John Briscoe, Gordon McKay Professor of the Practice of Environmental Engineering and Environmental Health at Harvard University, has been selected to receive the 2012 Stroud Award for Freshwater Excellence.

Awarded by the Stroud Water Research Center, an independent, nonprofit research institute, the prize celebrates “outstanding contributions” to the field of freshwater conservation, protection, and stewardship.

Briscoe is an expert on international water security. While holding faculty positions at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the Harvard School of Public Health, as well as an adjunct position at the Harvard Kennedy School, he is the director of the Harvard Water Security Initiative. He is also a faculty associate of the Harvard University Center for the Environment.

Briscoe earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in 1969 at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. Continuing his studies in environmental engineering at Harvard, he earned the Ph.D. in 1976.

In the early years of his career, he served as an epidemiologist studying cholera in Bangladesh; served as an advisor to Oxfam; and was employed as a water engineer for the National Directorate of Water in Mozambique.

From 1986 to 2008, Briscoe worked at the World Bank, rising to positions including chief of the Water and Sanitation Division, senior water adviser, and then country director for Brazil. He is credited with managing a $40 billion portfolio of water-related projects for the World Bank.

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