About WSDS 2023 Theme
The 22nd edition of the annual flagship event of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI)—the World Sustainable Development Summit (WSDS)—will be held from 22-24 February 2023 in New Delhi. The Summit deliberations will focus on the umbrella theme: Mainstreaming Sustainable Development and Climate Resilience for Collective Action.
The year 2022 marks an important milestone. It has been 50 years since the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, popularly known as the 1972 Stockholm Conference. Fifty years on, the world has made many strides in bringing to the forefront the issues related to the environment, biodiversity loss, climate change, and has achieved many milestones in integrating sustainable development into the public, private and societal discourses. But we still have a long way to go.
WSDS 2023 Speakers
Mr. Naseer Ahamed
Minister of Environment,,
Ministry of Environment, Sri Lanka
A professionally qualified Engineer, having graduated with honors from the prestigious King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals in Dhahran, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Honorable Naseer Ahamed was re-inducted into the cabinet of ministers to the portfolio as Minister for Environment, which portfolio he held under the premiership of Hon. Mahinda Rajapaksha for a brief period with additional charge of investment promotion in strategic economic sectors.
Previously, Minister Ahamed had the distinction of serving as the Chief Minister of the Eastern Provincial Council, where he held, in addition, the charge of Finance and Planning, Law & Order, Local Government & Regional Administration, Rural Development, Tourism & Environment, Building & Construction, Transport, Rural Industries and Housing.
Dr. Sultan Al Jaber
COP28 President Designate and Special Envoy for Climate Change,
H.E. Dr Sultan Al Jaber is Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology (MoIAT), has served as Special Envoy for Climate Change for two terms (2010-2016, 2020-present), and played a proactive participatory role at over ten COPs, including the historic Paris COP21 in 2015. He was instrumental in establishing the nation's renewable energy trajectory, making him the first CEO to ever hold the position of COP President. As COP28 President-Designate, Dr Al Jaber will play a crucial role in leading the intergovernmental process, building consensus, and driving climate outcomes with a broad range of partners, including business and civil society, to raise ambition.
Ministry of Climate Change and Environment
Ms. Mariam Almheiri
Minister of Climate Change and Environment,
Ministry of Climate Change and Environment
She leads the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment’s mission of spearheading the UAE drive to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change, protect the country’s ecosystems, and enhance it’s food and water security through developing and implementing effective measures, policies, and initiatives.
Prior to her current role, Her Excellency Mariam Almheiri was Minister of State for Food and Water Security. Her responsibilities included monitoring national food stocks and water supply, channeling investments in food and water technology innovation, and building international partnerships in this area.
Previously, Her Excellency Mariam Almheiri held the post of Minister of State for Food Security, where she oversaw the development of the necessary infrastructure to achieve the country’s food security objectives in line with the UAE- United Arab Emirates Centennial 2071.
Mr. Masatsugu Asakawa
Asian Development Bank
Masatsugu Asakawa is the President of the Asian Development Bank (ADB). He was elected President by ADB’s Board of Governors and assumed office on 17 January 2020. Under his leadership, ADB made significant contributions to the region’s COVID-19 pandemic response and recovery planning. He also guided a series of new and innovative financing initiatives—including an Energy Transition Mechanism and elevated ADB’s 2030 cumulative climate financing ambition to $100 billion. Prior to joining ADB, he served as Special Advisor to Japan’s Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, and has a professional career in diverse fields such as international finance, development, and taxation. Mr. Asakawa also worked for international organizations as the Chief Advisor to ADB President (1989- 1992), senior staff at the Fiscal Affairs Department of the International Monetary Fund (1996-2000), and Chair for the Committee on Fiscal Affairs at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (2011-2016).
Mr. Ugo Astuto
Ambassador of the European Union to India,
Delegation of the European Union
Ugo Astuto entered the Italian Diplomatic Service in 1991.
His career in the Italian Foreign Service spans experience in the Embassies in Nairobi and London (including as alternate Director for Italy in the EBRD-European Bank for Reconstruction and Development), in the Permanent Representation in Brussels and in the Embassy in Delhi, where he served as Deputy Head of Mission.
From February 2013 until July 2016 he was seconded to the European External Action Service (EEAS) in Brussels, first as Director for South and South East Asia and then as Deputy Managing Director/Director for Asia and the Pacific.
From July 2016 to September 2019 he was the Principal Director for Asia in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Rome.
He is the Ambassador of the European Union to India since October 2019.
Mr. Siddarthan Balasubramania
Siddarthan works to elevate and scale philanthropy role in devising strategies, policies and programs to address global climate change challenge with a focus on India and its interface with other key geographies. His decades of experience comprise bilateral development agencies, (UKDFID, UKFCO, Norway's NORAD), interngovernmental organisation (Country Head, India- GGGI) and internaitonal NGO (WRI, Washington DC).
