Join Us at the 7th Annual World Water Forum

Register to attend: "Field-to-Boardroom: Uniting Boots and Suits Toward Meaningful Collective Action"

“Field-to-Boardroom” Event, April 14 at the World Water Forum



Field-to-Boardroom: Uniting Boots and Suits Toward Meaningful Collective Action

Join us at a special Citizen’s Forum presentation and networking reception at the 7th World Water Forum.
Discover best practices for cross-sector partnerships from diverse voices – from “boots” to “suits.”


Tuesday, April 14 2015
Gyeongju-HICO 2F Room 203, GHC_203
Gyeongju, South Korea

Hosted by World Wildlife Fund and The Coca-Cola Company

Field-to-Boardroom: Uniting Boots and Suits Toward Meaningful Collective Action

The forces that threaten fresh water are too complex to be tackled alone. Yet the players that know the issues best—those with boots-on-the ground in a basin, witnessing impacts firsthand—often lack the resources and authority to act, and the decision makers—government officials and private-sector influencers—are rarely equipped with the local knowledge needed to drive a sustainable path forward. Creating a water-secure future for people and nature requires meaningful collaborative engagement from all actors—local communities, businesses, government, and CSOs.

Over the course of two panels, participants will share lessons learned at both the global- (suits) and basin-levels (boots) for successful cross-sector partnerships, and then examine partnership in action through a living case study of a multi-sectoral and binational partnership in the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo. The aim of this dialogue is to unite the “boots” in basins around the world with “suits” in corporate boardrooms and government offices toward more successful and directed collective action.


14:55 |  Welcoming Remarks
Greg Koch, Senior Director, Global Water Stewardship, The Coca-Cola Company

15:00 | Boots And Suits In Partnership
Kusum Athukorala, Chair, NetWwater; Senior Advisor, Sri Lanka Water Partnership
Karin Krchnak, Director, Freshwater Program, WWF-US
Aaron Salzberg, Special Coordinator for Water Resources, Bureau of Oceans, Environment, and Science, U.S. Department of State
Tien Shiao, Relations Responsible, Sustainability, H&M
Greg Koch, Senior Director, Global Water Stewardship, The Coca-Cola Company (Moderating)

16:15 | Coffee Break

16:30 | A Living Case Study: The Rio Grande/Rio Bravo
Mark Briggs, Program Officer, Freshwater Program, WWF-US
Greg Koch, Senior Director, Global Water Stewardship, The Coca-Cola Company
Sergio Marines, Coordinator, Profauna, A.C.
Karin Krchnak, Director, Freshwater Program, WWF-US (Moderating)

17:40 | Networking Reception


Panelist Bios

Kusum Athukorala
A skilled researcher and advocacy specialist, Kusum Athukorala is the Chair of NetWwater and Senior Advisor to the Sri Lanka Water Partnership. Based in Sri Lanka, Ms. Athukorala is internationally recognized for her work in Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM), gender, and water. Involved with the Global Water Partnership from its inception, Ms. Athukorala is the founder of the Network of Women Water Professionals in Sri Lanka, which launched the Women for Water Partnership, a global alliance of female organizations and networks active in water, sanitation, poverty, and gender programs. As co-chair of the UNESCO Gender Expert panel, she supports global policy changes related to gender and water.

Ms. Athukorala has developed many successful water and sanitation projects, including those focused on climate smart agriculture, sustainable school sanitation, water pollution mitigation through improved sanitation, and building advocacy alliances for river protection. She has pioneered several initiatives that connect private sector CSR programs to water conservation goals, including “Jalavahini,” an empowerment initiative for women leaders in community based organizations in Sri Lanka.

Mark Briggs
Mark Briggs is a Program Officer in the Freshwater team at WWF-US. As a conservation scientist, Mark is working to restore the Big Bend section of the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo on both the U.S. and Mexican side of the river. Mark collaborates with a cross-sector, bi-national team that includes Big Bend National Park, Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas (CONANP), The Coca-Cola Company (a key partner in the region since 2007), and more.

