Rianna Gonzales was the recipient of the 2016 IWA Young Leadership Award. Rianna is a passionate and committed young woman in the field of natural resources management with a focus on water resources management, environmental awareness and youth empowerment. She is a young citizen of the Caribbean, hailing from the islands of Trinidad and Tobago. She has her first degree in Environmental and Natural Resources Management and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Coastal Engineering and Management.
Professionally she is a Senior Water Planning Officer at the Water Resources Agency of the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) in her country. She has shown exceptional initiative and dedication in the area of water management and environmental consciousness. One of her most notable achievements has been the championing of the international best practice of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) in Trinidad and Tobago for the past seven (7) years which has now become a priority initiative under government policy.
Outside of her professional duties she has been an active advocate for youth empowerment through education and lobbying for over the past nine (9) years with the Caribbean Youth Environment Network (CYEN), a regional youth led organisation, and is currently the National Coordinator of the Trinidad and Tobago Chapter.
In 2015, Rianna was selected to be one of the Lead Coordinating authors for the UNEP Global Environment Outlook 6 Regional Assessment on Latin America and the Caribbean specifically on the chapters on freshwater and oceans and seas. Rianna was also highlighted as one of the Commonwealth’s Young Achievers for 2015.