China Water Risk Team


Debra Tan 1

Debra Tan, Director

Debra heads the China Water Risk team and spearheaded the development and build out of the China Water Risk brand and website in 2011. Since then, she has written extensively about the water-energy-food nexus as well as reports analyzing the impact of water risks on certain sectors for financial institutions and corporates. She has also given numerous keynotes, moderated and participated in panel discussions and conferences around water issues to investors and corporates. Debra started her career in finance, spending over a decade as a chartered accountant and investment banker specializing in mergers & acquisitions and strategic advisory. She has lived and worked in Beijing, HK, KL, London, New York and Singapore. Debra left banking to explore her creative side pursuing her interest in photography resulting in her first solo exhibition within a year. She also ran and organized hands-on philanthropic and luxury holidays for a small but global private members travel network and applied her auditing, financing and photography skills in the field for various charitable organizations and foundations. See Debra’s articles

Feng Hu

Feng Hu, Development & Projects

Feng is responsible for the development & execution of China Water Risk’s projects and collaborations. He has also given talks on water issues at international academic symposiums, corporate events as well as investor forums. Prior to joining China Water Risk, Feng was a qualified senior auditor in an international certification company. He has worked with governments, the private sector & NGOs on various projects from renewable energy, energy efficiency improvement to waste treatment as well as compliance assessment of large hydropower projects with dams. As the project leader, Feng has worked in most of the provinces in China, Vietnam, Nepal as well as several African countries. Aside from auditing, Feng has worked on provincial hazardous waste management and conducted research from urban water ecosystem health assessment to biofuel production from microalgae. He also has co-authored a published research paper on eutrophication in China’s West Lake as part of a collaborative project between Zhejiang University & Michigan State University. Feng holds a MSc degree in Sustainable Resource Management from Technical University of Munich and a BSc degree in Environmental Science from Zhejiang University. See Feng’s articles

DM Portrait Photo 2016

Dawn McGregor, Projects & Network

Dawn leads China Water Risk’s projects in the textile space, as well as conducts research and analyses on broader water risk and its disclosure. She is also responsible CWR’s communications and extensive network. She showcased these skills at World Water Week, where she has twice been lead rapporteur presenting key findings in the closing plenary, as well as contributing to conference’s conclusion papers. She has also delivered keynotes at various industry conferences, corporate events and investor forums in China and around the world. Dawn previously worked in a global investment bank analysing and mitigating non-financial risk in Asia Pacific. This included crisis management, business resiliency and geo-political risk assessment. She now continues her work in risk assessment with a new focus of China and water. Dawn has a background in science with a degree in Biology and Business, which she chose with the view of bridging the scientific world with the corporate & public sector to create synergistic opportunities. Dawn was born and bred in Hong Kong and has lived in France, England as well as Singapore & Beijing. See Dawn’s articles

Hubert Thieriot

Hubert Thieriot, Risk valuation

Hubert Thieriot leads China Water Risk’s work on water risk valuation for industries in China, as well as CWR’s research on water and energy challenges. Prior to joining CWR, Hubert spent several years in Beijing, where he conducted research for the International Institute for Sustainable Development as well as the Chinese Institute of Engineering Development Strategies (CIEDS) on international energy efficiency policies, low-carbon policies and China’s future trends including the circular economy. In a previous life, Hubert researched and lectured on energy in European and Chinese institutions, including Mines ParisTech, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology of Lausanne (EPFL), and Huazhong University of Science and Technology. He holds various degrees in mechanical engineering, philosophy and public policy. See Hubert’s articles.

Yuanchao XU

Yuanchao Xu, Analyst 

Yuanchao uses his analytical proficiencies towards the assessment and visualization of water risks for China Water Risk. Prior to joining, Yuanchao was based in Europe completing the Erasmus Mundus Master Program where he specialsed in hydro-informatics and water management. He applied his skills in climate forecasting and water resource modelling to the EUPORIAS project with DHI (Danish Hydraulic Institute) which resulted in a conference paper on seasonal climate forecasting. Building on this work, he went on to develop hyfo, an open-source R programme for climate scientists and modellers to analyse and visualize data. Yuanchao’s bachelor degree was from the China Agricultural University where he specialized in heat energy and power engineering. During his time there, he also patented a testing instrument for hydraulic machinery. He has studied and worked in Beijing, Nice, Newcastle and Copenhagen. See Yuanchao’s articles.

Woody 2016 (Square)

Woody Chan, Analyst

Born in Hong Kong, Woody graduated from the University of Cambridge in June 2016 with a BA in Geography. His travels across Eurasia pointed him towards the nexus between environmental risk and global business. In particular, he is concerned with the extent and effects of wastewater discharge in China – the topic of his dissertation. At China Water Risk, Woody undertakes multiple research streams ranging from China’s water-food nexus to green data centres to water stress in the HKH region. Moreover, he assists in the publication of the monthly newsletter and will be responsible for future updating and revamping of China Water Risk’s website and newsletter. Also proficient at GIS mapping, he hopes to embark on a career which helps tackle climate change from a business and financial perspective. See Woody’s articles.

Max Leung

Max Tsz Chun Leung, Analyst

Max makes use of his experience in data visualization, statistical analyses and programming techniques to create insights from water and business/financial related data in China. He also assists in the development of our digital platform. Max’s philosophy is that decision-making should rely upon some sort of quantitative analysis. In the era of Big Data and information overload, his ambition is to become a seasoned data scientist, distilling meaning from “messy” data. Prior to joining, Max was a Research Assistant at the business school of the Open University of Hong Kong. He also previously worked as a Reward Analyst in the Group Human Resources of Dairy Farm. Hailing from Hong Kong, Max holds a Master of Economics from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He has also passed CFA-Level 1 and FRM Part 1.


Brand Development, Design & Web Support

Unison Creative is a full service design and digital marketing agency based in Hong Kong, working with established and challenger brands all around the world. The team at Unison are champions of strategic planning, sticklers for detail and strong advocates of thinking like the customer when creating integrated brand solutions.

China Water Risk Internship Alumni

Ken Li, Summer Intern (June – August 2016)

Erin Wong, Summer Intern (July – August 2015)

Caleb Yau, Intern (July, 2015)

Inna Lazavera, Satellite Researcher (2014)

Angus Walker, Intern (November – December 2014)

Hannah Short, Summer Intern (July – August 2014)

Hwa Yen, Intern (February – April 2014)

Matthew Cheuk, Summer Intern (August 2013)

James Crofton, Summer Intern (May-June 2013)

John Jacobs, Intern (October-December 2012)

Jeffrey Cheuk, Summer Intern (June-August 2012)

Pierre Sieur, Summer Intern (June-July 2012)

Annabelle Thomson, Summer Intern (May-June 2012)

Selina Chan, Researcher (March 2012)

Luke Wilmot-Sitwell, Intern (Sept-Dec 2011)

Tina Yee, Intern (Jun-Sept 2011)

Emma Mendel, Summer Intern – Graphics (Jun – Aug 2011)

Vasundhara Bahadur, Summer Intern (May – Jul 2011)

Maya Ziswiler, Marketing (May-Jul 2011)

Natalie van Maaren, Development (Jan-Jun 2011)

Jean-Philippe Atse, Sector Analysis & Benchmarking (Sept-Dec 2010)

Marina Tse, Intern (Sept- Dec 2010)


China Water Risk would also like to thank the following for contribution of their time volunteering with us: Angelina Ng, Amanda Yao, Filippo Cecchi, Hugo Plunkett, Charles Williams, Thebes Law 


For a full list of our contributors who range from water experts, academics, journalists and investors to captains of industry …. click here