Professor of Practice, Environmental and Resource Management
Arizona State University
Olcay Ünver is an executive and international consultant in water policy. In his public service career spanning three decades, he led FAO’s water programs and activities, UN-Water’s World Water Assessment Programme, and UNESCO’s Program Office on Global Water Assessment. Prior to joining the United Nations, he was a distinguished professor of water resources at Kent State University, Ohio and President of the Southeastern Anatolia Project in Turkey, where he transformed a large infrastructure project into a sustainable socioeconomic development program. In 1999, he was listed among the 19 “European Visionaries” by Time Magazine and was featured in New York Times for his efforts towards sustainable, human-centered development. He served as Secretary General and Vice President of IWRA, and Governor and Trasurer of World Water Council. He has served on boards and committees involving water, sustainable development, sustainable food and agriculture systems, water cooperation and policy. Olcay holds civil engineering degrees that include a PhD in water resources planning and management, master’s in urban hydrology and bachelor’s with hydraulics focus. His areas of competence include water and food security; bridging across global frameworks; governance of water-land-soil resources, and water cooperation. Olcay is currently Professor of Practice at Environmental and Resource Management Program at Arizona State University. He served as Vice Chair of UN-Water, and senior water advisor to FAO in Rome, Italy from 2019 to 2020.