Network members

Meet some of the members of the Women in Water Management in Central Asia and Afghanistan Network.

Collage with photos of members of the Women in water management network in Central Asia and AfghanistanSource: OSCE

“As a result of being part of this network I was invited recently to be a guest lecturer to Kazakh-German University and now I am looking to apply for a PhD course on water management and gender aspects. ”

Shohida Tulieva, Member of the Network

Network members in alphabetical order:

Aigerim Karibay

Aigerim Karibay (Kazakhstan) is a young, experienced specialist at the local and basin level on water resources, which is the subject of constant research for more effective methods of management, rational use and protection of water resources.

She is a hydraulic-engineer and graduated from the Kazakh-German University in integrated water resource management program with a Master’s degree. Aigerim worked at Big Almaty canal branch of RSE Kazvodkhoz, the Committee on Water Resources of the Ministry of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources of the Republic of Kazakhstan. She continues her work to expand interdisciplinary contacts and exchange experience in the field of water resources management and water protection, furthermore, developing intercultural communication and skills in transboundary water cooperation.

She completed an internship at the Global Water Partnership organization of the transboundary water cooperation team under the supervision of Yumiko Yasuda.

Now, Aigerim is a leading water specialist at Kazakh branch Scientific Information Centre Interstate Commission for Water Coordination of Central Asia (SIC ICWC).

Aziza Sharofova (Uzbekistan) is the Senior Specialist-Expert at the Center for State Ecological Expertise of the Ministry of Natural Resources of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Concurrently she is acting as the Head of the Department for State Environmental Expertise of the Center. During her work at the Center, Aziza conducted a state environmental review of more than 800 production facilities in the Republic of Uzbekistan, including those in the mining and construction industries, water management, chemical and food industries, and others.

She graduated from the Faculty of Hydromelioration from the Tashkent Institute of Irrigation and Melioration in the direction of Ecology and Environmental Protection and has a Bachelor’s degree in Water Management Environmental Engineer (2016). She also received a secondary special education at the Tashkent Financial and Economic College (2011). As a student at the institute, she had experience in the field of environmental impact assessments in a private Uzbek company, which subsequently helped her to be able to pass a successful interview in the civil service (2015). Her total experience in the field of ecology and environmental protection is 10 years.

Cholpon Aitakhunova

Cholpon Aitakhunova (Kyrgyzstan) is a Research Fellow at the Collective Leadership Institute (CLI) Potsdam under the International Climate Protection Fellowship, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation 2022-2023. Cholpon is a co-coordinator for the Central Asia Youth for Water (CAY4W) Network; a member of the Global Women in Water Diplomacy Network; and CLI certified Collective Leadership Specialist. Cholpon holds an Master’s degree in Politics and Security from the OSCE Academy in Bishkek. She is interested in water and climate governance, and comprehensive security topics with a particular focus on dialogue and collaboration capacity-building in multi-stakeholder partnerships and processes.

Farangis Ukumatshoeva Akramshoevna

Farangis Ukumatshoeva (Tajikistan) is currently employed as a Consultant at the International Water Management Institute in Central Asia (IWMI). She holds a Master’s degree in Energy Efficiency and Energy Management Technology at the Institute of Water Issues, Ecology, and Hydropower under the National Academy of Sciences of Tajikistan, and a second Master’s degree in Integrated Water Resources Management program at Kazakh – German University. She also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering at Tajik Technical University. Besides her academic studies, she is also certificated from training courses on Water Use Efficiency and Energy Efficiency, Disaster Risk Management, and Watershed Management. She has over six years of experience in monitoring, administration, management, WASH, and research spheres.

Fooman Forough

Foman Forough (Afghanistan) holds a Master’s degree in Hydraulic Structures from Ferdowsi University. She served at the National Water Affairs Regulation Authority (NWARA) as General Director of the Kabul River Basin, the largest basin in Afghanistan, before the Taliban captured Kabul in 2021. She is currently working as a water resource specialist- engineering at the South Nation Conservation Authority in Canada. Foman has extensive experience in transboundary water management serving in various capacities at NWARA including as Acting Director of Water Allocation, a Dam and River Adviser, and Hydraulic Structures Design Specialist. In addition, Foman has taught courses on Hydraulic Structures at Kateb Private University and is a proud board member of the Afghanistan Infrastructure Transparency Initiate (COST), which works in the field of transparency in infrastructure projects, access to information, and anti-corruption.

