Maureen Walschot is a teaching assistant and Ph.D. candidate in International Relations at the Université catholique de Louvain, and in Geography at the University of Haifa (joint Ph.D.). She focuses on better understanding the water, peace, and security nexus and how it shapes hydropolitics. Her Ph.D. thesis deals with the impact of large-scale seawater desalination on transboundary water management. Specific fields of specialization include water diplomacy and cooperation, policy analysis, and environmental security and gender.
We asked Maureen some questions, and these are here answers.
“I am a teaching assistant in international relations, and a research scientist at the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium. I’m also the coordinator and tutor of the UCLouvain training program ‘Préparation au concours diplomatique.’ My specific fields of specialization include water diplomacy and cooperation, policy analysis, and environmental security and gender.
My research is in working to better understand the water, peace, and security nexus and how it shapes hydropolitics. Therefore, climate change is an important component in this analysis, as is gender. By producing an adequate analysis of the links between the environment, security and gender, we can acquire the tools to produce a gender-sensitive framework to address this issue and ensure security for men, women and the environment.”
What are the benefits of an international water-sector network? And how are you building a water network with EJWP?
“The water sector is relatively large and very active. In the last six years since I have started to work in this field, I have met and keep on meeting invested and action-driven people. However, I have mostly interacted with professionals in my specialization, which is in transboundary water management. EJWP enables me to broaden this network of water professionals and expend my knowledge over other water disciplines.”
What value are you bringing to your organization and career from your EJWP journey?
“So far in my EJWP journey, I have acquired both project management skills and team building skills, among others. These were aspects that lacked in my day-to-day job and that I can now bring to the table in the university I work for, as well as in research projects I am currently conducting with other institutions.”
What is your most valuable experience with EJWP so far?
“I would definitely say the training week we just had in Brussels 13 – 17 June. Due to professional constraints, it was the first time I could be with my team for the duration of the week. The exchanges we created and teamwork we achieved really set the whole EJWP experience to another level. The networking we could develop thanks to the program Naomi created for us has also reinforced the connection aspect of the program.”