Key Speakers

David LaFrance
Chief Executive Officer,
American Water Works Association

David B. LaFrance is Chief Executive Officer of the American Water Works Association, the world’s largest and oldest association of water professionals, with 43 sections throughout North America and more than 50,000 members worldwide. Overseeing a staff of more than 150 in Denver, Washington D.C. and Mumbai, India, LaFrance guides AWWA’s extensive scientific, educational, and public policy work to build a better world through better water.

Prior to joining AWWA in 2010, he was the Chief Financial Officer for Denver Water where, during his 17-year tenure, he also served as the utility’s Manager of Rate Administration. LaFrance’s professional background also includes extensive water policy and management experience with the global engineering and consulting firm CH2M and the US Army Corps of Engineers.

Jeanne M. Bennett-Bailey
President (2016-2017)
American Water Works Association

Jeanne has worked in the drinking-water community for more than 25 years. Recently retired, she served as the Public Affairs Officer for Fairfax Water for over 12 years. Fairfax Water is the largest drinking-water utility in Virginia, serving nearly 2 million people in the Washington Metropolitan area.

For more than a decade, Jeanne worked in Fairfax Water’s laboratory. In addition to conducting sampling and analysis, she was particularly involved in the study and implementation of regulations. Having also worked in the field of regulatory development for the Government Affairs Office of the American Water Works Association, she has a broad knowledge of both regulatory and operational aspects of water-quality and utility issues.

An AWWA member since 1990, she served as Chair of AWWA’s Public Affairs Council and as a member of the Diversity and Member Inclusion committee and many technical committees. Jeanne was honored as the 2014 AWWA Volunteer of the Year. Jeanne comes from the Virginia Section where she served on various committees.

Jeanne lives in Fairfax, VA with her partner Jane. They enjoy singing in their church choir, any day on a boat, and traveling to new and interesting places.

Nilaksh Kothari, P.E.
CEO & General Manager
Manitowoc Public Utilities

Nilaksh Kothari is the CEO & General Manager of Manitowoc Public Utilities and Managing Director of Great Lakes Utilities, located on the shore of Lake Michigan in Wisconsin. He has more than 30 years of experience in the utility sector. MPU is the largest municipally-owned electric utility and the sixth largest water utility in Wisconsin, with total annual revenues of $80 million. The utility serves both retail and wholesale water and electric customers. Mr. Kothari is responsible for directing all aspects of MPU’s operation, its 90 employees, and over $350 million in assets, which features an 85 MW coal-fired generating plant, a 25.0 MW combustion turbine facility, and a 35.0 MGD microfiltration plant.

Mr. Kothari received a Master’s of Science in Environmental Engineering from South Dakota State University in 1985 and a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from M.S. University in Baroda, India in 1983. He is a registered professional engineer in Wisconsin. His professional memberships and affiliations include the Great Lakes Utilities, American Water Works Association (AWWA), American Public Power Association (APPA), Municipal Electric Utilities of Wisconsin (MEUW), Municipal Environmental Group – Water (MEG), Water Research Foundation (WRF), the American Society of Civil Engineers, EcoSan Foundation, and Rotary.

Joseph G. Jacangelo
Vice President and Director of Research

Dr. Jacangelo is a Vice President and Director of Research for Stantec. He has 30 years of experience in the field of environmental health engineering, and has specialized in the areas of water quality and treatment, water and wastewater disinfection, membrane technology, water reuse and public health. He has served as Technical Director, Principal Investigator, Project Manager or Engineer for over 80 water and wastewater projects. Dr. Jacangelo has published numerous peer-reviewed technical papers and has held various positions within professional organizations. He is a Board Member, a past Chair of the Technical and Education Council, current Chair of the International Council, and Member of Executive Committee of the American Water Works Association (AWWA). He has served as either chair or member of 26 of that organization’s various committees. He has also participated on over 30 advisory or conference planning committees for various water and wastewater organizations. Dr. Jacangelo is also past Chair of the Board of Directors of the Water Environment and WateReuse Research Foundation and a current member of the editorial advisory board for the Journal of Water Reuse and Desalination. In addition to his role at Stantec, Dr. Jacangelo is an adjunct faculty member at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. He is a co-founder of the Johns Hopkins/MWH Alliance. Dr. Jacangelo is a past recipient of the AWWA Golden Spigot Award and two AWWA Best Paper Awards. He also received that organization’s Volunteer of the Year of Award. Finally, Dr. Jacangelo served three years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Republic of the Congo.