Gulzhan Makhmudova (Kyrgyzstan) holds a Bachelor of Science in Ecology and a Master’s degree in Environmental Science. She is a National Project Coordinator/Adviser in Climate Change, Environment and Energy Cluster / at the UNDP office in the Kyrgyz Republic.

She manages a regional project on “Climate Change and Resilience in Central Asia”. She is an Experienced Ecologist/Environmentalist with professional experience in Environmental Sustainability and Security, Climate Resilience, and water policy issues, with a great passion for gender responsive approaches. She has experience from abroad in projects for Environmental Sustainability Studies in England, Germany, Japan, Korea, Russia, and Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan.

She has work experience in multicultural teams and projects, research interests in environmental policymaking, climate change, ethics, environmental safety and assessment, SDGs, environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) reporting as well as environmental sustainability.

She has more than 10 years of experience in public service management and technical advice including in collaboration with the World Bank, UNDP, SRK, EU, Soros Foundation, and the Alessandro Volta Foundation, Ensphere (UK), and has several publications and research. Gulzhan has a great passion for the environment and her motto is “Go to Green – Save the Planet”.

Hadia Saboory

Hadia Saboory (Afghanistan) previously served as an intern at the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock & Irrigation, with previous professional experience from AIESEC Afghanistan, Khurasan Academic Association, Afghanistan Builders Association (ABA), and the Humanitarian Organization for Motivation and Empowerment. She obtained her Bachelor Degree in Kabul University in 2019. Hadia is very enthusiastic when it comes to various training programmes, she has already participated in courses of public speaking, women empowerment, leadership and soft skills and now she is ready to take another step forward in developing her proficiencies and competencies. ​

Hadia is a founding member of the Women in Water Management Network in Central Asia and Afghanistan.

Lyazzat Syrlybayeva

Lyazzat Syrlybayeva (Kazakhstan) has over four years of experience in the water sector, within the scope of her duties, she has worked in the fields of integrated water resources management, transboundary water cooperation, climate change, as well as with the Sustainable Development Goals.

Besides this, she has worked as a consultant on various assignments with the World Bank Group, the OSCE office in Vienna, Friedrich Ebert Foundation and the Kazakh-German University (DKU) in Kazakhstan. She has a Master’s degree in natural resources management from the University of Padova, Italy and the University of Lisbon, Portugal.

Lyazzat has contributed to the preparation of the Country Climate Development Report (CCDR) for Kazakhstan, focusing on climate change adaptation and mitigation measures for water, rangelands, and croplands.

Currently, she is employed with the International Secretariat for Water (ISW) as a consultant, co-leading a regional project on youth empowerment for water in Central Asia and Afghanistan.

Meerim Seidakmatova

Meerim Seidakmatova (Kyrgyzstan), holds a Master’s degree in Integrated Water Resources Management from Kazakh-German University, in Kazakhstan, and a Bachelor’s degree with honors in Ecology and Nature Management from Kyrgyz National Agrarian University, Kyrgyzstan.

Since 2019, she has been actively working to support youth empowerment and awareness raising in water and climate related issues and youth environmental protection activism. She coordinated several youth networks and organizations including eco-club “Young Environmentalist”, Central Asian Youth for Water Network (CAY4W) and currently the Regional Eco Hub initiated by UNDP Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

She has work experience in non-governmental organizations in the field of environmental protection and indigenous livestock breeding in Kyrgyzstan.

She is eager to continue her career in water and climate and consciously develop in this sector and aspires to someday win a Nobel Prize for a contribution to global development.

Minura Begishbek kyzy

Minura Begishbek (Kyrgyzstan) previously served at the Department of Water Management of the Karasuu District before completing her studies at the Kazakh-German University on Integrated Water Resources Management. Currently, Minura works at the Ministry of Water Management of the city of Osh as an economist, and she is a nominee of Blue Peace Story. She wishes to continue her career in the water sector as well as to grow professionally. ​

Minura is a founding member of the Women in Water Management Network in Central Asia and Afghanistan.

