Meet the new GWP CEE Regional Chair – Ivan Zavadsky

Ivan Zavadsky has been elected as the Regional Chair at Global Water Partnership Central and Eastern Europe. His mandate began on 12 February 2024.

Mr. Zavadsky is well-known among the CEE partners and stakeholders for his impactful career and achievements. He led the Permanent Secretariat of the International Commission for Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR) as its Executive Secretary between 2013 and 2022. ICPDR is a key strategic partner of GWP CEE in the region. GWP CEE is the observer in ICPDR, active in the Public Participation Expert Group.

 The New GWP CEE Regional Chair holds a degree in water management with a specialisation in water supply and sanitation and a post-gradual degree in water management economics.

 Mr Zavadsky has vast experience with international leadership and the development of large projects under the United Nations Development Programme/Global Environmental Facility (GEF). At the GEF Secretariat, he coordinated the GEF International Waters Focal Area and led the development of the GEF IW Strategy for the 6th GEF cycle. During his work with GEF, Mr Zavadsky has provided support to 17 countries in the Danube River Basin and Black Sea region in implementing regional conventions that address the nutrient pollution and ecological rehabilitation of the Black Sea from eutrophication. He is ready to support the CEE with his expertise in and across countries and support strategic developments and resource mobilization efforts.


 What inspired you to take on this role?

           In my previous jobs, I closely followed the work of the GWP in this region and appreciated the scale and results of activities addressing many challenges, which water managers, institutions, and people were facing in CEE. Therefore, I feel honoured to be selected as a chair of the GWP in our region, where I spent most of my professional career as a water professional, manager, and policy maker.


  What do you see as the most pressing water-related challenges facing the Central and Eastern Europe region, and how do you plan to address them during your tenure?

             No doubt about the fact that the key challenges not only for us - the GWP CEE - are stemming from Climate Change and its impact on water resources at global, regional and local levels. So, the need to adapt policies and practices to this so-called» new normal« is inevitable. The threats to water security for all users become obvious also in our region, mainly the risks of longer and more frequent droughts. So, I would like to strengthen the dialogue with CWP to assist them in building stronger partnerships at international and regional levels, which could also strengthen our fundraising capacities. Working closely with CWP on increasing their ability and influence on the development and/or revisions of national water policies and improvement of governance will be one of my top priorities in the next two years.


 Ivan Zavadsky