Rachael Mcdonnell

Strategic Program Director, IWMI

Dr Rachael McDonnell is Strategic Program Director for Water, Climate Change and Resilience at the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) based in its Rome Office. She is the global lead of a team of researchers working on innovative data, technology, policy and governance solutions to support countries adapting and building resilience to the water challenges resulting from of a changing climate. Prior to joining IWMI she was the Head of Climate Change Modeling and Adaptation at the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture in Dubai. She previously held various academic positions at the University of Oxford including Founding Director of MSc Water Science, Policy and Management. She gained her doctorate in geography from Oxford.

Rachael is speaking at

September 3, 2020
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm


  • Bruno Charbonneau (Speaker) Director, Centre FrancoPaix in Conflict Resolution and Peace Mission
  • Robert Zougmoré (Speaker) Africa Program Leader, CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security
  • Catherine-Lune Grayson-Courtemanche (Speaker) Policy Advisor, International Committee of the Red Cross
  • Rachael Mcdonnell (Speaker) Strategic Program Director, IWMI
  • Rigmor Koti (Speaker) Special Representative for the Sahel, Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Ornella Moderan (Speaker) Institute for Security Studies (ISS), Head of Sahel Programme


The Sahel is a particular case where the interaction between climate-conflict can be strongly observed. With a high-dependence on rain-fed agriculture and livestock, climate variability, especially droughts, leave pastoralists and smallholders in this region particularly vulnerable. Moreover, the region remains fragile, embodied by factors such as weak capacity of the state, inter-group inequality and a history of violent conflict.

In this Webinar, our Guest Speakers will discuss the drivers of conflict in the Sahel, and how climate-smart interventions can help to alleviate these tensions.

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