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Shannon McCarthy

Secretary General
International Desalination Association


Ms. McCarthy currently serves as the Secretary-General of the International Desalination Association and President of the IDA Sustainable Water Resources Foundation. She has over twenty years of experience working internationally and specifically with the Middle East and North Africa region, more so in the GCC and North Africa region, and specifically with Jordan, Israel, and Palestinian Authority in the field of water sustainability, research, and application of non-conventional water resource technologies. She has served the International Desalination Association in the role of First Vice President, Chair of the Foundation and Public Outreach Committee, member of the Operations Committee, member of the Constitution and Bylaws Committee, and champion for the development of the IDA Sustainable Water Resources Foundation establishment process.

Before IDA, Ms. McCarthy served as a Partner of United4Water, a consulting firm operating in the water, food, and energy sectors, providing strategic advice and assistance in business development, project planning and management, capacity building, environmental stewardship, and corporate social responsibility.

She was the Deputy Center Director of the Middle East Desalination Research Center, an international intergovernmental non-profit organization born through the Water Working Group of the Middle East Peace Process and hosted by the Oman Ministry of Foreign Affairs with diplomatic status. As part of the MEDRC start-up team, she participated in developing and implementing cooperation programs for education, training, and research for the Middle East and North Africa region, with a specific focus on salination and water reuse for the Core Parties of the Middle East Peace Process. She has a strong record of resource mobilization and bringing together stakeholders to support education, scientific research, professional training programs, and specialized technology workshops and conferences related to advanced water treatment technologies for water sustainability.