Thomas Panella

Director, Agriculture, Food, Nature, and Rural Development, ADB Sectors Group

Tom is Chair of the Water Sector Committee/Group for ADB. As Director in East Asia, he is responsible for managing operations including strategy; project development, management, and programming; policy dialogue; and knowledge management. As Chair of the Water Sector Committee, he provides oversight for the ADB-wide Water Sector Group for policy development, institutional engagement in water issues, and strategic direction of lending and non-lending water operations. He served as ADB’s Chief of Water Sector Group from 2017-20, Afghanistan Country Director from 2014-17, and joined ADB in 2003. He has led water operations in Central, South, and Southeast Asia including postings in Indonesia directing the water and climate change programs and in Uzbekistan as head of operations. He worked at the World Bank from 2000 to 2002 as a Water Resources Management Specialist. He was the Southern California Regional Director for Tabors, Caramanis and Associates from 1989 to 1993 and served as the Convener of the California Urban Water Conservation Council in 1997 (now the California Water Efficiency Partnership). He is a member of the AGWA Strategic Advisory Council, GWP Technical Committee, and Advisor to the HELP. He has a PhD and MPP in Public Policy and MSc from the Energy and Resources Group from the University of California, Berkeley.

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