Uma Vempati
Water/Wastewater Group Leader

Uma has over 15 years of national and international experience in water and wastewater engineering, bringing a wide breadth of knowledge to this conference. Uma has extensive expertise in the planning and analysis of surface and groundwater supply systems, water and wastewater treatment systems, and distribution and collection system infrastructure.

Surrounded by drinking water related challenges in South India, Uma practices his childhood passion; to proactively address water related challenges and make a positive environmental impact. As a water professional, Uma takes great pride in truly understanding each stage of the water management process, providing effective and efficient solutions to each community served. Uma’s engaging personality and active listening style allow him to fully understand the needs of clients and water related issues, offering unique and sustainable services.Uma is actively involved and recognized in the industry. He served on the Board of Directors and various committees of the American Water Works Association (AWWA) providing his volunteer contributions to the industry.Uma currently works as the Water/Wastewater Group Leader at ISG, a regional firm in North America that specializes in Engineering and Architecture.

Ashish Mathur
Managing Director - JUSCO
A TATA Group Enterprise

Ashish Mathur is a seasoned professional with rich cross functional, multinational experience in all aspects of business in a career spanning over 26 years. Presently working as Managing Director – JUSCO, a TATA Group Enterprise, the only company in India comprehensively building and managing city level infrastructure and services, Ashish has spearheaded major developments like Satellite Cities, Special Economic Zones and Industrial Parks etc. in India.

Ashish has an enriching international experience with Marine Engineering & Shipbuilding, Business – Start up to stabilisation, Asset Management & Administration, Large Scale Multi – Utility Operations and Real Estate. He has steered the entire course of Business Planning & Execution, Processes & Systems Implementation etc. and has significantly contributed to the organisations with his deep insight in to business development by taking overall charge as the profit centre head.

Known for his ability to get a business off the block or turn around a business, he has excelled as critical thinker and adept negotiator who can apply knowledge of multiple industries in achievement of core organisational objectives. He has been instrumental in bringing about a paradigm shift in the ways the modern large projects are planned.

Originally qualified as Mechanical Engineer, Ashish has reached out to industry & published strategic papers on ‘SHE’, ‘Standardisation of Work Place Practices’, ‘Making of a Business Manager’. He has many work place excellence awards to his credits.

Dr. Lakhwinder S. Hundal
CTO – Water & Wastewater Division

Dr. Hundal is a renowned scientist with 25+ years of experience in wastewater treatment, resource recovery, and beneficial reuse of residuals. Prior to joining InNow as CTO of the Water and Wastewater Division. Dr. Hundal held senior level positions in the Research and Monitoring Division of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD), which operates the world’s largest wastewater treatment operation and treats over 1.5 billion gallons of wastewater daily.

Dr. Hundal has published over 110 scientific papers, book chapters, white papers, and reports on wastewater treatment and improvements in water quality by promoting resource recovery and beneficial reuse of residuals. He has chaired numerous national and international committees including the USDA’s National Research Committee on Beneficial Reuse of Residuals and Reclaimed Water - Impact on Soil Ecosystem and Human Health. He is currently serving as international expert advisor for the National Biosolids Partnership (NBP). Dr. Hundal has received numerous awards including the “National Environmental Achievement – Educational Category” award from the Nation Association of Clean Water Agencies and “Exemplary Biosolids Management” award from the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

Rasheed Ahmad
Senior Watershed Manager
Department of Watershed Management (DWM)
City of Atlanta, GA

Rasheed Ahmad is a watershed manager, senior in the Department of Watershed Management (DWM), City of Atlanta, Ga. He holds a PhD degree in environmental engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, and an MS degree in civil engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, India. Ahmad completed his BS degree in civil engineering from AMU, Aligarh, India. Ahmad is a recipient of AWWA’s Best Publication and Best Water Science Research awards. He has nearly 20 years of professional experience in water and wastewater projects.

Ian Barret
Commercial Director
Water Business (Middle East, India & Africa) & Projects Director
Black & Veatch, India

Ian Barrett has over a 40 year career in the global water business. He has worked for consultants, contractors, developers and utilities. Currently employed by Black & Veatch as Commercial Director for its water business in Middle East India and Africa, and Projects Director B&V India ; he has in depth experience and knowledge of developing, securing and delivery water contracts to utilities and private sector clients in many jurisdictions. Over his career to date, he has had responsibility for pursuing work and managing contracts and operations in over 30 countries.

