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Zafar Adeel

(He, Him, His)
Executive Director, Pacific Water Research Centre, Faculty of Applied Sciences, Simon Fraser University

Dr. Adeel serves as the Executive Director of the Pacific Water Research Centre, Simon Fraser University, and has over 25 years of experience in a broad range of environmental and policy issues. This includes 18 years of work as a United Nations official, with progressively increasing responsibilities in the field of international development and research. He served as the Director, United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH) from 2006 to 2016. He also served in a number of international leadership roles: These include chairing a group of nearly 60 organizations called UN-Water during 2010-2012, and co-chairing the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment team that produced the global desertification synthesis in 2005.

He led the development of a south-south network of scientists working in water-scarce countries, particularly focused on Africa, Middle East and Asia. Through his editorial lead, this network has published eight books in the UNU Desertification Series. Presently, Dr. Adeel serves as the Series Editor for a book series by Springer: “Water Security in a New World.” He has co-edited the following books in the series by Springer: Imaging Industan - Overcoming Water Insecurity in the Indus Basin (2016); The Water, Energy, and Food Security Nexus in the Middle East Region (2016); The Human Face of Water Security (2017); and, Water Security Across the Gender Divide (2018). His research on environmental policy and governance has also led to numerous publications; a key output on this topic was a book entitled East Asian Perspectives in Environmental Governance – Response in a Rapidly Developing Region (UNU Press 2003). He has also taught water security and environmental policy courses, and supervised a number of graduate students in his role as an Adjunct Professor of Engineering at the McMaster University, and currently as Professor of Professional Practice at the SFU School of Sustainable Energy Engineering.


  • –present
    Executive Director, Pacific Water Research Centre, Faculty of Environment, Simon Fraser University


  • 1995 
    Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, USA, PhD, Environmental Engineering