The SWAN Forum is governed by its Executive Council and Management Team.
Amir Peleg, Chairman
Amir Peleg was involved in the foundation of SWAN back in 2010, and was nominated as the Chairman of the SWAN Forum in late 2012. Amir is the Founder and CEO of TaKaDu, a leader in Integrated Event Management solutions for the water industry. TaKaDu provides water utilities with an IoT cloud-based solution for managing the life-cycle of all network issues, improving network efficiency. A serial entrepreneur, Amir founded YaData in 2005, serving as CEO until the company’s acquisition by Microsoft in 2008. In 1999, he founded Cash-U (later named Unipier). Amir holds a B.Sc. in Mathematics, Physics, and Computer Science from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and an MBA from INSEAD, Fontainebleau, France.
Ken Thompson, President
Ken Thompson has more than 30 years of experience in water quality and water sector security, both as a utility manager and as a consultant. He currently holds the position of Deputy Director Intelligent Water Solutions at CH2M, and recently served as the program manager for CH2M’s security initiative for water and wastewater systems. Ken has been instrumental in developing and implementing real-time water quality monitoring systems, such as a prototype monitor for biotoxins, viruses, protozoans, and bacteria in water distribution systems. Prior to joining CH2M, Ken worked for public utilities in water, wastewater, recycled water system operations, process evaluation, water quality, and regulations.
Manuel Parra is the General Manager for Smart Water Software at Schneider Electric, a thought leader in the water utility industry that is at the forefront of developing technology that advances the Smart Water Networks concept. Manuel has become an avid and active voice in the smart water networks space and has authored numerous articles, white-papers and presentations on various smart water topics. He has a degree in Business Administration from the University of Murcia (Spain) and a B.A. in European Business from Manchester Metropolitan University (UK).
Simon is founder and Chief Technical Officer of Derceto (SUEZ). After graduating with a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering, Simon spent the next 21 years in control systems design, rising to become a partner in The Beca Group in 1999. In 2000 Simon used his experience of control systems and water treatment processes to design the complex software at the heart of the Aquadapt product, the world’s first commercially available real-time water operations optimizer. In 2002 Aquadapt software for Wellington City was judged the top engineering project in New Zealand. In 2005 he was named the “Engineering Entrepreneur of the Year” at the New Zealand Engineering Excellence Awards.
Keith Hilson is Head of Customer Relations at i2O Water, recognised as one of the industry’s foremost smart water network experts. Keith has spent the past 20 years working for water utilities and technology companies supplying the water industry. He joins i2O from Sensus, where he was responsible for the smart water network company’s pre-sales activity. Keith was Head of Leakage at South East Water from 2008 to 2014, where his team of 60 internal staff and contractors made extensive use of data and pressure management technologies to reduce leakage levels and drive significant operational and environmental savings.
SWAN Management Team
Amir Cahn, Executive Director
Amir joined SWAN in 2013. At SWAN, Amir has helped create innovative research tools such as the SWAN Interactive Architecture Tool, SWAN SMART SCORE, white papers, and industry surveys. He has also published articles on behalf of SWAN in the Journal AWWA, Australian Water Management Review, and Water and Sewerage Journal. Before joining SWAN, Amir completed a dual-master’s degree in Environmental Science and Public Affairs from Indiana University.
Shirley Ben-Dak, Marketing Manager
Shirley joined SWAN in 2016 to lead the organisation’s marketing activities. She also serves as the Head of Global Initiatives at S.U.iT.S, Smarter Urban & IT Strategies, an urban integrator founded to promote smart urbanism & civic smartness in Israel and across developing and emerging markets. Before joining SWAN, Shirley led international capacity building programs and trainings on sustainable development and completed an M.Sc. degree in Sustainability Management from Columbia University.
Claire Parsons, Events Manager
Claire joined the SWAN team in 2015 to help with marketing and to manage the logistics for the SWAN Annual Conference. Claire has a wealth of marketing experience and takes great pleasure from organising corporate events. Claire works for a number of organisations, specialising in customer programmes and event management services for the technology sector.
Jen Steart, Financial Controller
Jen is a CIMA Qualified Accountant who has been working with the SWAN Forum since 2012 providing support with invoicing, payments, cash-flow, banking and financial reporting. She currently works as a Management Accountant for i2O who she has been with for 5 years.