Keynote Speakers

Meet the Keynote Speakers for WASH Futures 2018:
Prof. Barbara Evans
Professor of Public Health Engineering, University of Leeds

A chartered engineer with a second degree in Development Studies, Professor Barbara Evans holds the chair in Public Health Engineering in the School of Civil Engineering at the University of Leeds.

She works on sanitation, hygiene and water services in the global south with a particular focus on urban sanitation in cities and towns. Professor Evans’ career spans 30 years; she worked as a consultant and at the World Bank for over twenty years before joining the University in 2009 and has lived and worked in South and East Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Professor Evans now leads a multi-disciplinary team working on global development and public health. She has over forty publications with a direct link to urban WASH services, planning, costing and financing of sanitation.

In addition, she has been the chair of the Strategic Advisory Group of the United Nations Joint Monitoring Program for Water and Sanitation and is actively engaged in tracking both the increased rates of access and quality of WASH services in low- and middle-income countries; a member of the RCUK Grand Challenges Research and Fund Strategic Advisory Group; Editor of the Journal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development; member of the editorial Board of Waterlines, winner of the James Hill Prize (2015), and was recently awarded the International Water Associations Development Research Prize.

Barbara will join us at WASH Futures 2018 as a Keynote Speaker to discuss the big picture challenges in WASH.

Prof. Val Curtis
Director of Environmental Health Group, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Professor Val Curtis is Director of the Environmental Health Group at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Val is a behavioural scientist with a background is in water, sanitation and hygiene. She is cofounder of a new evolutionary approach to behaviour change called Behaviour Centred Design and she helped to found the Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing with Soap and the Toilet Board Coalition.

Val researches, teaches and consults on behaviour change and WASH with governments, international organisations and industry. She is behavioural advisor to the Clean India Campaign (Swachh Bharat Abhiyan), to the Tanzanian Government’s National Sanitation programme and to Lifebuoy’s global handwashing programmes. She has published widely on hygiene, behaviour and disgust, is author of: Don’t Look Don’t Touch, the Science behind Revulsion (OUP 2013) and co-author of Gaining Control, how human behaviour evolved (OUP 2015).

Val will join us at WASH Futures 2018 as a Keynote Speaker to discuss large-scale sanitation behaviour change: learning from India and Tanzania.

Dr Nick Schofield
Chief Executive Officer, Australian Water Partnership

Nick is the Chief Executive of the Australian Water Partnership, with over 35 years’ experience in the water and natural resource management sector.  He has led 14 major research programs across Australia and several international programs at the intersections of water, agriculture, forestry, mining, urbanisation, biodiversity, integrated river basin management and climate change.  Nick has developed national policies and pioneered methods in research prioritisation, evaluation and futures analysis.

Nick was formerly Director of the Global Water Institute at the University of New South Wales, CEO of the International RiverFoundation, and CEO of the Western Australian Ministerial Water Resources Council.  He has also held senior positions in government, industry, consulting, academia and the not-for-profit sectors.

Nick undertook his BSc (Hons) in Physics at Imperial College, London, a D.Phil in Astrophysics at the University of York, UK, and a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Catchment Hydrology at the University of Leeds, UK.  Nick is a Visiting Professorial Fellow at the University of NSW and a Fellow of the Royal Society (NSW).


Nick will join us at WASH Futures 2018 as a Keynote Speaker to discuss WASH in the context of water resources management and water security.

Maria Angelica Sotomayor
Global Programs Practice Manager, Water Global Practice, The World Bank

Maria is the Practice Manager of the Global Programs for the Water Global Practice at The World Bank. In this position, her top priorities are: to (i) strengthen the Bank’s global leadership in the water sector and engagement with external partners and donors; (ii) manage the Global Unit’s technical staff to facilitate the generation and transfer of global experiences and solutions to the Practice and foster cross-GP collaboration; and (iii) operationalise the new Global Water Security and Sanitation Partnership Trust fund and ensure its sustainability and support to the global knowledge agenda.

Before joining the Global Programs, Maria was a Lead Economist in the World Bank’s Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience Global Practice (SURR GP) for the Africa Urban and Disaster Risk Management Unit. In this role, she managed the CityStrength Diagnostic Tool and co-chaired the Integrated Urban Water Management knowledge initiative. Maria has 25 years experience in the design and appraisal of investment projects in water and sanitation and urban infrastructure, as well as in undertaking analytical work. She joined the World Bank in the central infrastructure unit, and has since worked in operations in Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe and Central Asia, and Africa regions; and served as a Sector Leader for Sustainable Development Department in Haiti and the Caribbean Country Management Unit.

Maria will join us at WASH Futures 2018 as a Keynote Speaker to discuss ‘Citywide Inclusive Sanitation: Going to scale and leaving no one behind’.