Mr. Manish Bapna
CEO and President,
Natural Resources Defense Council
Manish Bapna is president and chief executive officer of NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council), one of the nation’s most influential environmental groups, which works to ensure the rights of all people to clear air, clean water, and healthy and equitable communities. During his 25-year career, Bapna’s leadership roles have focused on designing sustainable development strategies that are equitable, durable, and scalable. Most recently, he served as executive vice president and managing director of the World Resources Institute, a leading global research organization focused on the environment and development, for more than 14 years. As NRDC’s new president and CEO, Bapna joins the 51-year-old nonprofit of some 700 scientists, lawyers, and policy advocates around the globe to tackle the biggest environmental issues we face today.
Ms. Xiye Bastida
Xiye Bastida is a Climate Justice Activist who advocates for the centering of frontline communities in climate policy. She is an organizer for Fridays For Future NYC and helped mobilize up to 300,000 people in the 2019 climate strikes. In 2020, she co-founded Re-Earth Initiative, a youth-led Climate Justice education organization. As a public speaker and writer, she advocates for youth and Indigenous rights, and highlights the intersectionality of the climate crisis. She is also a commissioner at the Climate Governance Commission that will develop reform proposals on global climate governance. She currently attends the University of Pennsylvania where she is pursuing a BA in Environmental Studies with a concentration in Policy.
Mr. Suman . Bery
Mr. Suman Bery has recently taken over as Vice Chairperson, NITI Aayog. He has served as Director-General of NCAER in New Delhi and Chief Economist of Shell International, based in Hague.Mr Bery has served as a member of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council; India’s Statistical Commission; and Reserve Bank of India’s Technical Advisory Committee on Monetary Policy. He commented extensively in the media on economic issues, contributing a monthly column for a business newspaper.His professional writings include contributions on the political economy of reform, financial sector and banking reform, and energy trends and policy.Mr Bery holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Oxford and did graduate work in public policy at Princeton University
Dr. Anshu Bharadwaj
Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation
Dr Anshu Bharadwaj was a member of the Indian Administrative Services (IAS, 1992 batch, Karnataka cadre). He worked in the state government in various capacities. In 2007, he joined as Executive Director of Centre of Study of Science, Technology and Policy (CSTEP) and helped establish CSTEP as a leading technology policy Think Tank. He functioned as ED of CSTEP till 2020. He has expertise in technology and policy aspects of energy and environmental sectors. He is a member of several government committees in these areas.
He holds a PhD from the Departments of Engineering and Public Policy and Mechanical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, Piittsburgh, USA. He also has a B.Tech. in Mechanical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur and PGDM from Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata.
Mr. László Borbély
State Counsellor to the Prime-Minister,
Government of Romania
László BORBÉLY is a politician who has significantly contributed to the democratic development of Romanian society, both as one of the most well-known leaders of the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania and through the different high ranking functions held in the Romanian Parliament and the Romanian Government in the field of International Affairs, Environment and Sustainable Development, Regional Development and Infrastructure. László BORBÉLY held the position of Minister of the Environment, was Minister of Regional Development Public, Works and Housing, state secretary at Ministry of Public Works and Territorial Planning, Minister Delegate at the Ministry of Transport as well as Chairman of the Foreign Policy Committee at the Romanian Chamber of Deputies. At international level, László BORBÉLY served as Chairman of the United Nations (UN) Commission on Sustainable Development, position which he has fulfilled with a rigorous professionalism, yielding important results.
Dr. Rajiv Chhibber
Sahajanand Medical Technologies Ltd
Dr Rajiv Chhibber is a Senior Corporate Affairs, Public Policy, Communications & Media Strategist with experience across several industries including Pharmaceuticals/Medical Devices and has worked in the past in the Development Sector in the key areas of Healthcare, Climate Change, Energy and Sustainable Development. Dr Chhibber is currently Vice President, External Affairs at Sahajanand Medical Technologies, a global developer and manufacturer of minimally invasive coronary and vascular systems. He is a member of various key industry associations where he is heading committees / sub-committees in areas of Public Health Advocacy, Pharma & Medical Devices, Environmental Health, and Climate Change issues playing a stewardship role in creating the roadmap for India’s MedTech and healthcare system, assisting the governments vision to achieve India’s Health and Sustainable Goals.
Mr. Manish Chourasia
Tata Cleantech Capital Ltd.
Profile of Mr Manish Chourasia Managing Director, Tata Cleantech Capital Ltd
Mr Manish Chourasia is a financial service professional with 27 years of experience in origination, credit risk assessment and syndication in the Asia- Pacific Region. As part of the above-mentioned functional categories, he has handled various products covering project finance, trade finance, and investment banking.
Since July 2015, he has been working in Tata Group as managing director of Tata Cleantech Capital, which is the first private sector Green Investment Bank in the world, jointly promoted by Tata Capital Ltd and International Finance Corporation (IFC). During his tenure to date, the company, starting from scratch, has funded over 300 projects in Clean-tech sector saving 16.9 tons of CO2 annually, executed several marquee advisory assignments, and tied up with some global climate investors like GCF, FMO, CDC amongst others to channelise low-cost funds to the Clean-tech sector in India. In November 2018, the company was chosen as the “Best RE Financier of the Year-NBFC” at the 2nd Edition of the Green Finance Awards. In Sept 2019 year, it was inducted in the Global Green Bank Network recognising the pioneering role being played by it in mainstreaming climate finance in India. In June 2022 the company won Earth Care Award sponsored by Times of India Group, for enterprise in Renewable Energy.