Narges Sediqi

Narges Sediqi (Afghanistan) was born in Tehran, Iran and graduated with a BSc in GeoScience at Kabul University. She served at National Water Affairs Regulation Authority (NWARA) as Quality Control and Data process Engineer before the Taliban took over Kabul. Narges has a experience serving in different positions at Afghanistan’s Ministry of Energy and Water, now called NWARA. She was also a Rural Drinking Water Management engineer, and an Intern for GIZ and FAO. For about two years Narges had worked with Afghanistan Civil Aviation Authority (ACAA) and NGOs. In addition, she used to be a co-member of Quality Control of JICA and volunteer member of Afghan Astronomy Association which works in the field of planetary and space science. ​

Narges is a founding member of the Women in Water Management Network in Central Asia and Afghanistan.

Mirzokhonova Sitora

Dr Sitora Mirzokhonova (Tajikistan) serves as a lecturer at the Department of Meteorology and Climatology of the Tajik National University and as a senior researcher at the Institute of Water Problems of Hydropower and Ecology of the National Academy of Sciences of Tajikistan, and previously at the Agency for Hydrometeorology of Tajikistan. Dr Sitora is currently focused on the study of climate change in the upper reaches of the Panj River. She has participated in numerous technical projects on the Panj river. She is a meteorological engineer and holds a PhD in hydrology and meteorology. ​

Dr Sitora is a founding member of the Women in Water Management Network in Central Asia and Afghanistan. ​

Shohida Tulieva

Shohida Tulieva (Tajikistan) serves as the National Coordinator for “Gender and Social Equality” in the National project “Water Resources Management in Tajikistan”, which aims to support the “Tajikistan Water Sector Reform Program for 2016-2025”, HELVETAS Swiss Inter-cooperation in Tajikistan. Shohida is the President of the Association “Woman and Water” of Central Asia and Afghanistan with the aim of developing networking and increasing the potential of women specialists in the water sector. She has contributed to the development of social, gender issues in water resources management, taking into account the principles of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM), focusing on the development of the “Bottom-Up” approach with experience in Central Asia. ​

Shohida is a founding member of the Women in Water Management Network in Central Asia and Afghanistan.

Zhanar Naurozbayeva

Zhanar Naurozbayeva (Kazakhstan) is a Candidate of Geography Sciences, Leading Researcher at the Research Center of RSE “Kazhydromet”, and Senior Lecturer at Al-Farabi Kazakh National University. Zhanar completed her postgraduate studies at the Faculty of Meteorology, Department of Meteorology, Climatology, Atmospheric Protection, Russian State Hydrometeorological University in St. Petersburg, Russia.

She successfully defended her Ph.D. thesis and received the degree of Candidate of Geographical Sciences. She also has a Master’s degree in the specialty “Hydrometeorology” which was obtained at the Kazakh National University named after al-Farabi.

“The Mentoring Programme allows us to share experiences and knowledge and provides a platform where we can improve not only our professional skills, but also personal qualities such as public speaking, communication and self-branding.”

Aigerim Karibay, Member of the Network

Coordinating team

Irina Yugay (CAREC)

Irina has 15 years of professional expertise in the water sector focusing on water Management.

She studied Economics and Water Governance at the Kazakh Research Institute of Water Economy and Integrated Water Recourses Management at the German Kazakh University Prior to joining the Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia ( Irina worked as the researcher in the department of Agricultural Water Supply, where she implemented and coordinated projects on natural resource management and sustainable development of rural territories As a program specialist at the CAREC within the Swiss funded Project Blue Peace, she is currently responsible for coordination of the Network of Academic societies with the ultimate goal to promote a systemic approach to water education across the Central Asia region Further, Irina is engaged in different initiatives on strengthening interaction between Small Basin Councils and Basin Organizations at the local and transboundary levels.

Irina has supported the development of the Women in Water Management Network in Central Asia and Afghanistan since April 2021.

