Speakers

Alex Reed
Director
Alex Reed was appointed director of the Office of Resilience and Coastal Protection in November 2019. The office has a multi-faceted approach to resilience, including coral reef protection; preservation of coastal and aquatic management areas; beach and inlet management; and the implementation of ecosystem restoration projects to prepare Florida’s coastal communities and state-managed lands for the effects of sea level rise, coastal flooding, erosion and storms. Alex has been with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection since 2009, serving in a variety of roles and most recently as the director of the Division of Water Resource Management. Alex earned a Bachelor of Science in geology from Florida State University.
Rasoul D Mikkelsen
Director for Strategic Business Development in Africa and Asia
More than 25 years experience within strategic partnershis with key stakeholders such as governments, International organistaions, International NGOs, development policy, project financing and investment in developing countries with focus in Africa and Asia. Exploring business opportunities and impact in relation to SDGs (SDG6,SDG13,SDG17,SDG1) and trade and development discussions. Specialised in dialogue, negotitaion and building complex , long term and strategic partnerships in multi-cultral settings with private and public sector, with International NGOs, Governemnts, International Financial Institutions, Multi and bilateral donors in developing countries as well as the HQ level.
Luong Phuoc Vinh
Director
David Nobles
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.
Adriaan Mels
Regional Director for VEI
Adriaan Mels works as the regional director for VEI BV, a CSR company of the Dutch water utilities Vitens NV and Evides Waterbedrijf NV. VEI is active in international collaboration, supporting performance improvements of urban water utilities in Africa and Asia and contributing to SDG-6. Over the last 10 years, Dr. Mels has initiated and supervised utility improvement programs in a.o. Bangladesh, Colombia, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Kenya, Myanmar, Rwanda, Suriname, Vietnam, and The Philippines. Topics a.o. included leakage reduction, revenue increase, customer service improvements, leadership development and attracting investment finance.
Veronica Manfredi
Director for Quality of Life in DG Environment
Veronica Manfredi is the Director for Quality of Life in DG Environment since February 2018. Her Directorate plays a pivotal role in leading Europe towards a Zero-Pollution ambition and contributes to tackle the Climate and Biodiversity crisis. It is indeed responsible for key EU policies for Clean and Well-Managed Water (including the protection all EU Freshwater and Marine environments, prevention from Floods, compliance with high health standards for Drinking Water), Clean Air, control on Industrial Emissions and prevention of Industrial Accidents. Internationally, her team leads the EU negotiations within the UN Minamata Convention on Mercury and the UN Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution. It also provides steady support to the work of the four Regional Sea Conventions (notably the HELCOM – Baltic Sea, OSPAR – North Atlantic Sea, Barcelona– Mediterranean Sea, and the Bucharest Conventions – Black Sea) and the International Commissions for the Protection of the Rhine and Danube rivers. A lawyer by background, Veronica deepened her knowledge of International and EU law in Rome, Turin, Kiel, Bruges and Brussels. Between 2002 and 2004 she worked in the Cabinet of the Internal Market Commissioner Frits Bolkestein. She then joined the Cabinet of Vice-President Siim Kallas, working first in the Portfolio for Administration, Audit and Anti-Fraud issues (2004-2009) and then in the Portfolio for Transport(2010-2011). Until January 2018, she has been the Head of the Consumer and Marketing Law Unitin DG Justice, overseeing the correct implementation and modernisation of key EU Consumer LawDirectives, and leading the work for the launch of the 2018 New Deal for Consumers.
Lykke Leonardsen
Head of Program for Resilient and Sustainable City Solutions, City of Copenhagen
Current Position: Head of Program for Resilient and Sustainable City Solutions, City of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark Profile: She has worked with urban development for the past 25 years in Copenhagen. Since 2008 she has worked for the Technical and Environmental Administration in charge of making Copenhagen more blue and green – in charge of water management and green infrastructure planning. It was as part of this work that the city’s Climate Change Adaptation plan was developed. From 2014-2016, she was the Head of the Climate Unit, in charge of the Climate Change Adaptation program, and the city’s ambitious plan to be the first carbon neutral capital of the world before 2025. Since 2016, she has been Head of program for Resilient and Sustainable City Solutions. Expertise: local regeneration projects, international urban policies and communication
Sabrina Helmyr
Commercieel Directeur Water en Sectorleider Waterschappen at Arcadis
Experienced manager with a demonstrated history of working in the civil engineering industry. Strong support professional skilled in Strategic Consultancy, Climate Adaptation, Hydrology, Sustainability, Sewer, and Hydraulics.
Edgar Westerhof
National Director for Flood Risk and Resilience - Associate Vice President at Arcadis
Edgar is the National Director for Flood Risk and Resiliency for North America. Edgar is a water consultant with 20 years of experience in integrated water management. He has a deep understanding of urban and industrial flood proofing concepts, infrastructure planning and design, sustainable urban water management and waterfront development and international water management concepts. Edgar was leading the ARCADIS participation in the international HUD Rebuild by Design competition, including the winning BIG U – Waterfront Resiliency Plan of Manhattan. Edgar functions as the climate change adaptation specialist regarding integrated and multi-layered coastal waterfront and urban water management strategies. He plays a key role in the identification and implementation of our local and international flood proofing expertise. As the Flood Risk & Resiliency Lead, Edgar is the Rockefeller Foundation 100RC participation lead for the US and involved in strategic initiatives regarding climate change adaptation and water resiliency concepts. Most recently Edgar initiated a collaboration with UPenn, bridging Miami’s climate challenges to the city of Philadelphia. Edgar has given master classes on resilience and climate adaptation at UPenn, Yale University, Harvard and Columbia and is the contributing author and editor of the book Adapting Cities to Sea Level Rise (Island Press) and Blue Dunes (Columbia Press). Edgar functions as a press spokesperson on resilience in the US, Canada and the NL. Prior to his position with ARCADIS, Edgar was the project manager overseeing waterfront and infrastructure planning work of a leading EURO 400M mixed use waterfront urban – industrial sustainable revitalization site in the Netherlands.

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