Manish is a Mechanical Engineer from IIT, Rookee and an MBA from Faculty of Management Studies, Delhi University. In Feb 2020 he was presented “100 Top-most Influential BFSI Leaders” award by World BFSI Congress. In June 2021 he was made one of the 3 co-chairs of Global High-level Taskforce formed by ISA for mobilizing USD 1 trillion towards deployment of solar energy technologies and expand solar markets in member countries. Apart from this he also chairs working group on G 20 climate finance formed by Gateway House and is member of CII Net Zero Council.
He is an avid runner with a number of long distances run to his credit.
Ms. Helen Clarkson
Helen joined Climate Group in 2017 as its Chief Executive Officer. In addition to leading the growing Climate Group team, Helen sits on the board of the We Mean Business Coalition , is on the board of the Sustainable Development Capital Energy Efficiency Income Trust, and is on the Mission Council for Pukka Herbs.
Prior to joining Climate Group, Helen worked at Forum for the Future, Médecins Sans Frontières, and qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Deloitte.
Mr. Jon Creyts
Rocky Mountain Institute
Jon Creyts is the CEO of RMI. He is an internationally recognized leader on global energy issues and climate change.
Jon served as a senior leader at RMI for nearly a decade before assuming the role of CEO. While chief program officer, he helped grow the institution more than tenfold in size. He has extensive knowledge and practical experience applying market forces like finance, policy, data, and technology to support the rapid decarbonization of infrastructure and industries globally. He oversees and steers all RMI’s global programs and operations and advises the organization’s global network of market affiliates.
Prior to joining RMI, Jon was a partner with McKinsey & Company where he spent 11 years in the global energy practice. Before that, he was a designer in the energy and aviation industries and is an alumnus of Lockheed Martin’s renowned Skunk Works prototyping facility.
Mr. Kartikeya Desai
Founder & CEO,
Desai & Associates
Kartikeya N Desai is the Founder of Desai & Associates, an innovative finance focused research, advisory and advocacy firm. He teaches Impact Investment at Ashoka University and Climate Finance at Anant University, and has played an active role in the development of the social finance industry over two decades through his leadership at pioneering impact investment firms and the Impact Investors Council industry association. Previously Mr. Desai led Asha Impact, a multi-family office and foundation for Indian UHNIs and business leaders, was a Partner at Kois, a global development finance consulting firm, and a venture capitalist with pioneering impact funds Lok Capital and Aavishkaar. He started his career in investment banking with Merrill Lynch in 2005, after completing his education at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and SIPA, Columbia University. He was one of the 200 young CEOs selected as the Indian Prime Minister’s Champions of Change in 2017.
Mr. Nitin Desai
Chairman - Governing Council,
The Energy and Resources Institute
Mr Nitin Desai is a distinguished economist and a well-known voice in public policy for a nationally and internationally, especially in the sustainable development sector. He was in the Planning Commission (1973-88) and later served as the Chief Economic Adviser and Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, in the Ministry of Finance (1988-90). He also served as Senior Economic Adviser for the World Commission on Environment and Development (the Brundtland Commission) where he introduced the concept of sustainable development. He was the Under Secretary General for Economic and Social Affairs in the UN, where his major contributions included the organization of a series of global summits, notably the Rio Earth Summit (1992), the Copenhagen Social Development Summit (1995), the Monterrey Finance and Development Summit (2002) and the Johannesburg Sustainable Development Summit (2002). He oversaw the creation of the Commission on Sustainable Development in the UN, and was the first Under Secretary General for Policy Coordination and Sustainable Development.
Dr. Vibha Dhawan
The Energy and Resources Institute
Dr Vibha Dhawan is associated with The Energy and Resources Institute since 1985. She also served as the Vice-Chancellor of TERI School of Advanced Studies from 2005-2007. She is a Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, India.
Dr Dhawan is actively involved in research as well as policy development, both at the national and international level. She is a task force member of a number of committees of the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), the Biotech Consortium India Limited (BCIL) etc.
She is currently serving as Adjunct Professor, Consul General South Asia Partnership, Michigan State University. She has successfully completed a number of international assignment such as co-ordinator for the Asia Pacific Consortium on Agriculture Biotechnology (APCoAB); Advisor to Director General, The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT); and Deputy Director, Research Partnerships & Co-ordination with the Borlaug Institute for South Asia. She has served on the boards of prestigious organizations in India and overseas including Jawahar Lal Nehru University, Ambedkar University, Ayurvet Foundation and Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International (CABI).
