Kaveh Madani

Kaveh Madani



Prof. Kaveh Madani is the Director of the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH).

Prof. Kaveh Madani is a globally recognised environmental scientist, educator, and activist, working on complex human-natural systems at the interface of science, policy, and society. He is currently the Director of UNU-INWEH and a Research Professor at the City University of New York’s Remote Sensing Earth Systems Institute (CUNY CREST).

Prof. Madani has previously served as the Deputy Head of Iran’s Department of Environment, Vice President of the UN Environment Assembly Bureau, and Chief of Iran’s Department of Environment’s International Affairs and Conventions Center. He held different strategic roles during his public service and led Iran’s delegation in different major intergovernmental summits, including the COP23 climate change negotiations. Before public service, he was a tenured faculty member of the Centre for Environmental Policy at Imperial College London.

Prof. Madani is an expert in developing and applying a range of mathematical, economic, and systems analysis models to complex problems involving water, energy, food, climate, and environment to derive policy and governance insights. He has over 200 publications out of his work in North America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East on issues such as water management, environmental policy, energy systems, food security, climate change impacts, and adaptation, environmental and financial risk analysis, sustainable development, transboundary conflicts, and environmental security, diplomacy, and justice.

He is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) and Environmental & Water Resources Institute (EWRI) of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and has received numerous awards and recognitions for his fundamental research contributions, teaching innovations, as well as outreach and humanitarian activities, including the New Face of Civil Engineering (ASCE), Arne Richter Award for Outstanding Young Scientists (EGU), Hydrologic Sciences Early Career Award (AGU), Walter Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize (ASCE), and Ambassador Award (AGU).

Research Interests

  • Climate Change and Sustainable Development
  • Complex Human-Nature Systems Analysis and Risk Assessment
  • Economics and Management
  • Energy and Environmental policy
  • Environmental Diplomacy
  • Security and Justice
  • Water Resources Management


  • Vice President of the UN Environmental Assembly Bureau
  • Deputy Head of Iran’s Department of Environment
  • Head of Iran’s Delegation to the 2017 UN Climate Change Conference (COP23)