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Panel Discussion: The Catastrophic Nexus of Climate and WASH

October 28, 2021 @ 9:30 am - 10:30 am

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recently reported on the intensifying impacts of climate change globally. Climate changes are happening rapidly and the future will certainly be hotter than ever before. Experts in climate change from Duke and UNICEF will discuss where we are with this catastrophic change and what is being done in the WASH space.


  • Marc Jeuland, Ph.D, Associate Professor, Sanford School of Public Policy and the Global Health Institute, Duke University
  • Zeal Desai, Co-Founder, Green Periods
  • Mustika Wijaya, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Solar Chapter
  • Xiangkun Elvis Cao, Ph.D, Co-Founder, C2X
  • Bisi Agberemi, WASH Specialist, UNICEF

Marc Jeuland, Ph.D, is an Associate Professor holding primary appointments in the Sanford School of Public Policy and the Duke Global Health Institute at Duke University, and secondary affiliations with the Nicholas School of the Environment and the Pratt School of Engineering. He also holds a research affiliation with the Rheinisch-Westfalisches Institut (RWI) – Leibniz Institute for Economic Research. Besides working with other academics, Jeuland collaborates often with researchers and practitioners working in organizations such as the World Bank, USAID, the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves (GACC), and the World Health Organization. Prior to his graduate studies and work at UNC-Chapel Hill, Jeuland was a Peace Corps volunteer in Mali, West Africa, where he designed and monitored construction of a pilot wastewater treatment system and trained management personnel at the plant’s managing firm. He earned a B.S. in engineering from Swarthmore College.

Zeal Desai the co-founder of Green Periods, an initiative to create awareness around sustainable menstruation using tools like the menstrual footprint calculator which quantifies the individual economic and ecological impact of menstruation. As a reusable menstrual product user for the last 10 years and advocate for sustainability, she is passionate about learning and leading a healthy and meaningful life interconnected with nature. Zeal has a Bachelor of Arts from UT Austin, Master in Management from Duke University, and is a certified yoga instructor. She is an avid traveler, has lived in three continents, and speaks five languages.

Mustika Wijaya graduated from University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign majoring in Electrical Engineering. She founded a non-profit organization called Solar Chapter while earning her degree and is currently leading the nonprofit. Solar Chapter focuses on youth and rural development, with a special focus on sanitation and water solution, economic empowerment, and children education. Their goal is to holistically develop a region by first providing clean water access through solar power as a sustainable method.

Xiangkun (Elvis) Cao, Ph.D, is a Climate & Sustainability Consortium Impact Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is an honoree by three 30 under 30 lists including Forbes’ 30 under 30 in Energy. His Ph.D. research on scalable “artificial photosynthesis” for solar fuel production was featured in the World Economic Forum’s white paper as an energy innovation breakthrough of the past decade. He co-founded C2X for reimagining CO2 emissions as an energy resource. Besides research and entrepreneurship, Elvis contributed to policymaking by co-authoring a global roadmap on energy transition as a UN Technical Working Group Member for the High-Level Dialogue on Energy, and served as a panelist in the UN DESA Global Policy Dialogues for Climate Action. For his leadership in the sustainability sector, Elvis was named a German Chancellor Fellow by the Humboldt Foundation, a Youth Innovation Challenge Winner by the Commission for Environmental Cooperation, a Future Energy Leader (FEL-100) by the World Energy Council, a Young Changemaker on Sustainable WASH Solutions by UNICEF, and a Young Champions of the Earth Finalist for North America by UNEP, among others. He graduated from Cornell and McGill, with joint training at MIT.

Bisi Agberemi is a water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) specialist with UNICEF New York. He has over 30 years of professional experience in rural and urban water supply, sanitation and hygiene both in development and humanitarian contexts. He has managed several WASH projects at global, national and sub-national levels and provided strategic technical leadership and guidance in WASH programme development, planning and implementation. Bisi has first degree in Civil Engineering and Master’s in Business Administration.


October 28, 2021
9:30 am - 10:30 am
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