Dr Dhawan as a researcher was instrumental in the establishment of the highly successful Micropropagation Technology Park at TERI. Her other major achievements includes developing e-contents for the post-graduate programme in biotechnology for the University Grants Commission. Her recent research interests are in the area of biofuels. She is currently the coordinator of the DBT-TERI Centre on Integrated Production of Advanced Biofuels and Biocommodities. She was Advisor, Bio-resources & Biotechnology, to the Late Tarun Gogoi, the former Chief Minister of Assam.
She is the winner of Indian Women Achievers Sammaan 2017 by NRI Achievers; Women Leadership Agriculture Award 2016 by the Indian Council of Food & Agriculture; First Biotech Product and Process Development and Commercialization Award of the Department of Biotechnology in 2000, the Kamal Kumari National Award for Science and Technology and the first All India Biotech Association (AIBA) award in 1998.
She has authored 6 books and over 50 publications.
Ms. Bahar Dutt
Shiv Nadar University
Award winning journalist Bahar Dutt is trained as a conservation biologist- and has worked as an Environment Editor with India’s leading English newschannel CNN-News18 and has won over 14 national and international awards for her reportage on green issues. She is the author of the book ‘Green Wars- Dispatches from a Vanishing World by Harper Collins in 2014 and Rewilding in India with Oxford University Press in 2019. She is currently Associate Professor at the Shiv Nadar University in New Delhi.
Dr. Yasmine Fouad
Ministry of Environment of Egypt
Dr. Yasmine Fouad was appointed Minister of Environment of the Arabic Republic of Egypt on 18 June 2018 and COP27 Ministerial Coordinator and Envoy since December 2021 till present. Dr. Fouad holds MSc in Environmental Science and PhD in Political. She has more than 24 years’ experience in Environment and International cooperation, working in Government, UN organizations, NGOs and Universities. As Minister of Environment, she has successfully changed the environment narrative at the national level
Dr. Fouad has clear milestones at the international level.
At the Academic level, she has been selected as a lead author to chapter four of the IPCC Special Report on “Climate Change, Desertification, Land Degradation, Sustainable Land Management, Food Security and Greenhouse Gas Fluxes in Terrestrial Ecosystems” in 2017.
Dr. Prodipto Ghosh
The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI)
Prodipto Ghosh is involved in research and teaching at the interface of science, economics, philosophy, and public policy. Currently, he is Distinguished Fellow at TERI. He is also Member of the Task Force on Inter-linking of Rivers, and Task Forces of other bodies including FICCI, etc. He was earlier Member of the Scientific Advisory Council of the Cabinet, Governing Council of the Indian Council of Social Science Research. He was a member of the IAS from 1969 to 2007, when he retired as Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change. He has also held the positions of Economic Advisor and Additional Secretary to the PM, Additional Secretary in the Department of Economic Affairs, and Senior Environment Specialist at the Asian Development Bank, Manila. He has a Ph.D in Economics and Policy Analysis from the Carnegie-Mellon University, Pittsburgh, and a B.Tech. in Chemical Engineering from IIT Delhi.
Mr. Zac Goldsmith
Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office
The Rt Hon Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park is the Minister for Overseas Territories, Commonwealth, Energy, Climate and Environment at the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO).
He was previously Minister for Asia, Energy, Climate and Environment at the FCDO from September to October 2022. Before that, he was the Minister for Pacific and the Environment at FCDO and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). He was first appointed as a Minister of State in the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, the Department for International Development (DFID) and Defra on 13 February 2020.
Before that, he was Minister of State at Defra and at DFID from 10 September 2019 to 13 February 2020 and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at Defra and at DFID from 27 July 2019 to 10 September 2019.
Mr. H.E. Christophe Guilhou
Directeur du développement durable,
Ministère de l’Europe et des Affaires
Directeur du développement durable - Ministère de l’Europe et des Affaires étrangères
Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo
Vice President of Guyana,
Government of Guyana
Bharrat Jagdeo: Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo’s life, from humble origins, reflects the successes of passions pursued – great international inroads for Guyana and a unity of the peoples and potential of his country, Guyana.
Armed with a Master's in Economics from the Peoples Friendship University of Russia, in May 1995, Dr. Jagdeo was named Guyana’s substantive Finance Minister. Dr. Jagdeo went on to becoming President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, on 11 August 1999.
During his tenure as President (1999-2011) major economic and social reforms were undertaken in Guyana. By the time he relinquished office as President, Guyana was one of the fastest growing economies in South America and the Caribbean, recording several years of consecutive growth even through the global financial crisis of 2007-2008.
Dr. Jagdeo was selected as one of the young global leaders by the World Economic Forum in 2005. Time Magazine had named President Jagdeo a 2008 ‘Hero of the Environment. The United Nations, in 2010, declared President Jagdeo, as one of its ‘Champions of the Earth Awardees’.
He currently serves as Vice President of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana.
Ms. Nialé Kaba
Minister of Planning and Development,
Government of Côte d'Ivoire
According to the President of the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire, H.E. Mr. Alassane Ouattara, Ms. Nialé KABA is a first-class economist.