Sudhir Murthy
Innovations Chief
District of Columbia
Water and Sewer Authority (DC Water)

Dr. Sudhir Murthy is Innovations Chief for the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority (DC Water). Working in the Office of the General Manager, Dr. Murthy leads development, implementation and continuous improvement of the Authority's innovation strategy, in coordination with the executive team and other stakeholders. He develops and oversees projects to foster a culture of innovation and advance the delivery of services. Additionally, Dr. Murthy creates and defines processes, capabilities and metrics around innovation; facilitates continuing education of staff by developing programs that address innovation; and leads the translation of research development into product or service concepts. Dr. Murthy also directs the evolution and dissemination of innovation efforts, including using social media and traditional methods to communicate research insights, innovation methods and relevant team updates. In addition to this, he will identify and lead partnerships for collaborative programs.

Previously, Dr. Murthy was Manager, Clean Water Quality and Technology. In this capacity he managed the innovation initiatives, pretreatment and laboratory for the Blue Plains Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant. The innovation initiatives included developing new processes for implementation, improving performance and reliability of existing processes, and developing approaches for improving sustainability. Dr. Murthy has significant experience implementing new commercial processes within public utilities. Prior to DC Water, Dr. Murthy was employed at CH2M HILL and was involved in the development of several new processes for utilities.

Dr. Murthy has a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from R.V. College of Engineering in Bangalore, India. In addition, he has a master's degree in environmental engineering and a Ph.D. in civil engineering, both from Virginia Tech. He is a Licensed Professional Engineer, a Licensed Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator, and a Board Certified Environmental Engineer. He is both an International Water Association Fellow and Water Environment Federation Fellow. He has received four U.S. patents for developing treatment processes and is the author or coauthor of more than 75 peer reviewed publications and over 250 conference publications.

Arun K. Singh
Ambassador of India to U.S.A, 2016

Ambassador Arun K. Singh completed his assignment as Ambassador of India to U.S.A in 2016. Earlier he had served as Ambassador to France from 2013- 2015, and to Israel from 2005- 2008.

Currently he is a Distinguished Halle Institute Fellow at Emory University (Atlanta, Georgia); Distinguished Non Resident Senior Fellow at German Marshall Fund of US in Washington DC; and Senior Counsellor at The Cohen Group in Washington DC. He is also a Special Adviser to INNOW.

In Spring 2017, Ambassador Singh was Diplomat in Residence at the School of International Service of American University, teaching a course on US Foreign Policy in South Asia. He was also Visiting faculty at School of Advanced International studies (SAIS) of Johns Hopkins University, teaching a course on Current Global Trends and Challenges. During this period he was invited as Distinguished Visiting Fellow by Emory University, and Centre for Advanced Study of India (CASI) at University of Pennsylvania. Aside from intense interactions with students and faculty, he spoke at public platforms on US- India relations, Indian Economic and Technological Trends, US Foreign Policy in South Asia, and Diplomacy and Statecraft.

His other diplomatic assignments have included tours of duty in Soviet Union and later in Russia, Japan, Ethiopia, and in the Indian mission to UN in New York. In the Ministry of External affairs in New Delhi, he was involved for nearly a decade in the formulation and implementation of India’s policies related to Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran, including in the period following 9/11.

Ambassador Singh speaks Russian and has some knowledge of French, Japanese and Hebrew.

Keith Bircher
Technical Director,

Keith Bircher has worked since 1988 in the research, development, testing and commercialization of Ultraviolet based products for the disinfection of wastewater, drinking water and ballast water, and the use of UV and hydrogen peroxide or chlorine for the destruction of contaminants in water.

As Technical Director Mr. Bircher oversees the development and commercialization of UV based water disinfection and advanced oxidation products. This work involves design, CFD modeling, and validation testing of large scale UV reactors for both disinfection and Advanced Oxidation.

Mr. Bircher has a degree in Chemical Engineering, is on the Board of Directors of International UV Association, has several patents in the use of UV for the treatment of water and has authored several papers in this field.

Dr. Y.B. Sontakke
Joint Director (WPC),
Maharashtra Pollution Control Board

Dr. Y. B. Sontakke is currently the Joint Director (Water Pollution Control) at the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board, Mumbai. With his career over 20 years, Dr. Sontakke has spent most of his time working with the MPCB and Dr. Ramazini Research Institute of Occupational Health Services, Pune.

Worked as Environmental Scientist and Executive Officer in the field of pollution control (Air, Water, and Noise) at Dr. Ramazini Research Institute of Occupational Health Services, Pune on the project “Noise Pollution & Control and it’s ill effects on population in Pune & around A Case Study” Sponsored by Ministry of Environment and Forest Govt. of India, New Delhi, Conducted by Dr. Ramazani Research Institute of Occupational Health Services, Pune (India).

