Visiting Professor

Academic Profile

David Grey has over 40 years experience in water management and development, living and working in Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe. He is a water policy analyst, practitioner and researcher, and he has been a manager of interdisciplinary, multi-national teams and large budgets. He has experience at multiple levels: community/village/farm level in water management, water supply and sanitation, and irrigation; city level in water and wastewater services; all levels of local and national governments in water policies and investments; international basin level in negotiation and dispute resolution, institutional and legal frameworks and cooperative development; continental/regional level in political advocacy and institution building; and global level in promoting paradigm shifts and engaging world political and professional bodies.

He joined Oxford University as Visiting Professor of Water Policy in late 2009 after almost 27 years as staff of the World Bank. He trained as a hydrogeologist and was staff of the British Geological Survey for 8 years, including 3 years as Group Manager of Hydrogeology at BGS Wallingford, responsible for groundwater research and management activities in the UK and internationally. He was the World Bank's Senior Water Advisor and Chair of its Water Resources Management Group from 2003, with responsibility for corporate water policies and advisory oversight of the water community and the water resources, irrigation, water supply and sanitation and hydropower portfolio.

He has had many affiliations. For example, he has been Board member of the World Water Council, founding member of the Water and Sanitation Collaborative Council, and a founding partner of the Global Water Partnership. Recent roles include: member of the World Economic Forum's Global Action Council on Water Security; Associate Fellow of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (Chatham House); and member of an International Panel of Experts for the Mekong River Commission.

Current Research

His current special interests are in: the roles that water security plays in growth and stability and water insecurity plays in poverty, environmental degradation, conflict and migration; the role that benefit sharing can play in resolving inter-jurisdictional disputes over water at all levels; and the risks that climate and other change mean for water security, livelihoods and environmental sustainability. He has a long-term interest in the institutional and incentive structures for improving the performance of water resources management and water service delivery.


Prof. Grey lectures on a range of subjects, including water security, water supply and sanitation and international waters for the MSc in Water Science, Policy and Management.

Some Selected Publications