Board of Directors

Ian E. Warburg, Chair

Independent Consultant

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Ian Warburg is an experienced executive, investor, advisor, and board director with broad ranging experience in a variety of industries including retail, hospitality, sales promotion & loyalty marketing, real estate, and more. Ian currently advises individuals, companies, and not-for-profit organizations including GS America, Inc, RMZ Development, Jump Start Revolution, and The Aquaya Institute. Ian’s community endeavors include more than two decades of dedication to the Hole in The Wall Gang Camp, more than seven years as a board director with The Aquaya Institute, and nearly a decade of service with the American Friends of the Hebrew University, where he was co-founder and chairman of the President’s Council. Ian holds a Masters of Science in Organizational Development from American University and a Bachelor of Arts from New York University in International Politics and Economics.

Mike Freedman, Vice Chair

President at MAF Management, LTD

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Mike is a seasoned entrepreneur, having successfully founded, grown and exited from 10 companies in Asia, the United States and Europe over the past 25 years. Mike started his career as an investment banker, initially with the First Boston Corporation in New York and Tokyo, and latterly with Wasserstein Perella & Co.

Mike is a 1983 cum laude graduate of Harvard College in East Asian Studies, and is fluent in Japanese. In addition to his Harvard degree, Mike spent one year studying as an exchange student at Doshisha University in Kyoto Japan, and is a graduate of Middlebury College’s renowned summer Japanese language institute.

In addition to Aquaya, Mike currently sits on the Board of Directors of Edifice Managed Access, Ltd, a real estate commercialization company based in London; New York Collaborates for Autism (NYCA), one of the longest serving organizations in the country which develops innovative programs for the autism community; and Cheshire Academy, the sixth oldest college preparatory school in the United States.

Zorba Lieberman, Treasurer

Multi-orginization investor, advisor, and board member
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Zorba Lieberman is an investor, advisor, and board member with various information-based companies serving the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries. Mr. Lieberman was founder and CEO of Citeline Inc., the leading provider of global clinical trial intelligence to the pharmaceutical industry. In the mid-1990’s, he cofounded and built Citizen 1 Software, which pioneered the effort to organize and mine business-relevant information from the Internet. Previously, Mr. Lieberman was in strategic and new product planning at both Genentech and Eli Lilly, and was a management consultant at The Wilkerson Group. Mr. Lieberman holds BA and MBA degrees from Cornell University, as well as a Masters in international finance from the Université Catholique de Louvain in Belgium.

Dr. Robert Herdt, Secretary

Adjunct International Professor of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University

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Bob is currently Adjunct International Professor of Applied Economics and Management at Cornell University. For 17 years, he was on the staff of the Rockefeller Foundation in New York as Program Director in charge of the Foundation’s work on Agriculture and most recently as Vice President responsible for the Foundation’s budget and for oversight of its agricultural, health, and overseas programs. He earlier served as Scientific Advisor to the CGIAR Secretariat at the World Bank in Washington from 1983-1986 and for 10 years before that was Economist at the International Rice Research Institute in Los Banos, Philippines. He is the author or co-author of six books or mongraphs, including The Rice Economy of Asia with Randolph Barker. He received his PhD at the University of Minnesota in Agricultural Economics after obtaining his Undergraduate and Master’s degrees at Cornell. Bob is a “solar geek” having invested in solar PV and solar hot water, and enjoys hiking, gardening and other outdoor activities like cutting and hauling firewood to feed his woodstove.

Dr. Christina Babbitt

Senior Manager, CA Groundwater Program at Environmental Defense Fund

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Christina Babbitt manages the California Groundwater Program at Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) where she is working to advance successful implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, California’s landmark new groundwater management law. In this role, Christina is leading efforts to improve water trading policy in California and scale replicable groundwater sustainability projects across California’s Central Valley. Prior to joining EDF, Christina held positions with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Coastal Services Center in Oakland, California, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Water in Washington, D.C. Christina’s past research has focused on water resources governance in stressed watersheds across western U.S., Europe, and eastern Africa. She holds a PhD in Natural Resources from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, an MSc in Environmental Science and Geographic Information Systems from Florida International University, and a BA in International Relations from Rollins College.

