Abdin Mohamed Ali Salih
Abdin Mohd Ali Salih holds a B.Sc. degree with Highest Honours in Civil Engineering from the University of Khartoum, Sudan (1969) and a D.I.C. and Ph.D from the Imperial College of Science and Technology, University of London (U.K.), 1972. His fields of interest are hydrology (including groundwater), hydraulics, and water and land resources management under arid conditions. He served the University of Khartoum up to 1993 where he achieved full professorship in 1982. He also served as the Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University (1990-1991).
Between 1973 and 1993, Mr Salih served as visiting professor at several universities in the USA, Europe, and Middle East where he conducted scientific research. This included a six-month stay at the University of Padova (Italy) in 1974 doing research on Fast Water Flows; one year (1978-1979) at Colorado State University as a member of the late Professor Yevjevich research team working on a Spanish/American project on the Conjunctive Use of Surface and Groundwater; a five years (1980-1985) tenure at King Saud University in Riyadh, where he supervised the establishment of post-graduate studies in Water Resources Engineering and served as advisor to many large national water and environmental research projects; two months visiting professorship (1986) at Imperial College advancing his research in Water Resources Management Under Arid Conditions and providing lectures to the M.Sc. students in hydrology. For many years, Mr Salih taught an annual postgraduate course at the Jaroslav Černi Institute of Water Resources (ex-Yugoslavia). His academic appointment also included serving as scientific and professional advisor to several national, regional and international consulting firms, NGOs, IGOs and UN agencies, including UNESCO, WMO, UN-ESCWA, WB, ACSAD, ALECSO, Euroconsult, amongst many, and as external examiner to many universities in Africa including the University of Dar Es Salam, Tanzania and in the Middle East; serving as a member of UNESCO’s Advisory Board of the Great Man-Made River of Libya (1990 to date); and leading a multidisciplinary team in 1986-1990 to study and solve the engineering and environmental problems related to the rising groundwater beneath the city of Riyadh (Saudi Arabia).
In addition to teaching, academic development and senior administration in universities, Mr Salih is actively involved in many interdisciplinary research projects, supervision and examination of postgraduate theses, and review of research projects submitted to national research councils. He published over 90 papers and chapters of books in various journals and proceedings of refereed conferences and prepared over 50 technical reports. He served on the editorial board of many national and international journals.
Mr Salih is a fellow of the Third World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) and the African Academy of Sciences; was for decades a charted engineer and member of the British Institution of Civil Engineers; a member of the International Association for Hydraulic Engineering and Research (IAHR) and served on its Nomination Committee; the founder of the African division of the IAHR and served as its first President; a fellow of the International Water Resources Association (IWRA); a member of the International Association for Hydrological Sciences (IAHS); a fellow of the Sudan Engineering Society and served as its President and Secretary General at various periods.
He led many professional and technical projects in Africa and the Middle East, including an over US$50 million interdisciplinary project on the study and resolution of the problems related to the rising groundwater beneath the city of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (1986-1990).
In 1993, Mr Salih joined UNESCO as the Regional Hydrologist for the Arab States. During his tenure (1993-1999), he spearheaded the establishment of active networks in the areas of Wadi Hydrology, Groundwater Protection, FRIEND/Nile, and the ArabMAB Network. His accomplishments led to considerable visibility and remarkable respectability to UNESCO’s International Hydrological Programme (IHP) and to its Man and the Biosphere (MAB) programme in the region.
In June 1999, Mr Salih joined UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, where he served as the Deputy Secretary of IHP until 2003. In this capacity, he participated in the shaping of the Sixth Phase of IHP (IHP-VI, 2002-2007) and contributed to many new initiatives, including the UN World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP), the establishment of the UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education in Delft as a UNESCO category 1 institute, and the establishment of regional water-related centres in Cairo, Tehran and Chili, under the auspices of UNESCO. He has also been instrumental in securing extrabudgetary contributions to IHP, particularly the over US$10 million from the Flanders Fund in Trust Support to projects within the FRIEND/Nile, Palestinian Territories, South Africa and Chili.
Between 2003 and 2007, Mr Salih served as Representative and Director of the UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office, which covers Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan and Turkmenistan. Under his leadership, considerable achievements were made in the areas of education, science and culture. These included establishing, from scratch, an active sub-regional office that performs UNESCO’s mandates in its fields of competence (education, science, culture and communication); establishing two regional/international water centres in Iran and the initiation of the process to found a third regional water centre in Pakistan; the launching of a very active Asian branch of the G-WADI with membership of 12 countries, and access to many pilot G-WADI schemes.
Since retirement from UNESCO in July 2007, Mr Salih has been serving as a Professor and an international freelance consultant. He was called to serve as the Interim Director of the UNESCO Regional Office for Science and Technology, based in Cairo, Egypt, for the period 15 March to 31 May 2008.
On June 2008, Mr Salih, then the representative of Sudan to the 18th session of the Intergovernmental Council of the International Hydrological Programme (IHP), was elected unanimously as the Chairperson of the Intergovernmental Council of IHP. He served at this capacity until 2010 and from then as an ex-officio member of the IHP Bureau until August 2011. He was a member of the UN-Water Decade Programme on Capacity Development (UNW-DPC) based in Bonn, Germany under the umbrella of the United Nations University (UNU). He was also elected as member of the Governing Board of the UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education in Delft, Netherlands from June 2011 to June 2015.
Effective 4 September 2011, Mr Salih has been appointed as Director of the Division of Water Sciences, and Secretary of the International Hydrological Programme (IHP) of UNESCO. He will serve in this capacity until recruitment of a new Director and Secretary.