Sep 04, 2015

International Desalination Assn. Names New President

Emilio Gabbrielli has been active in the IDA since its founding

International Desalination Association president Emilio Gabbrielli

The International Desalination Assn. (IDA) announced that Emilio Gabbrielli has been elected president of the association for the 2015-2017 term.

In addition, IDA announced that Shannon McCarthy, co-founder and a partner of United4Water, has been named first vice president, and Eng. Zamzam Saleh Al-Rakaf, chief engineer and director of design department for desalination projects for the Ministry of Electricity and Water, Kuwait, has been named second vice president.

Gabbrielli is director, overseas development, global sales of water treatment for Toray. He has been involved in the water treatment industry for more than 40 years, and his experience is truly global.

He started with solar desalination in Peru in 1975. Then, with Italconsult/Weir and Italimpianti, he worked on desalination plants in Libya, Algeria and Saudi Arabia based on electrodialysis reversal and multi-stage flash distillation technology associated with power generation. Later, with Permutit Australia, he became involved with membrane technology and zero-discharge, including vapor compressors and crystallizers. When Thames Water bought the PWT Group, which included Permutit Australia, he became involved in various combinations of build-operate-transfer, public-private partnership, and asset acquisitions in all continents.

In 2003, after four years as managing director of Thames Water do Brazil, Gabbrielli was appointed executive secretary (CEO) of the Global Water Partnership (GWP), an international network of institutions committed to the sustainable development and management of water resources founded by the United Nations Development Program, the World Bank and the government of Sweden.

During his six years at GWP, he was able to look at the water industry from the policy perspective and gained in-depth diplomatic experience. He visited governments, industry and institutions in water at all levels of society in more than 100 countries in pursuit of sustainable and equitable management of water resources.

He joined Toray in 2009 and is based in Brazil.

“My vision is a better world through water security. Desalination and water reuse have an important role to play in this,” Gabbrielli said. “I am committed to supporting those mechanisms of IDA that encourage the sharing of experiences and ideas, and promoting a broader appreciation of water resources issues within the desalination community with the goal of facilitating the effective application, whenever appropriate, of more advanced, reliable, efficient and effective desalination, reuse and filtration technologies. Moreover, I am committed to working to revise the IDA constitution as necessary to propel the association into the future.”

Born in Florence, Italy, Gabbrielli holds a degree in chemical engineering from the Bologna University, where he also obtained a post-graduate specialization certificate in computer modeling as part of a research program developed on the bases of his degree dissertation. 

He has authored and co-authored more than 20 technical publications, has contributed to papers, magazines and newsletters, and has also participated in panel debates and interviews with media around the world. Active in IDA since the association’s founding, he also holds the honorary position of Global Ambassador of the Australian Water Assn.

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