The team

We are a team of practitioners dedicated to linking business practices with sustainability.
We have a long term experience in the Middle East and believe in making things happen!

Aline Bussmann

Co-Director

Aline is the co-director of cewas. She has more than 12 years experience as a resource management expert and business development trainer and her regional expertise lies in the Middle East, North and Eastern Africa, where she is based for many years. Aline coordinates and manages all cewas activities in the Middle East, with a strong focus on environmental business development & ecosystem support programs in the region. Based on her experience in entrepreneurial support, she has developed comprehensive sector-specific ecosystem strategies in several MENA countries and initiated partnerships and coordination platforms to enhance innovative finance mechanisms, talent growth and specialized business support. Aline is providing tailored technical and business support to high-potential start-ups at the incubation and acceleration stage. In the context of long-term support programmes, Aline has been the lead trainer and coach for more than 50 start-ups/companies in Jordan, Palestine, Iraq and Lebanon over the past four years. She has an extensive water, environment and business -related network and knowledge she can draw upon to scale sector-specific businesses and support developing respective markets.

Michael Kropac

Co-Director

Michael Kropac

Co-Director
michael.kropac@cewas.org+41788726744

Michael is the founder and Co-director of cewas. Throughout his +18 years of work experience, Michael has been an innovator, knowledge producer, trainer, facilitator and specialized water/food business development coach. Michael is a Geographer with minors in Business Administration and Transdisciplinary Environmental Sciences. As cewas’s Co-director, Michael has planned and conducted 100+ capacity development programmes for practitioners, decision makers and innovators, including 19 year-long specialized capacity building programmes and coaching of 200+ water, sanitation & waste entrepreneurs worldwide. He has co-designed and developed the largest knowledge platform in sustainable water and sanitation management worldwide (www.sswm.info). Michael lives with his family in Switzerland but frequently travels to train, coach and mentor entrepreneurs during incubation, acceleration and scaling

Hannah Wuzel

Project manager
Lebanon

Hannah Wuzel

Project manager
Lebanon
hannah.wuzel@cewas.org+96171858049+4915770885647

Hannah has dedicated her career to fostering innovation and the transfer of knowledge and skills to benefit people and the planet. She speaks 6 different languages and holds a MSc degree in Global Politics from the London School of Economics and Political Science as well as a BA in International Liberal Studies with a focus on International Relations and Political Science from Waseda University, Japan. In addition to several years of experience working in sustainable innovation and social entrepreneurship, Hannah’s core expertise is in communications and business development. For the past years, she has been contributing to coaching regional entrepreneurs and leading cewas’ activities in Lebanon, including the successful execution of two one-year long business training programmes with over 30 environmental entrepreneurs from early stage to scale-up.

Janek Hermann-Friede

Project manager

Janek Hermann-Friede

Project manager
janek.hermannfriede@cewas.org+491638776308

Janek is one of cewas’ senior project managers and trainers with a geographical focus on the Middle East and East Africa. As a business coach and entrepreneur, Janek is keenly interested in the question how social and ecological challenges can be overcome through economically sustainable initiatives. He supports innovation processes and helps enterprises to become investment ready. In our training programmes, Janek strives for the right balance between group exercises, active participation, introducing practical examples and different perspectives and ensuring technically sound solutions. Janek is an environmental engineer with a post-graduate degree in international development cooperation. He has more than 15 years of work experience in business development, water governance, private sector engagement and sustainable resources management practices. Prior to joining the cewas team in 2016, Janek founded an online start-up focusing on making high quality professional trainings affordable and accessible for everybody. Before that he worked on water and resources management projects both as independent consultant and for GIZ, GFA Consulting Group and the Water Integrity Network. Since 2014 Janek is a guest lecturer at the Centre for Rural Development (Humboldt Universität Berlin) with a focus on strategies and instruments for sustainable economic development and good governance.

Leonellha Barreto-Dillon

Project manager

Leonellha Barreto-Dillon

Project manager
leonellha.barreto-dillon@cewas.org+41795110254

Leonellha has been a cewas trainer, facilitator, coach and project manager since the foundation of cewas in 2010. With her 18 years of experience and a Chemical Engineering Degree, a Master Degree in Environmental Engineer, a Certificate of Cooperation for Development and a MBA in Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development, Leonellha has been fundamental in the development of training packages and workshops in sustainable sanitation and water management (SSWM), business development in water and sanitation, resource recovery and safe reuse (RRR), governance and sanitation safety planning, this last in alliance with the WHO. Leonellha collaborates as trainer and coach in the cewas Start-Programs editions in Willisau, Switzerland, as well as incubation programs in Zambia, Tanzania, South Africa, Uganda, India and Peru. She is also in charge of the Latin American programs for business development and integrity management. In cewas Middle East, she acts as trainer in Sustainable Sanitation and Water Management, designing and delivering tailor-made workshops in the region. Leonellha also supports the implementation of activities in Iraq, particularly the Innovation in Sanitation Hands-on Program with key stakeholders of the Erbil Directorate.