Ms Kaba is an Economist-Statistician Engineer, graduated from ENSAE Paris. She also holds a Postgraduate degree in International Economics and Development Economics and a degree in Economic Policy Management from the IMF Institute.
She starts her career in 1989 in education, and quickly joined the administration where she held senior positions from 1995 to 2007, such as: Chief of Staff at the Prime Minister's Office, Deputy Director of Cabinet at the Ministry of Economy and Finance, Director of Cabinet at the Ministry in charge of Crafts and the Informal Sector, and Director General of Côte d'Ivoire Tourism.
Since 2011, she has served in ministerial positions: Minister for the Promotion of Housing (2011-2012), Minister in charge of Economy and Finance (2012-2016), and Minister of Planning and Development since 2016.
Mr. Rakesh Kacker
TERI Alumni Association
Joined IAS in 1977 ; Tamil Nadu Cadre
Retired as Secretary, GOI, Ministry for Food Processing Industries in 2013
Worked as Director India Habitat Centre after retiring from Government. 2013-2018
Some Recent Part time Assignments
- Chairman, Committee for framing Uniform Standard Bidding Guidelines for RE Sector ( Ministry of New and Renewable Energy , GOI ( 2020-2021)
- Member ,Expert Committee for revision of SBDs and MBDs : 2015-2019(Ministry of Power, GOI)
- Member, High Powered Committee for revision of bidding documents for Coal Mines: 2017-2019 (Ministry of Coal , GOI)
- Chairman CSR Board Michelin Tyres CSR Board Chennai (2013-2018)
- Member, Institute Body, AIIMS, Jodhpur (2013-2020)
- Independent Director , Board of ONGC Videsh (2017-2020)
- Independent Director, Board of PTC India (Power Trading Corporation of India) (2017-2022)
- Independent Director , Board of PTC India Financial Services Limited (2019-2021)
- Member Dispute Resolution Committee , MNRE, GOI( 2020-2022)
- President TERI Alumni Association (2019-2022)
- Independent Director, Board of Planetcast Media Services limited (2019-)
- Member Managing Committee of several schools of DPS Society(2018-)
- Advisor, IamGurgaon, ( 2018- Gurgaon based NGO)
- Vice Chairman TERI Alumni Association(2022- Delhi based NGO)
- Member Advisory Board, Unlimited India (2021- Mumbai based NGO)
- Consultant , RTI India
Dr. Livleen Kaur
Dr Livleen Kaur Kahlon, a senior researcher at TERI, is an experienced Environment Educator who builds and oversees high performance teams of motivated colleagues for strategic execution of various models of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). Her work aspires to achieve a transformative impact amongst a range of target audience. She has a core competency in critical review and analysis of documents and reports related to environment education, youth empowerment and outreach, and popularization of scientific and environment topics. She has issued public statements and communications related to EE (Environment Education) and conceptualized stakeholders’ dialogues related to GEC (Global Environmental Citizenship). She has an extensive work experience of 27 years and has worked with CSIR-NIScPR, WWF-India, and TERI.
Ms. Deepali Khanna
The Rockefeller Foundation
Ms. Deepali Khanna is Vice President, Asia for The Rockefeller Foundation and leads the Foundation’s initiatives here to build strategic collaborations to maximize impact and influence. As a part of the senior leadership team at the Foundation, she contributes to the Foundation’s efforts to make opportunity universal and sustainable. With over three decades of experience in the development sector, working with organizations such as MasterCard Foundation, Plan International, and UNICEF, she yields immense technical expertise and leadership across strategic planning, grant-making, policy advocacy and thought leadership and cultivating strong working relationships with varied stakeholders.
Ms. Aarti Khosla
Aarti is the Founder-Director of Climate Trends, a communications and research organisation that works on issues of climate change, energy, decarbonisation and resource efficiency. She has over 20 years of experience working as a communicator, the last 13 of which have been dedicated to creating knowledge, awareness and capacity on climate and environment related issues in India.
Dr. Masahide Kimoto
National Institute for Environmental Studies
Dr. Masahide Kimoto received Ph.D. in atmospheric sciences from University of California, Los Angeles in 1989. His main fields of study are climate dynamics, predictability, and human impacts on the climate system. He is president of National Institute for Environmental Studies and professor emeritus of the University of Tokyo. He was a member of Joint Scientific Committee of World Climate Research Programme (WCRP), a review editor of IPCC AR6 (Working Group I) and a lead author of IPCC AR5.
Dr. Priyanka Kochhar
Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University
With over eighteen years of experience as a researcher, committed to advancing sustainability in built environment through industry engagement, education, and advocacy, Priyanka currently serves the President of the TERI Alumni Association.
Priyanka has been driving strategic partnerships, outreach, communication, capacity building and policy interface for implementation of sustainable habitat through the GRIHA and LEED green building rating systems across India, and internationally.
She has served on the Board of UNEP Sustainable Building Climate Initiative (SBCI) and its Advocacy Committee as the youngest member and was the first Rockefellar Young LEADer.