David Rich

Executive Director, Supportive Housing WORKS

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David has twenty years experience creating and building market-based solutions to alleviating poverty in North & Central America, Africa and Asia. David grew up in the Middle East and South Asia and received degrees from Yale, Southern Connecticut State University and the Kellogg School of Management. David is the former Country Director of IDE in India where he was responsible for developing and marketing low-cost appropriate technologies to over 250, 000 rural households throughout the country.

Desmond Fitzgerald

Chairman of the Board, North American Properties Group

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Desmond is a Graduate of Harvard College and has an M.A, from Columbia University. He is Chairman of the Board of North American Properties Group and US Guaranteed Finance Corporation, Board Director of Hilliard Farber & Co, Williams Capital Management and Holland Balanced Fund Inc, Advisory Director of Putnam Trust Company, Trustee of the Children’s Aid Society, and a Member of Harvard University Art Museums Visiting Committee.

Len Finocchio

Principal Consultant, Blue Sky Consulting Group

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Len Finocchio, DrPH is Principal Consultant at Blue Sky Consulting Group, a public policy and economics consulting firm specializing in strategic and analytical services for public, not-for-profit, and private sector clients. Len is a senior leader in health policy with extensive experience in health care reform, Medicaid administration, philanthropy, health services research, and advocacy. Most recently, managed implementation of the Affordable Care Act at California’s Medicaid agency. Have provided strategic and effective leadership across government, non-profit, academic and philanthropic organizations whose goals are to serve vulnerable populations in the safety net.

Dr. Lisa Ozaeta

Assistant Professor, University of Southern California – Sol Price School of Public Policy

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Stephanie Hastings

Shareholder, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck
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Stephanie Hastings has played a leading role in several of California’s most complex and precedent-setting water matters. With 20 years of specialized expertise in water law, Stephanie brings a wealth of experience to the acquisition, maintenance, protection and management of water resources and water rights. Her practice spans every aspect of California and national water law. She represents the interests of all water users—wholesale and retail water providers, public and private corporations, government enterprises, investment funds and banks, large landowners, land developers and home builders, ski resorts and golf courses, traditional and renewable energy developers, high tech industries, agriculture and vineyards — in both transactional and litigation matters. Stephanie is also the Co-Founder and Co-Chair of the California H2O Women Conference.

Dr. Jeff Albert

ex officio, Co-founder, The Aquaya Institute

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Jeff has worked in the water field for 15 years, on issues that include water reclamation and efficiency in irrigated agriculture, hydrologic cycle aspects of climate change, water treatment in low-resource settings, and the uptake of household water treatment. Jeff co-founded Aquaya in 2005 following a Fellowship with the Office of the Global Change Research Program the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, where he was awarded a Bronze Medal for his work on drinking water in response to the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. From 2002 to 2004, he held a joint faculty appointment with the Center for Environmental Studies and the Department of Geological Sciences at Brown University. He was also a Visiting Scholar at Brown’s Watson Institute of International Studies during that time.

Jeff holds a PhD degree from Yale University and a BS degree from Brown University.

Dr. Ranjiv Khush

ex officio, Co-founder, The Aquaya Institute

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As Executive Director, Ranjiv guides Aquaya’s development as a leading research and consulting organization dedicated to effective water quality management in developing countries. Ranjiv brings a science and technology focused approach to Aquaya that builds on extensive basic research and policy experience. Ranjiv co-founded Aquaya in 2005 following a Fellowship with the Office of the Science and Technology Advisor to the U.S. Secretary of State.  Previously he was a research scientist at Stanford University and the Centre National de Recherché Scientifique in Paris, France.

Ranjiv holds a PhD degree from the University of California, Santa Cruz and MS and BS degrees from the University of California, Davis.

Aquaya has studied and optimized water quality testing strategies in low-resource settings for over 10 years. We are happy to provide insights to help your organization develop or improve a monitoring program. Please reach out by contacting us.

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