Lillian Volat

Founder of the programme
Currently in sabbatical

Lillian Volat

Founder of the programme
Currently in sabbatical
lillian.volat@cewas.org

Lillian studied International Relations and Environmental Politics at the University of Lingnan as well as Business Development in Sustainable Sanitation and Water Management at the University of Lucerne. She has 7 year of experience working with various NGO’s in the Middle East focusing on innovative sanitation technologies, water management, sustainable agriculture development and green start-ups.

Maisam Otoum

Country manager
Jordan

Maisam Otoum

Country manager
Jordan
maisam.otoum@cewas.org+962778913280

Maisam is the Jordan country manager for cewas Middle East and has a diverse experience in Water, Energy, and Climate Change programs with national and international NGOs. He is responsible for managing cewas activities in Jordan with focus on green entrepreneurship, innovation in water and sanitation, and ecosystem development through partnerships and institutional collaboration. He is a passionate trainer and mentor for emerging entrepreneurs. Maisam holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering (Jordan University of Science and Technology) and MSc in geophysics (University of Houston).

Nashwan Dhahir

Country manager
Iraq

Nashwan Dhahir

Country manager
Iraq
nashwan.dhahir@cewas.org+9647501984114

Nashwan is the Project Manager for cewas ME in Iraq. As a water resources engineer and sustainable sanitation and water management professional, Nashwan took the lead in WASH projects and a main role in institutional reform and development in the water sector with a focus on Iraqi context. He is responsible for developing and running cewas Middle East programs, strategic partnership development and further building and supporting the community of environmental innovators in Iraq. Utilizing his background and experience, he takes the lead and facilitates trainings and capacity building workshops for the members of Erbil sanitation service providing authority and the relevant stakeholders to promote sustainability in sanitation management, especially in faecal sludge management.

Owice Hammad

Project manager

Owice Hammad

Project manager
owice.hammad@cewas.org+962789359559

Owice supports on-ground activities in Jordan in addition to the one-on-one coaching and mentoring he provides to cewas’s start-ups. He also gives training in team development and formation. What he offers stem from the collective experience of practicing engineering, research, writing, human-human connections, and master studies. Owice is the founder of Turjumaa: a company that provides water and sanitation translation services, which is his side job. Owice holds a bachelor degree in Civil Engineering and a master’s degree in Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM).

Ruweida Aljabali

Project manager

Ruweida Aljabali

Project manager
ruweida.aljabali@cewas.org+4915209076900

Ruweida has studied Architecture and Built Environment in Jordan and Technology and Resources Management with a focus on urban and regional management in Germany. Throughout her study years, Ruweida participated in different environmental design and management classes and initiatives, which helped build an environmental advocate character. Ruweida is keen to help promote innovation in the water and environmental sector in Jordan, Palestine and the region. At cewas Middle East, she shares the responsibility for the coordination of entrepreneurial activities in Jordan and Palestine. She provides coaching and communication assistance to the start-ups as well as administrative and reporting support to the team, conducts research for project planning purposes and manages communication and regional marketing activities. Ruweida speaks Arabic, English and German. Next to her work at cewas, she is currently perusing her PhD in Germany.

Johanna von Toggenburg

Country manager
Lebanon

Johanna von Toggenburg

Country manager
Lebanon
johanna.vontoggenburg@cewas.org+961 71554900

Johanna is cewas’ country manager in Lebanon and project manager with a focus on the Middle East and Africa.With over 10 years of professional experience, Johanna contributes a combination of water and sanitation sector knowledge, experience in participatory process design, and a passion for training and coaching entrepreneurs. Previously, Johanna was programme coordinator for the international NGO WeWorld-GVC where she managed projects to reduce non-revenue water through infrastructure improvements, capacity building for water service providers, and behavioural change in Lebanon and developed projects on agriculture and local economic development. Before that, she collaboratively managed networks of scientists and practitioners, conducted research on innovations in water and waste management, and advised decision-takers, while working at the United National Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, Oxfam and the think tank Ecologic Institute. She believes, that bridging the gap between stakeholders from the business, academic, public sector and development fields is key to evidence-based and impact-driven solutions. Johanna studied development studies, holds post-graduate degrees in water management and economics and and fluently speaks German, Polish, English, French, Spanish and some Arabic.