LEADERSHIP 2018-2019


Yvana Ahdab


Yvana is PhD student in the MIT Department of Mechanical Engineering, working on batch reverse osmosis systems for water desalination. She completed her SM at MIT on the minimum energy requirements for groundwater desalination in the continental United States. Prior to attending MIT, Yvana received her BS in Mechanical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University. As an undergraduate, she conducted research on the effects of chemical treatment and ocean currents on oil dispersion and worked on the development of an energy harvesting cooling device.

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Alexandre Tuel


Alexandre is a PhD candidate in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at MIT. He joined the Eltahir Group in 2016 to work on a project focusing on climate change in Morocco and the Mediterranean. He is trying to explain why the Mediterranean is such a climate change hotspot, and what different dynamics are at play in this large region to reduce precipitation in climate models. Prior to coming to MIT, Alexandre obtained a Bachelor and a Master’s degree in Engineering from École Polytechnique.

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Janelle Heslop

MIT Water Innovation Prize Co-Director

Janelle is a Leaders for Global Operations Fellow at MIT, pursuing an SM in Civil and Environmental Engineering and an MBA.  Before MIT, Janelle was a Senior Associate at Veolia, a leading global water services company, where she managed a large-scale transformation program for NYC’s water utility. Previously, Janelle was a management consultant at GreenOrder, advising Fortune 500 companies on their sustainability strategies. In 2013, The Guardian named Janelle one of twitter’s "30 most influential sustainability voices" and in 2016 she was named one of Greenbiz’s 30 Under 30 emerging sustainability leaders. She graduated with distinction from Columbia University, receiving a B.S. in Earth and Environmental Engineering. Janelle is passionate about ideas at the intersection of water innovation and prosperous communities.  

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Rajlakshmi De

MIT Water Innovation Prize Co-Director

Raj is a second-year MBA Candidate at MIT Sloan School of Management. Her interests include international development, sustainability, technology and analytics. She completed her undergraduate degree in economics at Duke University, and spent three years as a researcher at Stanford Law School and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. As a researcher, Raj studied water infrastructure, health, and education in Malawi, innovation in Kenya and Uganda, and financial instruments in rural India. She has also worked with LinkedIn to measure gendered differences in professional self-promotion. At Sloan, Raj plans to help develop technology products that provide improved access to health, water, and sanitation around the world.

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Anselmo Cassiano.jpg

Anselmo Cassiano

Lunch & Learn Chair

Anselmo Cassiano holds an MBA in corporate communication FIA/USP.  He is a specialist in negotiation, mediation, crisis emergency and business continuity at MIT.  He has worked in conflict management at Princeton University and in strategy, conflict and cooperation with the Harvard Economics Department.  Previously, he served as 1st Lieutenant while working in the UN Peacekeepers Force in East Timor.

Anselmo loves sports.  He is currently captain of the MIT Shotokan Karate and the Triathlon Teams.  He volunteers with the  MIT co-ed sailing and tennis programs.  Finally, as a Brazilian, Anselmo is crazy about soccer.

At MIT, he studies as a Research Affiliate in Water and Climate Change.  Specifically working with the WASH-Env Water Sanitation Hygiene Environment Innovation program in developing countries.

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