A. Askew


Arthur Askew was born in the United Kingdom in 1942 and holds British and Australian nationalities. He received a Bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Birmingham, UK and a Master’s degree in coastal erosion from Queens University, Canada. His Doctorate is in catchment dynamics and was awarded in 1968 by the University of New South Wales, Australia. He spent two years in the USA conducting research at UCLA into the optimization of water resource systems, before moving on to Geneva, Switzerland where he was engaged for the next two years as a consultant by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

The following six years found him on the staff of then Department of Civil Engineering at the University of New South Wales, where he continued his research into water system optimization and taught water resource systems and hydrology. In 1977 he returned to Geneva for another two-year contract with WMO, but this time his contracts were extended until he retired at the end of 2002 from the post of Director of WMO’s Hydrology and Water Resources Department. For his last few years with WMO, he chaired the United Nations ACC Subcommittee on Water Resources – now UN-Water - the body which coordinates the activities of all UN agencies in the field of freshwater.

From 1997 until 2009 he sat on the Board of Governors of the World Water Council, representing first WMO and then IAHS, and for five of these years he was on the Bureau of the Council.

One year after his retirement, he was appointed President-elect of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences (IAHS), taking over as President in 2005, a position he held until September 2009. He subsequently worked under the auspices of IAHS to establish the Network of National Hydrological Associations. He also served as a Liaison Officer for IUGG with WMO.

Arthur is married and has two sons, both of whom are IT specialists; one is working in the UK, the other is currently living in the USA. After his retirement, Arthur stayed on in Geneva, where he still lives. Apart from his professional commitments, and increasingly in his retirement, he is very much involved in his local church community and his other great love - choral singing.