August 28, 2012
The Global Water Partnership (GWP) Sponsoring Partners announced today the appointment of Dr. Ursula Schaefer-Preuss as its new Chair, effective January 1, 2013. Dr. Schaefer-Preuss’ latest assignment was as Vice President of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Manila for Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development. She was responsible for ADB’s Regional and Sustainable Development Department and Economics and Research Department (Office of the Chief Economist).
“Dr. Schaefer-Preuss has developed a global perspective through experience in Europe, the Americas, Africa, and Asia,” said Dr. Ruth Meinzen-Dick, who chaired the competitive search process for the new GWP Chair. “Her work has involved promoting political consensus at the highest level as a spokesperson for regional and global organizations where she has worked.”
Dr. Schaefer-Preuss is an economist who has been engaged in the field of development policy for more than 35 years. Prior to joining ADB, Dr. Schaefer-Preuss was Director General of Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). She was responsible for policies and principles of German development cooperation and German development policies for Asia and Latin America. She also engaged in bilateral cooperation with countries in Asia, Latin America, and Europe. Previously she was Chief of Cabinet of the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development from November 1998 to November 2000.
In accepting the position, Dr. Schaefer-Preuss said, “The work of the GWP network deserves the highest level of attention during these times of growing concerns with the many and intertwined challenges of climate change, urbanization and the water-food-energy nexus. Water security must be at the top of the development agenda because of its link to health, education and a whole host of other issues. It is hard to think of a more exciting time to be part of the GWP vision and mission.”
Dr. Schaefer-Preuss previously held posts as Alternate Executive Director of the Inter-American Development Bank, in the Permanent Mission of the Federal Republic of Germany to the United Nations in New York, and the German Embassy in Khartoum, Sudan.
Dr. Schaefer-Preuss took her post-graduate studies in political science, economics and sociology, and earned her Doctorate and Master’s degree in Economics at the Albert-Ludwig-University in Freiburg, Germany.
Dr. Letitia A. Obeng, the current GWP Chair, said, “Dr. Schafer-Preuss has the leadership and collaborative skills which make her the right spokesperson at the right time for the unique network that is GWP. I am really delighted at her appointment and look forward to working with her during this transition phase.”