Greg Koch
Greg is Senior Director, Global Water Stewardship at The Coca-Cola Company. He leads The Coca-Cola Company’s global water stewardship strategy, focusing on water-use efficiency and wastewater management, watershed protection, community water initiatives, and global awareness and action. He collaborates with bottling partners, governments, NGOs, and communities throughout the Coca-Cola system and directs his team toward achieving the Company’s global goal to return to communities and to nature an amount of water equivalent to what is used in all of its beverages and their production. For more than eight years, Greg has managed the global partnership work with World Wildlife Fund (WWF) for The Coca-Cola Company.

Karin Krchnak
Karin directs WWF’s work on freshwater policy, supports river conservation projects in the US, Latin America, Africa, and Asia, and develops partnerships with governments, corporations, foundations, and bilateral and multi-lateral aid agencies to advance freshwater conservation. An environmental lawyer by training, Karin’s career has focused on improving policies and procedures related to environmental management and resource conservation.

Before joining WWF, Karin served as the global partnerships director and director of international water policy for The Nature Conservancy and managed two global secretariats aimed at improving information disclosure, transparency, and accountability in environmental decision-making for the World Resources Institute. She also acted as population and environment program manager for the National Wildlife Federation’s international programs. Prior to that, she ran the Environmental Law Reform Program for the Former Soviet Union for the American Bar Association. Karin currently serves as WWF’s representative on the Board of Governors of the World Water Council and represents WWF on the U.S. Water Partnership.

Sergio Marines
Sergio Carlos Marines Gómez directs Profauna Mexicana A.C.‘s activities out of its regional office in Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico. He is also the director of that state reserve, Sierra de Zapliname. Mr. Marines’ professional and education background includes management of geographical information systems, environmental education instruction, natural resource field technician, and protection area design. As part of his work with Profauna, he helps lead efforts to eradiate invasive exotic plants and restoration actions along the Rio Grande/Bravo in the binational region of Big Bend.  As part of these activities, Mr. Marines coordinates closely with riverside communities, WWF, the Mexican federal natural resource protection agency, CONANP, as well as Big Bend National Park.

Aaron Salzberg
Aaron Salzberg serves as the Special Coordinator for Water Resources at the Department of State in the Bureau of Oceans, Environment and Science Affairs.  He is the first person to hold this title.  He is responsible for managing the development and implementation of U.S. policies on drinking water and sanitation, water resources management, and transboundary water and leads the U.S. Government’s response to the Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act of 2005.  Aaron has been the lead representative or the lead water advisor for the United States at several major international events on water including the G8, the World Summit on Sustainable Development, the UN Commission on Sustainable Development and the World Water Forums.  He also leads the Department of State’s engagement on transboundary water issues in many regions throughout the world where water is, or may become a source of tension or conflict.

Aaron has a Ph.D. in Genetic Toxicology and a Master’s degree in Technology and Policy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  He also holds a Master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Maryland and has mediated more than forty civil disputes as a mediator with the Harvard Law School.  He was recently awarded the 2010 Frank E. Loy Award for Environmental Diplomacy for moving water from the periphery to the center of U.S. government foreign policy.

Tien Shiao
Tien Shiao has a decade of environmental experience with a focus on water risk and water stewardship. She was an environmental researcher and engineer for several years at the World Resources Institute and Battelle Memorial Institute. She is currently the Sustainability Relations Responsible for China at H&M. Her responsibilities include communicating H&M’s sustainability initiatives and convening stakeholders to optimize impacts and mitigate risks of H&M’s sustainability programs for their supply chain. Her focus areas are water, chemicals, energy, and fair wage. Tien has work experience in both the U.S. and China. She has a Masters in Environmental Management from Yale University and Masters in Environmental Engineering from Northwestern University.