities. Before that, Dr Seck was Managing Director of Africa Rice, one of 15 International Agricultural Research Centres (CGIAR). He has been awarded many distinctions (United Nations prize for South-South cooperation, Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur, Chevalier de l’Ordre du Mérite Agricole de France, etc.) and is the author and co-author of more than 100 publications.

Hamed Diane Semega

High Commissioner of the Senegal River Development Organisation (OMVS)

Open / Close

Hamed Diane Semega became High Commissioner on 19 June 2017. After receiving his MSc in Legal Studies from the University of Bamako, he began his career in the mining sector where he became Administrative Director and then consultant for several international companies, before entering the Malian government as Minister of Mines, Energy and Water (2002-2007) then of Equipment and Transport. He returned to the private sector in 2013 before taking up office as the High Commissioner of the OMVS on 19 June 2017. A Malian citizen, Hamed Diane Semega was born in Dakar, though his ancestry includes branches in Guinea and in Mauritania.


The Senegal River Development Organisation (OMVS) was founded in 1972 as the joint management body representing the countries sharing the Senegal basin: Mali, Mauritania, Guinea and Senegal. It has now become a case study for the integrated international management of river resources. Its headquarters are in Dakar.

Alfredo Sese

Technical Secretary of Transports and Infrastructure at the Rosario Commodity Exchange (BCR).

Open / Close

An economist, Alfredo Sese has worked on the topic of transport for more than 25 years. He has participated in the economic evaluation of using the Carcarañá river as a navigable waterway, and published many articles on transport and other economic problems in several specialised national reviews.

The Rosario Commodity Exchange (BCR) is a public entity set up in 1884 in the city of Rosario (Province of Santa Fe in Argentina) located on the Rio Paraná. It is responsible in particular for determining the sale price of cereals on the commodity markets, and is now one of the major actors involved in strengthening the competiveness of the local market and integrating the city in international markets.

James Spalding Hellmers

Advisor to the CEO at Financiera El Comercio, Former Paraguayan Managing Director of Itaipu Binacional

Open / Close


James Spalding Hellmers held several very important posts in the Paraguayan government. In particular he was Minister of Finance (2002) and Ambassador of the Paraguayan Republic to the United States (2009). He was the Paraguayan Managing Director of Itaipu Binacional, structure managed jointly by Paraguay and Brazil, in charge of managing and operating the Itaipu hydropower plant, from 2013 to 2018.

He acts regularly in Paraguay and elsewhere on different subjects such as the hydroelectricity, economic globalisation, regionalisation and international relations.

Itaipu Binacional
A binational structure managed jointly by Paraguay and Brazil, Itaipu Binacional is in charge of managing and operating the Itaipu hydropower plant.

Inside look at IFGR: interview of James Spalding

Yangbo Sun

Director of International Cooperation of the Yellow River Conservancy Commission of the Ministry of Water Resources, China.

Open / Close


Dr. Sun Yangbo is an experienced civil Engineer who has been served for the Yellow River Conservancy Commission for 25 years, specialized in hydrology, water resource planning,environment impact assessment, river basin planning, as well as field experience of hydraulic structure construction.  In recent years, Dr. Sun has been leading the international cooperation program in the Yellow River Basin in respect of integrated water resources management, environmental flow and climate change adaptation. He is also the acting secretary general of International Yellow River Forum and the co-leader of the Yellow River Water partnership.

The Yellow River Conservancy Commission

The Yellow River Conservancy Commission (YRCC) is a government agency of Ministry of Water Resources of the People’s Republic of China. YRCC takes responsibility of water administration of the Yellow River basin and the inland river basins in such province as Xinjiang, Qinghai, Gansu and Inner Mongolia.

Marie-Laure Vercambre

General Director of the French Water Partnership
Active member of IFGR

Open / Close


Graduated from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques of Paris and the School of International and Public Affairs of Columbia University, Marie-Laure Vercambre was in charge of the Water for Life and Peace programme of Green Cross International (a non-governmental organisation that works globally to tackle all the challenges of security, the eradication of poverty and environmental degradation) for ten years. Since 2019, she has been the General Director of the French Water Partnership. She has an expertise in issues concerning the development, governance and management of cross-border river basins, and human rights.

The French Water Partnership (FWP)

The French Water Partnership is the only platform for all the French water stakeholders, public and private, operating at international level. For more than 10 years, the FWP has been advocating for water so that it becomes a real priority in sustainable development policies worldwide.  The FWP also stands as a facilitator for exchanges between the French and international water know-how. The FWP’s mission is also to showcase at a global level France’s expertise and approach to water management.

The FWP currently includes over two hundred members from the water sector.

Inside look at IFGR: interview of Marie-Laure Vercambre

Anne-Claire Vial

President of ARVALIS – Institut du Vegtal

Open / Close

Expertise: a Pharmacy graduate, she is a farmer in the Drome, in the South East of France and President of the Chamber of Agriculture. She was elected president of ARVALIS in January 2018. Anne-Claire VIAL also sits on the Economic, Social and Environmental Council (CESE) and chairs the Soil and Civilizations think tank. Member of Irrigants de France, she has been involved for almost 20 years in the collective management of water.

ARVALIS – Institut du Vegetal

Arvalis – Institut du Végétal is an applied agricultural research organization dedicated to arable crops: cereals, maize, sorghum, potatoes, fodder crops, flax and tobacco. It was founded by farmers and dedicates its expertise to the creation of production systems that combine economic competitiveness, adaptation to changing markets conditions and environment protection. It considers technological innovation as a major tool to enable producers and agri-companies to respond to societal challenges.

Mettez à jour votre navigateur pour consulter ce site