Agenda - Oct 30 BusinessH2O International Business & Policy Forum


AGENDA - Business H2O: Water Innovation Summit


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8:30 AM                           Registration and Breakfast 

9:00-9:15 AM                   Welcoming Remarks

  • Khush Choksy, Senior Vice President, Turkey and Middle East Affairs, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
  • Mohammed Bataineh, Chairman, MENA AmCham, Chairman & CEO, AgriJordan, Chairman, AmCham Jordan

9:15-10:15 AM                  The Drivers and Impact of Water Scarcity in the Middle East

The region faces severe water scarcity driven largely by climate change, displacement, and demographics, which pose an urgent challenge for socioeconomic development. The panelists will discuss the policy, institutional, and regulatory drivers of water scarcity in the region, and present avenues for finding solutions to this multidisciplinary problem.

  • Gustavo Saltiel, Global Lead for Water Supply and Sanitation, the World Bank Group
  • Dr. Hazim El Nasser, Chairman and Founder, Middle East Water Forum, former Minister of Water and Irrigation, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
  • Jennifer Mack, Deputy Assistant to the Administrator & Global Water Coordinator, U.S. Agency for International Development

Moderator: Chuck Chaitovitz, Vice President, Environmental Affairs and Sustainability, U.S. Chamber of Commerce


10:15 – 10:30 AM            Networking Break


10:30 - 11:20 AM             Water Technology and Innovation

The scale of the water resources challenges in the Middle East requires innovative solutions and technology adoption. The panel will discuss technological advancements, innovation in the water sector, and challenges to implementation. With current urbanization trends, the panel will also discuss smart cities and adaptable solutions to water for urban centers in the region.

  • Joe St. Julian, General Manager, Water and Pipeline Business, Bechtel
  • Yehuda Kaploun, President, Watergen USA
  • Henry Charrabé, CEO and Managing Director, Fluence Corporation

Moderator: Hisham Fahmy, CEO, AmCham Egypt, Inc.


11:20-11:40 AM               Country Profile: Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

  • Mr. Khaled Al Qureshi, CEO, Saudi Water Partnership Company

In conversation with Mohammed Bataineh, Chairman, MENA AmCham, Chairman & CEO, AgriJordan, Chairman, AmCham Jordan


11:40 AM-12:00 PM        Networking Break


12:00 - 1:15 PM                Lunch Session



  • Josh Kram, Executive Director, Middle East Affairs, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

      Supporting a Water Secure Middle East

      Water is a top priority area for U.S. government policy toward the Middle East to mitigate conflict and promote prosperity.

  • David Schenker, Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs, U.S. Department of State

      Lessons Learned from Managing Water in the West

      The Bureau of Reclamation oversees water resource management throughout the western U.S. and is the largest wholesaler of water in the country, bringing water to more than 31 million people.

  • Brenda Burman, Commissioner, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

1:15 – 1:30 PM                  Networking Break


1:30 – 2:20 PM                  Promoting Investment in Water Infrastructure

Improving water access and service quality and implementing innovative water technologies requires massive investment in infrastructure. Participants will discuss public-private partnerships (PPPs), procurement policy, and projects that can contribute to economic growth and development.

  • Sara Mareno, Director, Structured Finance & Insurance Department, Overseas Private Investment Corporation
  • Sucharita Dasa, Director, Global Industrials Group, Barclays Investment Bank
  • Dr. Bushra Bataineh, Head of Water Infrastructure Development, Bechtel

Moderator: Jon Freedman, Global Government Affairs Leader, Suez


2:20 - 2:40 PM                   Country Profile: State of Israel

  • Amit Lang, CEO, EMS Mekorot Projects, Israel’s National Water Company

In conversation with Josh Kram, Executive Director, Middle East Affairs, U.S. Chamber of Commerce


2:40 - 3:00 PM                   Networking Break


3:00 - 3:20 PM                   Country Profile: Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

  • Eng. Ali Mohammed Ali Subah, Secretary General, Ministry of Water and Irrigation

In conversation with Rose Alissi, CEO, AmCham Jordan


3:20 - 4:10 PM                   Cross-Sector Opportunities

Water challenges are heavily tied to other sectors, such as energy generation and food production. The panel will discuss regional opportunities at the nexus of water, energy, agriculture, and the environment.

  • George Hawkins, Founder and President, Moonshot Missions, Former CEO, DC Water
  • Lee Angelelli, Executive Client Architect, IBM
  • Kevin Price, Senior Science and Technology Advisor, Middle East Desalination Research Center (MEDRC)

Moderator: Ahmed Abou Ali, Partner, Hassouna & Abou Ali


4:10 - 4:30 PM                   Closing Remarks


Speaker Information