Our team

The team at the Water Footprint Network includes staff, Supervisory Council members and Associates.


Our team of trained specialists is ready to guide you on your journey to fair and smart water use.

Ruth Mathews
Executive Director
+31 (0) 85 484 9606

Ruth leads our international team. She works with companies and governments to help them understand their water dependence, assess the sustainability of their water use and prioritise strategic actions in their operations and supply chain. She has been involved in numerous multi-stakeholder river basin dialogues, providing leadership in finding solutions from the technical to broad policy.

Dr. Ashok K. Chapagain
Science Director
+31 (0) 85 484 9601

Ashok provides advice to our partners, maintains scientific rigor in applying the Water Footprint Assessment and leads our research and training programme. He helps multinationals understand global water risks and supports their efforts to address the environmental impact of their water footprint by developing the case for them to support a stronger public policy for water management.

Dr. Guoping Zhang
Programme Director
+31 (0) 85 484 9607

Guoping is responsible for the development and implementation of our work programmes. He has led a number of pioneering Water Footprint Assessments and studies to support sustainable water management strategies and policies for industries and governments.

Dr. Ertug Ercin
Project Manager
+31 (0) 85 484 9604

Ertuğ manages our project staff, establishes partnerships with different stakeholders and also develops and implements innovative project ideas for us. He has led many of our Water Footprint Assessment projects, such as Bangladesh Water PACT, C&A Water Strategy and Yasar Group Water Risk Assessment.

Alexandra Freitas
Project Manager
+31 (0) 85 484 9605

Alexandra establishes partnerships and also develops and implements innovative project ideas for us. She leads our proposals as well as some of our Water Footprint Assessment projects, such as some studies for the C&A Water Strategy.

Daniel Chico Zamanillo
Project Officer
+31 (0) 85 484 9602

Daniel conducts Water Footprint Assessment projects at product, river basin and national level. He has conducted research on water management, the relation between trade and environmental policies and agriculture productivity.

Mahady Hassan
Water Resource Consultant
+88 0192 361 3998

Mahady is responsible for maintaining strong relationships with our project partners and stakeholders in Bangladesh and assists with our Water Footprint Assessments, environmental impact and sustainability assessments.

Xander de Bruine
Knowledge Exchange Manager
+31 (0) 85 484 9603

Xander initiates projects for new knowledge exchange across different platforms (exhibitions, conferences, seminars, dialogues sessions, publications and virtual communication) and the engagement of networks, stakeholders and professionals from different fields.

Matilda Bradshaw
Communications Specialist
+44 (0)777 582 8634

Matilda leads our public communications and helps us convey the value of our work internationally. She is the first point of contact for media.

Drs. Michiel J. van Heek
Software Developer

Michiel specialises in open source information technology, applied to human geography. He develops our cutting edge online tools, such as the National Water Footprint Explorer and Water Footprint Assessment tool.

Joke Meijer
Management Assistant
+31 (0)53 489 4320

Joke is responsible for our financial management, bookkeeping, invoicing and administration. She also supports the organisation of international conferences and training.

Supervisory Council

The Supervisory Council ensures the financial and legal status of the Water Footprint Network and provides strategic guidance and direction.

Mr. Joop de Schutter

Joop de Schutter has a career in the field of water resources management in many different countries in Europe, South East Asia, Central Asia and Africa. Until 2012, he was acting Deputy Director of the UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education.

Prof. dr.ir. Arjen Y. Hoekstra

Arjen Hoekstra is Professor in Water Management at the University of Twente. He is creator of the water footprint concept (2002) and initiator and co-founder of the Water Footprint Network in 2008. He was Scientific Director of the Water Footprint Network until 31 Dec 2012, after which he moved to the Supervisory Council.

Mr. Joppe F. Cramwinckel

Joppe Cramwinckel is Director of the Water Programme at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. Before joining the WBCSD, he was Sustainable Development Lead for Shell International Exploration and Production.

Mr. Richard Holland

Richard Holland is Director of WWF’s Market Transformation Initiative which aims to reduce the impact of global commodity production on priority places for biodiversity worldwide. Since joining WWF in 1998 he has also been Chief Conservation Officer at WWF Netherlands and Director of the WWF’s Global Freshwater Programme. Before WWF, Richard worked for Delft Hydraulics in the Netherlands, for UNDP in central Europe and for the European Commission in Brussels.


Our associates have worked closely with us, as former employees or researchers, and continue our work in their new positions.

Dr. Erika Zarate
Based in Switzerland
+41 (0)78 890 2927
Dr. Maite M. Aldaya
Based in Spain
+34 (0)61 672 1088
Nicolas Franke
Based in USA
+31 (0)53 489 4135