Mark Smith

Deputy Director General – Research for Development
International Water Management Institute

Short Bio

Dr Mark Smith is Deputy Director General – Research for Development of the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), based in Colombo, Sri Lanka. He has a Ph.D. in Ecology & Resource Management from Edinburgh University, UK and over 25 years of research & programme management experience in water resources, agriculture, climate & sustainability. Prior to joining IWMI in April 2018, Mark spent 10 years as Director of the Global Water Programme at the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). He led the development and implementation of a number of IUCN’s major initiatives working at the interface of water resources, development and conservation, including the BRIDGE, SUSTAIN-Africa and WISE-UP to Climate programmes.


Dr Smith is a scientist with areas of specialisation in agriculture, forestry and hydrology and a focus on how to make systems change for sustainable development more effective, practical and scalable. This interest developed through research on agroforestry in West Africa, with Edinburgh University, and Kenya, at the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology; as leader of the interdisciplinary ‘Livelihoods and Environment’ research group at CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems in Australia, supporting sustainable development in tropical river catchments; and as policy advisor on climate change and poverty at the UK development NGO Practical Action. Dr Smith holds an undergraduate degree in Agriculture, Masters in Climatology, and a PhD in Ecology.

Conference Contribution

Water Management for Climate Change Resilience: Priorities for Action