McCarthy in as new IDA secretary general

Shannon McCarthy has been appointed secretary general of the International Desalination Association (IDA) at IDA World Congress 2017 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

McCarthy, who is a co-founder and partner of United4Water, and first vice president of IDA for 2015-2017, succeeds longstanding secretary general Patricia Burke on her retirement.

“I am honoured to serve the IDA board of directors, our membership, affiliates, partners, public utilities and industrial end-users. IDA has a strong and vibrant future. Looking ahead, we will work to enhance the value that IDA brings to all parties through international strategic alliances, knowledge sharing, and connecting people and ideas to solve the world’s growing water supply challenges. Together we will expand IDA’s capacity to build cross-collaboration between stakeholders who are facing water sustainability challenges and solution providers. We are committed to enhancing our leading industry events to address technical challenges and solutions including IDA Water Reuse Conference 2018, issue- or industry-specific technical gatherings around the world, and IDA World Congress 2019 organized in partnership with Dubai Electricity and Water Authority,” McCarthy said.

“We will strengthen the unity of our organisation and undertake new initiatives, such as establishing IDA Sustainable Water Resources Foundation, and IDA’s educational endeavors that enhance the expertise of our current members and open new doors for the next generation of water leaders,” she added.

“It is an honour to build on the fine work of outgoing secretary general Patricia Burke, who has served IDA with great dedication and success for 45 years. Her service made IDA the organisation it is today, and was a key factor in promoting our industry worldwide. I look forward to working together with the IDA team to fulfill IDA’s mission and deliver on our role as the world’s leading organisation focused on desalination and water reuse,” McCarthy said.

McCarthy has a track record in bringing together stakeholders from government and the private sector to support education, scientific research, professional training programmes, and specialized technology workshops related to desalination and water sustainability. At consultancy United4Water, McCarthy was concerned with strategic counseling and assistance in business development, project planning and management, capacity building, and corporate social responsibility activities.

McCarthy was formerly deputy centre director of the Middle East Desalination Research Centre (MEDRC) in Oman. As a member of the MEDRC start-up team, she participated in developing and implementing programmes for cooperation in training, education and research in desalination and water reuse technologies for Middle East and North Africa, including Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority.

McCarthy has participated in executive study programs in Public Policy and Management for Infrastructure Development at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, and has a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations, specialising in US-Soviet relations, from San Francisco State University. She has been a member of IDA for 20 years.