An architect by qualification, Priyanka has served on several committees established by the Government of India, led research projects on resource efficiency in the built environment and has numerous publications to her credit.
Mr. Edwin Koekkoek
European Union Delegation
Edwin Koekkoek is First Counsellor on Energy and Climate Action in the European Union (EU) Delegation to India, responsible for EU-India cooperation on Energy and Climate Action, including the implementation of the 2016 Clean Energy and Climate Partnership.
Prior to joining the EU Delegation, he worked for 7 years in the Netherlands' Ministry of Environment, 5 years as part of the Dutch delegation to the climate negotiations and 2 years as senior policy advisor on air quality.
He then worked for 11 years for the European Parliament, including 5 years in the Environment Committee, inter alia on climate change and renewable energy. He specialized in the EU legislative procedures and negotiations between the Parliament and Council. He also worked in the Cabinet of the President, advising him inter alia on energy and climate issues.
Edwin Koekkoek studied Environmental Sciences at the "Wageningen University & Research" in the Netherlands.
Mr. Saurabh Kumar
Head (GEAPP India),
Global Energy Alliance for People & Planet
Mr. Saurabh Kumar is an Indian Revenue Service officer of 1992 batch. He joined Indian Revenue Service as Assistant Commissioner of Income Tax and worked as Deputy Commissioner in various sensitive intelligence assignments. After IRS he joined the Union Ministry of Power, Government of India as Deputy Secretary in charge of the Budget and Finance wing with the task of appraising large power projects for government investments. He was part of the government structure that was responsible for taking investment decisions in large power projects. Saurabh has also worked in various capacities in the Income Tax Department, Ministry of Power, and Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE). On the completion of the GRIPS Young Leaders Program in 2006, Saurabh was appointed as Secretary of the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) during 2007-2010, the nodal central body for promoting energy efficiency in India & also the core agency for the implementation of the National Mission on Enhanced Energy Efficiency under the Ministry of Power. One of the key projects implemented under his leadership is one of the world’s largest CDM (Clean Development Mechanism) based efficient lighting projects.
Ms. Heeta Lakhani
Founder & Director,
The ClimAct Initiative
Heeta Lakhani is the Founder & Director of the ClimAct Foundation. She has a Masters of Science in Environmental Studies and Resource Management from TERI University, India. She is a firm believer in the power of youth participation in grassroots and international processes and strives to create change-makers who combat the climate crisis with knowledge-based action. Heeta was introduced to the world of the United Nations Climate Change process at COP21 in 2015 and was the Global Focal Point for YOUNGO for 2020-21. She also co-founded the Youth Negotiators Academy, which focuses on training youth to be effective negotiators in the UN intergovernmental processes.
Ministry of Environment for Finland
Ms. Terhi Lehtonen
Deputy Minister, Ministry of Environment for Finland,
Ministry of Environment for Finland
Terhi Lehtonen joined the Ministry of the Environment as State Secretary 4 July 2019 from European Commission Directorate General for Climate Action. Before DG CLIMA she advised the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament on environmental and climate policy for 14 years. From 2001-2003 she worked as the head of office for MEP Heidi Hautala in Brussels and Strasbourg. Ms Lehtonen set up the European Office of City of Turku – Southwest Finland in Brussels in 1998 and represented the region towards the EU institutions until 2001. She also worked for the Finnish Embassy in Brussels as a trainee in 1997 and as an attachée during the 1999 EU Presidency.
Ms. Gina Elisabeth Lund
County Governor of Agder
Ms. Gina Lund is acting County Governor of Agder in Norway. She was appointed by the Norwegian government for this six-year position in 2022. She holds a master degree in law from the University of Oslo, and is a former politician of the Norwegian Labour Party.
Ms. Lund has broad work and leadership experience from both government (politics and administration), private businesses and NGO’s. She has held positions such as Vice Minister to the Ministry of Labour, Director General of Skills Norway, Special Adviser in the Ministry of Education and Research, Head of Department in the Ministry of Justice and the Police and Deputy Head of Emergency Department for the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).
Ms. Prathiba M. Singh
Delhi High Court
Justice Prathiba M. Singh completed her 5-year law course from University Law College, Bangalore. She graduated as the 1st Rank holder from Bangalore University and represented India at the Philip C. Jessup Moot Court competition in Chicago, USA. After her graduation, she was offered the ODASSS scholarship by the Cambridge Commonwealth Trust to study LL.M. at the University of Cambridge (U.K.). She enrolled with the Bar in 1991.
Before being elevated to the Bench, she was a leading Intellectual Property lawyer in India. She had the distinction of handling landmark matters in all areas of IPR laws including patents, trademarks, designs, copyright, plant varieties, internet laws, etc. As the Managing Partner of Singh & Singh, she advised clients and handled cases relating to commercial disputes, arbitration, telecom, broadcasting laws, media laws, writs, regulatory issues, education, etc. During her years of practice, she regularly appeared before the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India, High Court of Delhi, TDSAT, IPAB, Trademark and Patent Offices.
