The SWAN Forum is governed by its Executive Council and Management Team.

SWAN Council

Ken Thompson

Ken Thompson, Chairman

Ken Thompson has 38 years of experience in the industry and is a Senior Technology Fellow for Jacobs in their Denver Office. He serves as the Global Technology Leader for IoT and Smart Sensors for the Jacobs Digital Solutions Team, which includes the design and implementation of smart systems for water, wastewater and other sectors. Ken has also managed or served as the technical lead in many Surveillance and Response systems and water quality optimization projects for several U.S. clients. Prior to joining Jacobs, Ken worked for public utilities in water, wastewater, recycled water system operations, process evaluation, water quality, and regulations.

Jennifer Rebeiro

Jennifer Rebeiro is the Chief Information Officer at City West Water. Over the past 20 years, she has managed a number of operations and projects ranging across a wide set of industries, from Banking and Finance, Transport, Manufacturing, Property Services, Telecommunications and Government. Jennifer’s core strengths are her people focus, business mindset and having the courage to bring bold ideas to life through determination, influence, cross organisational collaboration and hard work. Jennifer has a Master of Business Administration, a Bachelor of Business, is a Graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and is currently a member of the IWN executive.


Fredrick Royan

Fredrick Royan has been analysing the global water market for over 15 years and is the Global Leader and Vice President of the Sustainability and Circular Economy practise at Frost & Sullivan. He led the launch of the Smart Water Program in 2010 and has since focused on shaping the Global Water Research Program around digital transformation and together with his team of analysts has published authoritative reports on Smart Water Grid and related segments. He has a Masters in Environmental Protection and Management from the University of Edinburgh secured as a Shell Centenary Chevening Scholar and has also been conferred the Frost & Sullivan Fellowship.

Nav Otal

Nav Otal has over 20 years’ experience in utility management, fiscal and strategic planning, and policy development in the public sector. She has been the Director of Utilities for the City of Bellevue, WA (US) for 7 years and was the Deputy Director for 6 years prior to that, overseeing Engineering, Operations and Maintenance, and Resource Management and Customer Service. Prior to coming to the City, Nav worked as a researcher in the field of cancer endocrinology at the British Columbia Cancer Agency in Vancouver, Canada. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry from University of British Columbia and a Master’s degree in business administration from City University.

Rik Thijssen

Rik Thijssen has over 25 years of experience in innovation and business development in several sector including 9 years in the water utility domain. He is leading the business development department at Vitens, the largest water utility in the Netherlands serving 5.4 million customers. In addition to his responsibility in establishing Vitens’ smart grid infrastructure, Rik is leading also innovative programs on customer technology, sustainability and circular economy. Rik holds a BSc in microbiology, a Business administration & Business strategy degree from the Academy of Management (IBO-University Groningen) and finished the Leading Digital Transformation & Innovation programme at INSEAD, Fontainebleau, France.

Scott Branum

Scott has worked in the water industry for over 21 years. His experience includes end-to-end process water management, treatment and conservation. He is now Senior Manager for the newly formed Digital Business Solutions group at Evoqua Water Technologies. This team develops smart water products and IoT solutions for Evoqua’s digital transformation strategy. Scott holds a BS in Biochemistry from Auburn University.

Manuel Parra

Manuel Parra

Manuel Parra is the Business Development Director, Software Solutions – Americas at AVEVA, 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).

SWAN Management Team

Amir Cahn, Executive Director

Amir joined SWAN in 2013 and has been instrumental in growing the organisation into the leading global hub for the smart water sector. Throughout his time, he has helped engage members, develop in-depth research reports, and create innovative tools such as the SWAN Interactive Tool and SWAN Research Portal. Amir also helped launch and grow regional SWAN Alliances in the Americas, Asia-Pacific, and Europe. Before joining SWAN, he completed a dual-master’s degree in Environmental Science and Public Affairs from Indiana University. In conjunction with SWAN, Amir is now pursuing a PhD focused on the role of the Data-as-a-Service model on urban sewershed management.

Shirley Ben-Dak, Marketing & Innovation Lead

Shirley joined SWAN in 2016 to lead the organisation’s marketing and innovation activities, helping to expand SWAN’s regional and global presence. Shirley is a smart city and international development consultant, previously serving as the Head of Global Initiatives at S.U.iT.S, Smarter Urban & IT Strategies, a private urban integrator founded to promote smart urbanisation & civic smartness in Israel and across developing and emerging markets. Before joining SWAN, Shirley led international, environmental capacity building projects and training and completed an M.Sc. degree in Sustainability Management from Columbia University, with a focus on water resource management and sustainable cities.

Sapir Yarden

Sapir Yarden, Project Manager

Sapir joined SWAN in 2019 as a project manager and support staff. Before joining SWAN, Sapir worked as a consultant at Ernst & Young LLP (EY), in the Government & Public Sector and has volunteered her time on many social impact causes. She holds an undergraduate degree in International Politics from Georgetown University and an MBA from Tel Aviv University.

Carmela Kangisser, Research Analyst

Carmela joined SWAN in 2019 as a research analyst and support staff. She is currently pursuing a degree in Chemical Engineering at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg and has a specific interest in the water and smart water sectors.

Jen Rodaway, 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.

Former Council Members

Amir Peleg (Former Chairman)

Amir is the Founder and CEO of TaKaDu, a leader in Central Event Management solutions for water and gas utilities. In addition, Amir was a Co-Founder of SWAN, the Smart Water Networks Forum. 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.

Simon Bunn

Simon is founder and Chief Technical Officer of Suez Smart Solutions (NZ). After graduating with a Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical) 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 Aquadvanced Energy product, the world’s first commercially available real-time water operations optimizer. He travels the globe multiple times per year promoting energy efficiency and pump station operational optimisation.

Keith Hilson

Keith Hilson

Keith has spent the past 20 years working for water utilities and technology companies supplying the water industry. He previously joined 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.