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The GWOPA Secretariat is hosted by UN-Habitat at its office in Barcelona. The Secretariat implements the Alliance work plan and coordinates all its activities in various working areas including supporting regional WOP platforms, WOPs direct brokering and funding, financial guidance and support, development and management of WOPs knowhow, training and capacity building, alliance and partnership building, as well as advocacy and communication activities.

The Secretariat prepares and presents to the annual meeting of the GWOPA Steering Committee and bi-annual meeting of the General Assembly, the annual budget, progress report, and work plan.


Faraj El-Awar, Programme Manager

Faraj El-Awar is a water expert with over 20 years of experience. He In 1993, Dr. El-Awar joined the Department of Soil and Water Resources at the American University of Beirut where he taught, conducted research, and managed numerous projects in dryland hydrology, integrated water resources management, watershed management, water harvesting, water demand management, natural resources conservation, and sustainable development in remote and marginal areas of Lebanon.

In April 2001, Faraj joined the UN system and worked for the United Nations Office of the Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq (UNOHCI) and the UNDP Drylands Development Centre (DDC) Regional Office for Arab States. In March 2006, Dr. El-Awar started coordinating the establishment process of the Arab Countries Water Utilities Association (ACWUA), where he has been appointed as the first ACWUA Secretary General. Since May 2008, Dr. El-Awar joined UN-Habitat in Nairobi, Kenya, as the Programme Manager of the Global Water Operators Partnerships Alliance.

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Anne Bousquet, Regional Coordinator for Africa / Programme Officer


Anne Bousquet holds a master degree in Town Planning and a PhD on 'water sector reforms and the urban poor' in East Africa. She specialized in corporatization of water services and community-based water projects. During her field research, she led enquiries in informal urban settlements in Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia, exploring the issues of urban inequities with a focus on access to basic need services. Meanwhile she was a junior lecturer in La Sorbonne and University Denis Diderot, Paris, from 2000 to 2007.

After her PhD she worked as a consultant for the French Cooperation Agency in Kenya on urban issues (informal settlements, land reforms, transportation and housing policy) and joined the UN as Capacity and Training Officer for the Global WOPs Alliance in March 2009.


JulieJulie Perkins, Programme Officer


Julie Perkins is an environmental geographer with a Masters in Urban Planning. For over 10 years now her work has been water-related. With UN-Habitat since 2004, she has contributed to the design and management of various programs focused on increasing the urban poor's access to basic services, addressing issues of governance, capacity, environmental management and monitoring.

Prior to joining UN-Habitat in 2004, she was founding director of the North Saskatchewan Watershed Alliance based in Edmonton, Alberta, and previously, GIS technician and aquatic field researcher in the North-western Canada bush.

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Taeko Yokota, Programme Officer/ Regional Coordinator for Asia and the Pacific

Taeko Yokota joined the world of water through her work with the Secretariat of the 3rd World Water Forum. And in April 2004, she became a founding member of the Japan Water Forum, where she has been working as Chief Programme Officer. There she planned the activities and coordinated with the Japanese and global water stakeholders using the broad network she gained through the experience of forum organisation. As member of the Japan Water Forum, she was involved with the establishment of the Asia-Pacific Water Forum (APWF). As the APWF Secretariat, she led the process of organizing the 1st Asia-Pacific Water Summit in 2007.

Taeko joined the GWOPA Secretariat in May 2009 as a communication officer.  She holds a Masters degree in Cultural Anthropology from Waseda University in Japan. She also completed one year of study at McGill University in Canada as an exchange student.


Marta Lorenzo, Administrative and Travel Assistant

Marta Lorenzo joined UN-Habitat in 2010 and has served as Team Assistant in the UN-Habitat Office in Spain.  With the move of the GWOPA Secretariat from Nairobi to Barcelona, she joined the GWOPA Secretariat in April 2013.

She holds a Master Degree in International Cooperation and Local Development from the University Pablo de Olavide and a Bachelor in Arts in Business and Turism from the University of Seville.



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