Madani is considered as the "Symbol of Expatriate Return" to Iran during President Rouhani's administration. He was interrogated many times during his tenure in Iran and was arrested in February 2018. In April 2017, he resigned from his political post and revealed that he was kept under surveillance by the Iranian intelligence services and hardliners since his return to Iran.
Kaveh Madani served as the Secretary of Iran's First International Conference on Climate Change in February 2017.
In 2017, his name appeared in the media, including Shargh, as one of the candidates with strong support from the Iranian environmental NGOs and activists to become Iran's Minister of Energy after Hamid Chitchian in Hassan Rouhani's second presidency term. Madani denied this news later in an interview with the Mehr News Agency.
In September 2017, Madani was appointed by Isa Kalantari as the Deputy for International Affairs, Innovation and Socio-cultural Engagement of Iran's Department of Environment. Madani had to quit his job after 7 months in April 2018 under the pressure by the Iranian hardliners.
Madani was recognized as one of the 10 "New Faces of Civil Engineering" by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) in 2012 for "work and personal achievements representing the bold and humanitarian future of civil engineering". This recognition is given by ASCE to those who have shown the potential for a long and distinguished career in the civil engineering profession and a commitment to excellence in everything they do.
Arne Richter Award for Outstanding Young Scientists (EGU)
In 2016, he was selected by the European Geosciences Union (EGU) as one of the four recipients of the Arne Richter Award for Outstanding Young Scientists for "fundamental contributions to integrating game theory and decision analysis into water management models"
Kaveh Madani received the Walter L. Huber prize "for groundbreaking research in developing methods for the allocation of scarce water resources merging conflict-resolution and game-theoretic concepts for application to complex water resources systems."
"A key recommendation he has made is to model conflictive water-allocation situations using a game-theory approach, in which stakeholders strategize to maximize their utilities. This approach has been supported by both modeling and empirical data, and it has introduced novel insight on how to achieve binding, long-term solutions to complex water resources problems. Madani's approach has been applied in a California community, revealing the importance of state-sponsored enforcement to achieve long-term sustainable agreements."
The award selection committee of ASCE particularly noted his "outstanding leadership in the application of systems analysis to environmental, water and energy resource problems."
Kaveh Madani in one of the featured scientific characters of the following documentaries:
"We strongly believe in the fact that environmental problems are trans-boundary and trans-generational and need to be solved through effective international cooperation mechanisms that are fair and not hampered by economic sanctions and politicization." (2017)
"Water has no respect for our political boundaries." (2015)
"Paris negotiations can give us hope and valuable lessons. Common sense and threats can help nations unite even during times when radicals, terrorists, and Trumps are trying hard to divide the world." (2015)
"It's always late but never too late to fix and improve." (2015)
"History shows that we are good at setting ambitious targets and goals in major international summits. But what matters more is how to get to the target." (2015)
"Iran's water problems are not due to a lack of access to technology or technical expertise, as some decision-makers claim. Indeed, Iran is suffering from disintegrated decision-making and problem solving by knowledgeable experts who act independently." (2014)
"It's easy to say and sign, what is hard is implementation. Often this is not the main concern of ambitious politicians who remain disconnected from science." (2015)
"The main driver of uncoordinated development in Iran as well as other Middle Eastern countries is the thirst for development that prevents a comprehensive understanding of the complex interrelated dynamics and feedback relationship between the different sectors." (2016)
"We get too busy negotiating over the targets that we forget that we need means to get to the end goal." (2015)
"In Iran, water management relies on a crisis management paradigm. Actions are taken only after the problems have become so serious that they can hamper further development." (2016)
"Whether 1.5 or 2°C, we should put more efforts into identifying feasible paths and processes to get us there. Otherwise, we are just adding more targets to our already ambitious agendas of sustainable development, eradication of poverty, proliferation of health and education, etc." (2015)
"Social responsibility is driven by determination, not physical capacity & wealth." (2017)