Prof. Iain Martin
Professor Iain Martin is Vice-Chancellor and President of Deakin University in Australia.
Prior to this, he was Vice-Chancellor of Anglia Ruskin University in the United Kingdom, and Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic at the University of New South Wales.
Professor Martin grew up in the United Kingdom and attended the University of Leeds where he completed his medical degree, Doctorate and Master of Education.
Professor Martin spent 12 years at the University of Auckland in New Zealand with positions including Professor of Surgery and Deputy Vice-Chancellor with responsibility for external and strategic partnerships. He was appointed to a number of government roles in New Zealand and has worked extensively with the Australian Medical Council in the assessment and accreditation of medical schools and specialist colleges.
In April 2021, he was appointed Chair of the Australian Technology Network of Universities and has served as Chair of the Victorian Vice-Chancellors’ Committee since January 2022.
Dr. Ajay Mathur
International Solar Alliance
Dr Ajay Mathur is the Director General of the International Solar Alliance. He earlier headed The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), and the Indian Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), and was responsible for mainstreaming energy efficiency in houses, offices and industries through a number of innovative initiatives. He was a leading climate change negotiator, and was the Indian spokesperson at the Paris climate negotiations. He served as the interim Director of the Green Climate Fund during its foundational period. At TERI, he has spearheaded the move to accelerate action towards a low-carbon and cleaner economy through the adoption of renewable energy in the Indian electricity sector, enhancing efficiency in buildings and industry, and promoting environmental quality through recycling of material wastes and biotechnology-based solutions. He was also member of Indian Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change and co-chairs of the global Energy Transitions Commission.
UN Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)
Dr. Vinod B Mathur
UN Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)
After serving for 33 years at the prestigious Wildlife Institute of India including as the Dean (2005-2014) and subsequently as the Director (2014-2019) Dr. Vinod B. Mathur worked as the Chairperson of the National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) from 1st September, 2019 to 31st August, 2022. Dr. Mathur obtained his doctorate degree from the University of Oxford, United Kingdom in1991. He has been the Regional Vice-Chair of the IUCN-World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA-South Asia) from 2011-2021. Dr. Mathur has been actively contributing on biodiversity research-policy interface issues and has been the Regional Vice-Chair (Asia-Pacific Region) of United Nations Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (UN-IPBES) Multi-disciplinary Expert Panel (MEP) (2014-2018). He is currently the UN IPBES Bureau member (2019-2023) & Vive Chair (Asia-Pacific Region).
Ms. Katie McGinty
VP and Chief Sustainability Officer,
Kathleen “Katie” McGinty is Vice President and Chief Sustainability and External Relations Officer for Johnson Controls, the global leader for smart, healthy, and sustainable buildings technology. Katie serves on the Executive Committee of the company and helps drive Johnson Controls top tier sustainability performance including recognition as one of the World`s 100 Most Sustainable Corporations. Katie champions technology development, sustainability, and creative policies to solve tough environmental problems. Katies loves opportunities where she can work with people who bring diverse insights and ideas to help chart a positive course for the future of the planet.
Dr. Purvi Mehta
Director- Global Growth and Opportunities,
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Dr. Purvi Mehta is the Deputy Director, Global Growth and Opportunities division at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and currently also leads the climate adaptation programs globally. She has her formal education, up to PhD, from M.S. University, India, Tokyo University, Japan and North Carolina State University- USA. Dr. Mehta has worked with leading international organizations like the CGIAR, as head of Asia for the International Livestock Research Institute and as head of South Asia Biosafety program (IFPRI, USAID), and brings a blend of Asia and Africa experience. She is on board of several organizations, including, International Alliance for Ecology and Health, International Centre for Rural Agriculture, Independent Director on Board of National Commodity Derivatives Exchange Ltd (NCDEX), Advisory Council- World Food Prize etc. She is honorary professor at Amity University-India and visiting faculty at Cornell University
New Delhi Television Limited (NDTV)
Mr. Himanshu Shekhar Mishra
Senior Editor (Political & Current Affairs),
New Delhi Television Limited (NDTV)
Himanshu Shekhar Mishra works as Senior Editor (Political & Current Affairs) in New Delhi Television (NDTV India). He covers Government and Parliament for NDTV. He was part of Prime Minister's official entourage to the UN General Assembly’s Annual Session in New York (September, 2003) and also to Indo-Turkish Summit held in Ankara and Istanbul (2003). He covered Prime Minister’s official visits to Pakistan (January, 2004) and Afghanistan (August, 2005). He has extensively researched and published eight papers on issues related with climate-related disasters like floods, COVID-19, Disaster Journalism and BRICS. His Paper on Jammu and Kashmir floods in September, 2014 was selected for presentation at 3rd UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction held in Sendai, Japan in March, 2015. He has co-authored a book on COVID-19 titled “Stop Predicting- Revisit Life: Lessons from COVID-19” (Bloomsbury, 2022).