Tais Reznikova, CARECTais Reznikova is a water resources management specialist with an academic background in IWRM, environmental management, and policy. Currently, she is coordinating the Mentoring and Career Development Programme for Women in Water and the Blue Peace Central Asia Secretariat at the Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia (CAREC) in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Tais has more than 7 years of experience in the implementation of projects in Central Asia in the field of basin management and planning, water diplomacy. She holds a master’s in Environmental Science, Policy and Management from Central European and Lund Universities, and in IWRM from Kazakh-German University.

She believes that only an inclusive and comprehensive approach that acknowledges the role of women in water management can be truly sustainable in the long term.

Dr Saule Ospanova, Senior Environmental Affairs Advisor, OSCE focuses on the environmental cooperation portfolio at OSCE with activities in sustainable water management, water diplomacy, disaster risk reduction, good environmental governance and hazardous waste management. She has over 18 years of experience contributing to a number of multi-stakeholder initiatives, managing and implementing development projects in different parts of the world (including Kazakhstan/Central Asia, post-Soviet states, China and Africa).

Prior to OSCE, she worked with IIED—International Institute for Environment and Development, the World Bank, UN and other institutions on development of water, climate change and energy policies, as well as sustainability and accountability initiatives in the extractive sector. Her doctorate studies at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor focused on resource governance and environmental justice.

Letizia Zuliani, OSCELetizia Zuliani is a Project Assistant at the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in Vienna. Letizia started her position in August 2020 as an intern and is currently supporting the daily work of the Environmental Cooperation Unit, with particular reference to the Water Management and Good Environmental Governance portfolio. Letizia holds a Master in International Relations and Eurasian Studies at the University of Bologna and Saint Petersburg State University and a post-graduate Master in Sustainable Development and Geopolitics of Resources.

Letizia has a keen interest in pan-European security and environmental security in the post-soviet space.

Elizabeth A. Yaari, SIWIElizabeth A Koch (former Yaari) (United States) leads the Women in Water Diplomacy Network’s Process Support Team, supporting the Network’s development since inception In 2022 she began a new role as Senior Manager of International Programmes at the Environmental Law Institute where she will continue to work to support environmental peacebuilding programmes including the Women in Water Diplomacy Network.

She has over 15 years of experience supporting water diplomacy engagements in conflict sensitive basins on behalf of SIWI’s Shared Waters Partnership programme, the UNESCO Category II International Centre for Water Cooperation, and EcoPeace Middle East Elizabeth had the honour of supporting the design and development of both the Women in Water Diplomacy Network in the Nile and the Women in Water Management Network in Central Asia and Afghanistan on behalf of SIWI Shared Waters Partnership programme and its partners since 2017 and will be joining the Global Network Forum in person.

Kerry serves as SIWI’s Senior Programme Manager for the Shared Waters Partnership programme, a multi stakeholder platform aimed at advancing cooperation over shared water resources in regions where political tensions could be a source of conflict. He contributes to the development of research and project management in a number of fields including transboundary water management, climate change, and capacity building Kerry holds a Master’s degree in International Humanitarian Action from Uppsala University, Sweden Prior joining SIWI in 2013 Kerry worked for Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

Kerry has supported the Women in Water Diplomacy Network in the Nile, since it was initiated as part of Shared Waters Partnership in 2017, as well as the Women in Water Management Network since 2021.

Katie Goldie-Ryder, SIWIKatie Goldie-Ryder is a Programme Officer in the Transboundary Water Cooperation Department at SIWI. Katie supports the Shared Waters Partnership (SWP) programme, focusing on advancing SWP water diplomacy processes with a focus on Central Asia & Afghanistan and the Middle East engagements. Katie also supports the development of the International Centre for Water Cooperation’s water diplomacy curricula. She serves as the Youth Empowerment Champion for the TWC team.

Katie has several years of practical experience building networks, supporting cooperative processes and multi-stakeholder dialogues in regional contexts. She holds a Master Degree in Peace and Conflict from Uppsala University and wrote her MA thesis for the ‘Equal Peace?’ project at the PRIO Centre on Gender, Peace and Security. Katie also holds a Bachelors Degree in Political Science and Global Developments from Huron University College.

This programme is run in collaboration with:

OSCE logo
Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
CAREC logo
Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia