WAFA Selection Committee

The WAFA Selection Committee consists of experts in water, air and food sustainability. They are responsible for evaluating and certifying Award applications and selecting the WAFA finalists.

Dr. Madhu P. Pillai

Dr. Madhu P. Pillai is a project management specialist with over 36 years of broad-based experience in the Oil & Gas, Petrochemical, and Power industries. He has served in operations and project management with leading Multinationals in India, Nigeria, Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the USA. An engineer with post-graduate qualifications in Management and a Ph.D. in Strategic Project Management, Dr. Pillai is a fellow of international organizations like AACEI, the Institution of Engineers, and the International Cost Engineering Council. He has spoken and presided at numerous international events. He has also served in senior board positions on non-profit professional bodies. He received the O. T. Zimmerman Founder’s award from AACE International in 2008. 

Dr. Pillai brings to WAFA global professional experience and a commitment to WAFA’s objectives.

Omar Hayat

Omar Hayat earned a first-class degree in Engineering and a Ph.D. in catalytic kinetics from Imperial College, London University. He continued there as a postdoctoral fellow. He has extensive knowledge of transport emissions, notably their effect on the environment and human health.
Dr. Hayat founded a technology company that developed the world’s first non-metallic combustion enhancer to reduce fossil fuel emissions. He also serves as a director of a biotechnology start-up specializing in the treatment of pregnancy complications. The company offers the first diagnostic and therapeutic for preeclampsia. He recently stepped down as Trustee and Director of Scott Bader Commonwealth Limited – a global chemical company with a cooperative ownership structure.
A trustee of The Gandhi Foundation for the past 12 years, Dr. Hayat has been responsible for the prestigious Gandhi Foundation International Peace Award.

Dr. V. Kurian Baby

Dr. Baby, formerly from the IAS, is a well-known water and sanitation expert at policy and programme levels. Credited with many innovations, he has served as Lead, WASH-India, Oxford Policy Management; India Country Director, IRC, Netherlands; and Managing Director, Kerala Water Authority and
Executive Director, Kerala Rural Water & Sanitation Programme (Jalanidhi). He has also undertaken extensive international assignments for the World Bank, UNDP, UNICEF, DIFID, BMGF, JICA and EU in South Asia, Middle East, Europe and Africa.
He holds a first-class MA with PhD in regulatory economics, specialising in Project Management (IIM-A) and Environmental economics and Development Policy from the USA. While working as District Collector, Thrissur, Kerala, India, he conceptualized, designed and implemented the ‘Mazhapolima’ rainwater water conservation programme, the winner of the 2018 WAFA Water Award.

Suhas Wani, M.Sc (Agri), Ph.D.

Suhas Wani, M.Sc (Agri), Ph.D.

Dr. Wani, former Research Program Director – Asia and Director, ICRISAT Development Center (IDC) at International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Patancheru, India. Currently serves as a Consultant to: the International Rice Research Institute, South Asia Regional Center, Varanasi, India, Asian Development Bank, (ADB) Manila; and Advisor to the JSW Foundation, Mumbai. He works to improve rural livelihoods in Asia and Africa with sustainable agricultural practices and integrated water resource management. Dr. Wani has been a member of the many Expert Committees on climate change and for Technical Evaluation and as an Honorary Trustee and organizing committee member of the S.M. Sehgal Foundation (SMSF) and the Institute of Rural Research and Development (IRRAD), BAIF Integrated Rural Development, Hyderabad. He has served as Sustainable Agriculture Advisory Board (SAAB) Member of Unilever and as a jury member for the JSW-Times of India Earth Care Awards and Times of India-PRF Social Impact Incubator Program.

Peter Stearmose

A Mechanical Engineer with Masters’s in economics Peter has been associated with large international companies encompassing 22 years’ experience with leadership development, strategic planning, and executive search for large and medium-sized companies, across China, Ukraine, and several eastern European countries. He is also an Assistant professor at Copenhagen Business School teaching marketing and managerial economics. Moreover, he is a Rotarian for more than 30 years serving in various capacities up to District Governor, and is now serving in the operating committee for Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene at the international level.