Ambassador for Water, Special Envoy for International Water Affairs
Henk Ovink was appointed by the Cabinet of the Netherlands as the first Special Envoy for International Water Affairs in 2015. As the Ambassador for Water, he is responsible for advocating water awareness around the world, focusing on building institutional capacity and coalitions among governments, multilateral organisations, the private sector and NGOs to address the world’s pressing water needs and help initiate transformative interventions.
Marcelien de Koning
Chef de emission NOC*NSF
Marcelien Bos-de Koning, is a former Dutch sailor. She participated twice in the Olympics and won a silver medal. De Koning competed with Lobke Berkhout in the 470 class. In 2005, De Koning and Berkhout became world champions in their class for the first time. In 2006 & 2007 they succeeded in prolonging their title, a unique achievement for Dutch sailors in an Olympic class. Together with Lobke Berkhout, she won a silver medal in the 470 class at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. In 2005, 2006 and 2008 the duo received the Conny van Rietschoten Trophy, the most important Dutch sailing prize, for their sailing achievements. Since 2012 Marcelien is focussing on the broad water sector. Her social career started with Water & Maritime Top Sector.. In 2021 she returned back to the sport and was appointed by the NOC*NSF alongside the Chef de mission as Chef d'emission, the person who is concerned with sustainability in the sports world.
The Ocean Race, Learning Programme Manager
Lucy Hunt is the Content Advisor for the The Ocean Race Summits and manages The Ocean Race's award winning Learning programme. A marine biologist, environmental educator and all round water lover, she has always had a passion to protect nature and the ocean. Her Marine Environmental Protection Masters project was focused on bathing water quality which led to a campaign for correct infrastructure in her hometown in SW Ireland. Lucy has over 15 years working in the marine conservation sector offshore and onshore as a researcher, educator and consultant. Lucy has been nominated as an Ashoka Changemaker, Ocean Hero and Ocean Warrior.
Assistant Director – Sustainability The R&A
Philip graduated from St Andrews University in June 2009 with a BSc (Hons) in Sustainable Development. This was a globally unique and interdisciplinary undergraduate degree programme, emphasising the development of critical perspectives on integrated social, economic and environmental issues. He has studied topics including climate change, renewable energies, biodiversity loss, ecosystem degradation and natural resource management. In his current role of Assistant Director – Sustainability, Philip's principal focus at The R&A is the GreenLinks programme, which is The Open's sustainable development strategy for working to enhance the environmental and social benefits of staging the Championship. Initiatives conducted under the GreenLinks banner focus on a number of key sustainability issues, including site protection and restoration, procurement, energy, water, catering, materials, community engagement and legacy.
PR & Communications Director, BLUE | Bluewater
Dave Noble has worked as PR and Communications Director at Bluewater since 2014. Now also Bluewater Head of Events, Dave has over four decades of experience in the international communications business as a PR professional and journalist. A father of three and deliriously happy grandfather to five, Dave is deeply passionate about protecting our planet environment and encouraging greater public awareness of key issues relating to human and planetary wellbeing, including water and air health as well as disarmament. As a journalist from 1965 until 1980, Dave was published by many of the world’s leading newspapers and broadcasters, including the BBC, The Guardian, International Herald Tribune, and The Observer. As an author, he has written, published and contributed to a number of books, including ’A Book about Volvo´ (1985), ’The War & Peace Book’ (1976), and ’The Swedish Challenge for the Americas Cup’ (1978). Since 1982 as a public relations and brand communications consultant, Dave has partnered clients such as Blueair, AB Volvo, Electrolux, SAS, Renault, ABB, SKF, and many other others.
Founder & CEO Water Foundry
Will Sarni is the founder and CEO of water strategy consultancy, Water Foundry. He is also the CEO of the Colorado River Basin Fund, the first placed-based water-focused investment fund in the United States. Prior to Water Foundry, Sarni was a managing director at Deloitte Consulting where he established and led the water strategy practice. He was the founder and CEO of DOMANI, a sustainability strategy firm, prior to Deloitte. Sarni is a co-founder of WetDATA and a host of the podcast, The Stream with Will and Tom. He is a board member of Flowater, Silver Bullet, Project WET and the Rocky Mountain Rowing Club. He was the Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board for the WAITRO Global Water Innovation Summit 2020 and was on the Scientific Program Committee for Stockholm World Water Week from 2013 through 2019. His advisory work includes working with the 2020 X-PRIZE (Infinity Water Prize), as a Bold Visioneer for the 2016 X-PRIZE Safe Drinking Water Team and a Technical Advisor for the Climate Bonds Initiative: Nature- Based Solutions for Climate and Water Resilience. He is also on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Water Security.
Managing Director of Water Footprint Implementation
Ioana Dobrescu is the Managing Director of Water Footprint Implementation, a lead knowledge partner for private and public organizations aiming to understand their water use along the value chain and how it impacts the global economy, environment and society. Ioana is also constantly engaged in various other water programmes and initiatives. She has been organizing and implementing international learning and youth development programmes with the Wetskills Foundation and is co-leader of the Youth workstream of the UN World Water Quality Alliance.
Arno van Gerven
Managing Director of The Royal Netherlands Watersport Association
Arno is the Managing Director of The Royal Netherlands Watersport Association is the national governing body for the sports of sailing, surfing, and canoeing in the Netherlands, recognised by the World Sailing. The Watersportverbond encourages sailing and surfing in competition, supports the Olympic sailing team members and stimulates recreational yachting in the Netherlands.
Head of Communications
Paul graduated in Law at Erasmus University Rotterdam. After working as a Market Maker on the options exchange in Amsterdam he joined Allianz in 2003. At Allianz he held several positions in underwriting, sales and marketing. Currently he’s responsible for communications, branding and ESG at Allianz Benelux. Allianz has consistently been in the top 3 of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for more than a decade and is a founding partner of the Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance underlining the importance of Sustainability at Allianz Group. Allianz has recently committed to clean oceans and coasts, biodiversity conservation and sustainable fishing practices by partnering with the international marine conservation organization Sea Shepherd Global and by partnering with the Watersportverbond Allianz in the Netherlands has a local platform to address both Brand and ESG topics. Allianz is working closely with the Watersportverbond to further develop the ‘Future is Water’ program.
CFO BDR Thermea Group
Ms C. (Carolina) Wielinga, is a chair of the Supervisory Board of NX Filtration (listed company) and Supervisory Board member, chair of audit committee Gasunie. Ms Carolina Wielinga is the chief financial officer of the BDR Thermea Group, a global manufacturing company in smart thermal heating solutions. She is an all-round finance business executive with over 25 years of experience. Prior to joining the BDR Thermea Group, Ms Carolina Wielinga was head of financial restructuring and recovery at Rabobank (2016-2018), chief financial risk officer and chief operating officer at FGH Bank and chief financial risk officer at Rabo Real Estate Group. In the period 2011-2013, she was senior director finance at Vion Food Group. MS Carolina Wielinga holds a master’s degree in business administration from University of Groningen in Groningen, the Netherlands and is also a chartered accountant.