Worked with MAHARASHTRA POLLUTION CONTROL BOARD (under Ministry of Environment, Govt. of Maharashtra), as SUB-REGIONAL OFFICER 1997 to 2007 and REGIONAL OFFICER (Technical Class-I Officer) (HQ) I/C Hazardous Substances Management Division (HSMD) from Aug 2007 to Feb 2013. Regional Officer, Navi Mumbai between Fec., 2013 to July, 2014. Presently, working as Joint Director (Water Pollution Control).

Dr. Anbalagan P.
Member Secretary,

Dr. Anbalagan P. is working as a Member Secretary with the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB). He has also contributed a significant tenure as a Jt. Chief Executive Officer with the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC), Mumbai. After completing his masters in Dairy Science Nutrition, Dr. Anbalagan studied further to become an Indian Administrative Services officer from 2001 batch.

Dr. Anbalagan also a trained professional in Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Urban Development from National Institute of Advanced Studies and Solid Waste Management and Sewage Treatment, from The European Union Technical Cooperation for Environment in India

K. P. Bakshi

Mr. K. P. Bakshi is a 1982 batch IAS officer of Maharashtra, currently working as Chairman, Maharashtra Water Resource Regulatory Authority (MWRRA). A career spanning 39 years, Mr. Bakshi has held position at the State and Central Government. Mr. Bakshi has worked as Additional Chief Secretary (Home), Maharashtra, and Municipal Commissioner at Amravati, Nashik and Thane Municipal Corporation. Mr. Bakshi was also Member Secretary of the Dr. Vijay Kelkar Committee for Balanced Development of Maharashtra and Chairman of the “Godavari River Basin Water Plan Committee”.

Suresh Kulkarni

Prof. Dr. Suresh Kulkarni is serving as the Secretary at Maharashtra Water Resources Regulatory Authority (MWRRA), Mumbai. Earlier he has served as the Executive Secretary of the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID) at New Delhi, and Associate Professor (Irrigation Engineering) at Water and Land Management Institute (WALMI), Aurangabad. He holds Ph.D. in Irrigation Engineering from Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest and received intensive training in ‘Irrigation Water Management’ in USA.

Dr. kulkarni has over 40 years of teaching, training, research, and administrative experience in the water sector at state, national and international levels. He has lectured in some 15 countries and has written over 80 technical papers and contributed to many technical reports/ books related to agricultural water management.

Ramkumar R. S.
Director Marketing,
Autosys Control System India (P) Ltd.

Ramkumar has more than 25 years of experience in technology, marketing and leadership development. He is currently Director Marketing at Autosys Control Systems India Pvt Ltd. He is also a consultant and mentor to multiple start-ups in Chennai, helping them with their growth strategies. He is a published author, thinker and writer with many papers and articles to his credit. He also conducts two day workshops titled “Leading from Within”. For more on his thought leadership please see this link:

Anand Sathya

Founder of Geofluid having two decades of experience in Fluid filtration , separation, purification , disinfection and pumping technologies. He has over the years brought in state of the art technologies into India supporting his cause of fluid treatment and provided the Indian industry with solutions for fluid conservation and reuse.

For the men and women engaged in today's critical process analysis, science calls for equal parts of imagination, skill and painstaking procedure and that is the core fundamentals in which the Geofluid Artery runs on.

For him science is as precious as life and not just a living.

Jonathan (Jon) T. Ward
Principal Commercial Officer,
U.S. Consulate General

Jon reported to the U.S. Consulate General in Kolkata in June 2015 as Principal Commercial Officer. Immediately prior, he served as Commercial Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi. Prior to joining the U.S. Department of Commerce, Jon spent over nine years as a Foreign Service Officer and Specialist with the U.S. Department of State. He served as Economic/Commercial Officer in Karachi, Pakistan and Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. Jon was Non-Immigrant Visa Chief in Baghdad, Iraq and General Services Officer in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He completed the State Department’s Economic Officer course, and served on details to the Wisconsin U.S. Export Assistance Center and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, where he was Director for South and Central Asia Affairs.

Jon also served the Foreign Policy Advisor to the Deputy Director for Middle East Politico-Military Affairs, Directorate for Strategic Plans & Policy (J-5), at the Joint Staff. He was an international supply chain and logistics executive with Briggs & Stratton and Batteries Plus, both based in Wisconsin, USA.

Jon has been a long-time supporter of the Water Council in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and the U.S. Water Partnership, helping to recruit three members to that organization. He is a member of the U.S. Government’s Interagency Water Working Group (IWWG), and as co-lead of the U.S. Commercial Service-India Environmental Technology team has helped guide dozens of U.S. water technology companies in the Indian market.

Jon is a U.S. Army veteran of Operation Desert Storm, and holds Juris Doctor (JD), MBA, and BS (Zoology & Political Science) degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Comprehensive Speaker List Coming Soon