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Keynote Speakers

We are delighted to announce our keynote speakers for Paving the Waves: The 2nd World Conference on Floating Solutions. More details will follow, please visit this webpage regularly and stay updated.


Paul Holthus

CEO & President, World Ocean Council

Paul Holthus is the CEO and President of World Ocean Council. He works with the private sector and market forces to develop practical solutions for achieving sustainable development and addressing environmental concerns, especially for marine areas and resources. His experience ranges from working with the global industry associations or directors of UN agencies to working with fishermen in small island villages. Paul has been involved in coastal and marine resource sustainable development and conservation work in over 30 countries. As a consultant on sustainable development and environmental management, he has worked with companies, industry associations, UN agencies, international NGOs and foundations on sustainability, especially in the areas of oil/gas, fisheries, aquaculture, standards and certification. Paul is a graduate of the University of California and the University of Hawaii, with advanced degrees in coastal/marine resources and international business. At PtW-WCFS2020, Paul will give a keynote speech about ocean finances, followed by a panel discussion with ocean investment community representatives. 


Arnoud Molenaar

Chief Resilience Officer, City of Rotterdam

Arnoud Molenaar is the Chief Resilience Officer of the City of Rotterdam, as well as the lead for action track- CITIES at Global Centre on Adaptation. With a degree in physical geography from University of Utrecht, Arnoud was appointed manager of the ambitious Rotterdam Climate Proof program in 2008, where he initiated the international Connecting Delta Cities network as part of the C40. Arnoud successfully led the City of Rotterdam towards a leading position on innovative urban water management and climate adaptation, which resulted in 2013 in a European Peer City status. He is the first editor of the third Connecting Delta Cities book Resilient Cities and Climate Adaptation Strategies, which was launched early 2014. In September 2014, Arnoud became the appointed Chief Resilience Officer of the City of Rotterdam supported by the Rockefeller Foundation. In 2016 he launched the Rotterdam Resilience Strategy. Under his leadership, the Global Center of Excellence for Climate Adaptation was launched in Rotterdam. At PtW-WCFS2020, Arnoud will open the policy forum for city leaders panel discussion, bringing insights on the role of floating from urban resilience perspectives.


Gerald (Jerry) E. Buckwalter

Chief Operating and Strategy Officer, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)

Gerald (Jerry) E. Buckwalter is the Chief Operating and Strategy Officer at American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), overseeing all aspects of internal operations including Finance, Administration, Engineering, Lifelong Learning, and Human Resources. Jerry has more than 35 years of varied executive leadership in general management, business development, strategy and innovation, program operations and policy development spanning military, government, international, and commercial domains. Prior to joining ASCE, Jerry was a Northrop Grumman Corporate Director of Strategy. Among many distinguished service positions, he was a member of the National Infrastructure Advisory Council reporting to the White House from 2008 to 2012. Jerry earned a degree in Physics from Monmouth University and has extensive continuing education at George Washington University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. At WCFS2020, Jerry will introduce The Floating City, one of the five concepts included within the “Future World Vision” project of ASCE, looking 50 years into the future and reimagining how our infrastructure would be shaped by climate change, alternative energy, the use of advanced construction materials and autonomous vehicles, among others.


Bianca Nijhof

Managing Director, Netherlands Water Partnership (NWP)

Bianca Nijhof is the Managing Director of the Netherlands Water Partnership (NWP), leading the collaboration of a near 200 water-related and internationally operating companies, NGOs, knowledge institutes and government organisations who have joined forces to help solve local, national and global water issues.  This public-private partnership, which acts as the gateway to the Dutch Water Sector, catalyzes projects that bring sustainable, multifunctional water solutions for people, planet and profit worldwide. NWP is also the co-executor of The Netherlands’ biggest international water programme, Partners for Water. Previously, Bianca worked at Arcadis where she was the global lead for the Arcadis Natural Capital business solution and the founding member of Arcadis NV ‘Global Sustainability Leadership Team’ responsible for the development of strategy and overseeing delivery of a broad range of programs that improve the quality of life. Bianca is also coordinator of the SDG 6 alliance.

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