Dr. Jelle Zijlstra was the former Prime Minister of the Netherlands, President of the Central Bank of the Netherlands, and President of the Bank for International Settlements in Switzerland, with long-standing engagement with the Swiss Chamber of Commerce in The Netherlands. In honour of this renowned economist, we recognize international leaders whose work champions economic national growth, generational-shifting innovation, global collaboration, or charitable commitments which dramatically improve the quality of life for society.
This year’s laureate, Dr. Upmanu Lall, originally from India, is the Director and co-founder of the Columbia Water Center at The Earth Institute, Columbia University in New York, and is the Alan and Carol Silberstein Professor of Earth and Environmental Engineering.
Dr. Lall focuses on the societal problems associated with water, from severe water shortages expected this century in the developing world, to the relation-ship between global water systems and climate change. He investigates the complex links between climate, natural hazards, agriculture, and energy.
He leads the Global Water Sustainability Initiative to address global water scarcity and risk; the Global Flood Initiative to predict and manage floods at a global scale; and America’s Water to develop sustainable water management and infrastructure design paradigms for the 21st century.
As the current editor-in-chief of the journal “Water Security”, he engages in high level public and scientific discussion through the World Economic Forum, the media, governments, foundations, development banks, and corporations interested in sustainability.