Nick Chudeau: Following a Passion for Water Issues to India
“Water is life’s mater and matrix, mother and medium. There is no life without water.” – Albert Szent-Gyorgi
Growing up by on the beach in Western France and living in Hawaii for twelve years, the ocean has always played a large part in the life of Nick Chudeau (MAIEP ’12). An avid surfer and talented photographer, he has travelled to over 60 countries. On his travels he became acutely aware of how disparately the world’s water resources are shared. “Water is dangerously becoming a global commodity, with increasing degrees of inequity in water access and use,” he says.
Nick is currently on an International Professional Service Semester fellowship assignment with the World Health Organization (WHO) in India, pursuing his passion to facilitate capacity-building and access to water in low-income countries. He works with the WASH (water sanitation and health) Regional Advisor on the development of Water Safety Plans in the South-East Asia region, to ensure the provision of sustainable, safe drinking water. “Being a part of this project is both very humbling and exciting. Humbling because it is a tremendous amount of work and the issues at hand are extremely complex, but exciting because I am taking part in the one public health intervention with the highest return on investment in terms of productivity gain and saved lives.”
Nick already had two graduate degrees from the University of Hawaii, in education and conflict resolution, but felt that in order to pursue a career in the interdisciplinary WASH sector he “still needed to acquire a diverse range of skills that only MIIS could provide.” WASH is an intricate combination of public health, environmental science, engineering, politics, economics and sociology. Nicolas says he feels extremely well-equipped to work on these issues thanks to the training he received from the MAIEP program.
At MIIS, he has taken full advantage of professional opportunities and it was through his Center for the Blue Economy fellowship with the UN Environment Programme in Kenya that he secured the WHO fellowship that so perfectly fits his career goals. “This fellowship is an amazing springboard to a career in the WASH sector.”
(Nick has had photo exhibits in several galleries in the U.S., Europe and Japan. His photo documentary work on children and environmental health in the Dandora slum in Nairobi, Kenya was recently awarded 1st place at the 2012 FotoWeek International Awards competition in Washington D.C.)