Sarah Dousse, Executive Director

Sarah Dousse started at the ISW-SWE as an an advisor on development, partnerships and communication. She is now executive director for the movement, contributing to its advocacy work in many different areas.

A socioeconomist by training with a solid understanding of international development, particularly in the water and sanitation sector, her natural curiosity and desire for a challenge led her to work and study abroad. She has worked for local NGOs and for the water division of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). While at the SDC, she advocated for access to water and sanitation to be considered a human right, and for the inclusion of a specific water goal in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. She is a native of Switzerland.

Antonella Cagnolati, Institutional Relations Consultant

Antonella Cagnolati is responsible for institutional and international relations with Solidarity Water Europe, in particular with Strasbourg City Hall, the Council of Europe, the Euro-Region and the institutions of the European Union. She is particular engaged with the European youth water projects and SWE’s activities in Moldova.

An economist and European civil servant for over 30 years, Cagnolati was director of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, and manager of the environment, regional development and local authorities division of the Council’s Parliamentary Assembly. She currently works as an expert consultant in governance, local democracy and citizenship. She coordinated the 2013 and 2014 editions of the Council of Europe’s Lisbon Forums, which focused on the aftermath of the Arab Spring, electoral processes and democratic governance in Southern Mediterranean countries.

She is a co-founder of Solidarity Water Europe, incorporated in Strasbourg, France following the Blue Europe action plan that the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe initiated in 1993-1994. A native of Italy, she is currently President of the ISW-SWE’s Board of Governors.

Olivier Normand, Program Coordinator for Central Asia

Olivier Normand is responsible for the ISW’s Central Asia programs, in particular in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.  He holds a law degree from the University Paris II Assas and a diploma from the Institute of Political Studies of Paris in political science, economics and sociology.

Throughout his career, Olivier has managed development projects around the world. Since 1996 he has mainly worked in Central Asia.

Laurie Fourneaux, Youth Program Coordinator

A Montreal native, Laurie holds degrees in political science and environmental science. During her studies she focused on water issues in Burkina Faso and worked in the local development sector before joining the ISW in 2009.

As youth programme coordinator she nourishes her passion for involving youth in the process of building a more sustainable world.

Vladimir Arana, Program Coordinator for the Americas

Vladimir coordinates the organization’s programs in the Americas, most recently in Peru. Vladimir has had a long and varied career as an expert advisor and consultant. Key roles he has occupied include: senior advisor at the Latin American Development Bank for water and infrastructure; senior advisor with CARE; advisor to the deputy minister for the Environment in Peru; general director of the Environment Bureau and General Director of Urban Planning in the Ministry of Housing, Construction and Sanitation; consultant for the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR); consultant for the International Potato Centre; consultant for CONDESAN; consultant for the World Bank, and university professor.

Anne-Catherine Mercuri, Project coordinator

A native of Strasbourg, France, Anne Catherine holds a Master degree in International Relations and specializes in the management of cooperation projects. Before joining the ISW-SWE in 2017, she completed several missions related to European and international development within public administrations and NGOs in France and Italy.

Today, she is in charge of the coordination of the “Europe” programme of ISW-SWE, including youth empowerment actions as well as a water and sanitation programme implemented in Moldova.

Radouane Lamqaddam, Finance and development officer

With a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in political science, focus on cooperation and development, Radouane Lamqaddam is interested in the issues of professionalization, communication and legitimacy of non-governmental organizations. In order to deepen his understanding of the challenges faced by NGOs, he worked in fundraising.

Svetlana Duca, Project Manager ad-interim for Moldova

As a graduate in economic sciences and public administration, Svetlana has been active in the sector of public authorities, at all levels in Moldova (central, regional, and local) as well as in international consultancy. Svetlana has acquired a comprehensive vision on Moldova’s key challenges and objectives and targets in regard to national, sector/intersector, water policies as well as in the field of regionalization and decentralization.

The work within international companies active in Moldova, especially in the water and sanitation sector, allowed her to develop a systemic approach, mostly concerning efficient planning of infrastructure, economic and financial planning, and the organization of water services.

Today, Svetlana is responsible for the coordination of the water and sanitation programme implemented by ISW-SWE in Moldova, in the Nirnova river basin.

Elysa Vaillancourt, Youth project manager

Elysa holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from HEC Montréal and completed a Master’s degree in International Studies at the Université de Montréal, focusing more specifically on the monitoring and evaluation of climate change adaptation projects on the international scene.

Her master’s degree enabled her to complete an internship at the Quebec Government’s Ministère de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques, which ended with a job as a climate change advisor. Her work at the Ministry focused mainly on the monitoring and evaluation of projects funded by the International Climate Cooperation Program as well as the strategic improvement of the program.

Elysa is now the Youth Project Officer, where she works on the implementation and development of the ISW-SWE youth strategy.



Lyazzat Syrlybayeva , Co-Regional Coordinator CAY4W

Ms. Lyazzat Syrlybayeva graduated with a double master’s degree in natural resources management from the University of Padova, Italy and the University of Lisbon, Portugal; having specialized in water ecosystem services inclusion in forest management planning.

She also has an extensive experience working in the field of landscape architecture, now she is engaged in an environmental awareness-raising – particularly leading “Central Asia Youth for Water” (CAY4W) Network – focusing on empowering the youth in the water sector in the region and beyond.

Cholpon Aitakhunova, Co-Regional Coordinator CAY4W

Cholpon Aitakhunova attended American University in Central Asia (AUCA)  from 2007-2011, and the OSCE Academy in Bishkek from 2011-2012, where she got her degrees in European Studies (BA) and Politics and Security (MA), respectively. Currently, Cholpon Aitakhunova is a regional co-coordinator of the “Central Asian Youth for Water” (CAY4W) Network, where she interacts with youth all over the region and together with the network they work on youth engagement in the water sector through active youth empowerment. She organized the First Youth Climate Change Forum in Kyrgyzstan under the support of the Green Alliance and its partner organizations. Cholpon was recognized as a global teen leader by We Are Family Foundation in 2010 and attended the global Just Peace Summit together with 30 young leaders from all over the world. She is also a finalist of the FLEX academic exchange program as well as a recipient of an award from former US president G.W. Bush for her community service during her studies in the US.

Sophie Gonthier, Project manager

Sophie holds a bachelor’s degree in civil law and a master’s degree in environmental management. During her studies, she developed a keen interest in the relationship between respect for human rights and the sustainable management of natural resources. The issue of climate change and the pressure it exerts on freshwater resources is of particular interest to her. Her master’s degree allowed her to complete an internship in the Philippines where she worked on the implementation of social and environmental projects.

Today, she holds the position of Project manager at ISW where she contributes to the empowerment of young people with regard to the issues affecting drinking water and sanitation.