Ms. Soma Mondal
Steel Authority of India Limited
Smt. Soma Mondal is currently the Chairman of Maharatna Company, Steel Authority of India Limited w.e.f. 1st Jan’21. An Electrical Engineer from NIT, Rourkela in 1984, she commenced her career at NALCO and rose through the ranks to take over the mantle of Dir(Comml.) at NALCO in 2014. She joined SAIL in March, 2017 as Dir(Comml.). After assuming charge of Chairman, SAIL, she has been leading the SAIL’s efforts in all round improvement in performance of the company. Smt. Soma Mondal has the distinction of not only being the first woman Functional Director of SAIL, but also the 1st woman Chairman of the Company. Currently, she is Chairperson of SCOPE – an apex professional organisation representing CPSEs. She is also Chairman of FICCI Committee on Steel.
Federal Foreign Office
Ms. Jennifer Morgan
State Secretary / Special Envoy for International Climate Action,
Federal Foreign Office
Jennifer Morgan has been State Secretary and Special Representative for International Climate Policy at the Federal Foreign Office since March 2022. Born April 21, 1966 in Ridgewood, New Jersey, she studied Political Science and International Relations at Indiana University, Bloomington and received her Master’s Degree in International Affairs at The American University in Washington, D.C.
In her professional career, Jennifer Morgan held various leadership positions, including Director of the Global Climate Campaign of WWF International and Director of the Climate Program of the think tank World Resources Institute (WRI). She was also a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and the Council for Sustainable Development of the Federal Government. Before her assignment to the Federal Foreign Office, from 2016 to 2022 she was Managing Director of the environmental organization Greenpeace International (GPI). Jennifer Morgan lives in Berlin and has the German citizenship.
Ms. Leena Nandan
Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change
Leena Nandan is presently the Secretary of the Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change, Government of India. She is an IAS officer of the 1987 batch, who belongs to the UP cadre. She is a graduate in English Honours from Patna Women's College, and has done her Masters in Development Management from the Asian Institute of Management, Manila. She has served in Uttar Pradesh in various capacities, as District Magistrate in 4 districts, Managing Director, UP Women Welfare Corporation, M.D. UP Tourism Development Corporation, as well as different postings in the UP Secretariat.
Ms. Jayashree Nandi
Jayashree Nandi is Hindustan Times’s environment and climate correspondent. She primarily covers climate science and negotiations; environmental issues in India such as air and water pollution; forests and wildlife among others. With 14 years of experience in writing on environment, she has worked with The Times of India in the past before joining Hindustan Times in 2018. Jayashree won the Centre for Media Studies Young Environment Journalist of the Year award in 2019. She also won the merit award for sustained environmental reporting on the environment at fourth Asian Environmental Journalism Awards (AEJA) in 2015. She has taken up a number of journalism fellowships including Biodiversity Media Initiative fellowship of the Earth Journalism Network. Jayashree has authored a picture eBook for 4- to 6-year-olds on this year's Uttarakhand flood disaster titled "Saving Raini."
Dr. Bruno Oberle
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Dr Bruno Oberle assumed office as Director General of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in July 2020.
He brings over 40 years of experience to IUCN at a time when redefining humanity’s relationship with nature is more urgent than ever. Before joining IUCN, Dr Bruno Oberle served in some of Switzerland’s most prestigious positions related to the environment. Between 2005 and 2015, as State Secretary for the Environment and Director of the Federal Office for the Environment for Switzerland, he represented Switzerland in leading international institutions and international negotiations, playing a key role in the Global Environment Facility and in the establishment of the Green Climate Fund.
Dr Oberle is a leading expert in the fields of sustainable resource management and green economy and has explored and shaped the interface between environmental policy, economic development and social equity from the perspective of state regulator, entrepreneur and scientist.
Prior to joining IUCN, Dr Oberle served as Chair of the Green Economy and Resource Governance programme at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) from 2016, where he also headed the International Risk Governance Centre. Since 2019, he has chaired the Global Tailings Review, which aims to establish an international standard for the safe management of tailings storage facilities that can be applied to dams around the world. He was also the lead author of the Global Resources Outlook 2019, written in his capacity as an active member of the International Resource Panel, which he joined in 2015.
Preceding his academic and government roles, Dr Oberle founded and managed companies in the fields of environmental consulting and environmental management, using the expertise gained from his doctorate in environmental sciences at ETH Zurich.
Sustainable Energy for All
Ms. Damilola Ogunbiyi
Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and Chief Executive Officer,
Sustainable Energy for All
Damilola Ogunbiyi is the CEO and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All and Co-Chair of UN-Energy. She is a global leader and advocate for the achievement of SDG7 – universal access to reliable, affordable, sustainable and modern energy for all by 2030.
She is one of the Commissioners for the Global Commission to end energy poverty, an initiative driven by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and The Rockefeller Foundation. She is the Co-Chair of the COP26 Energy Transition Council, established ahead of COP26, and will continue at least until COP30, to bring together leaders in the power sector across politics, finance and technology to speed up the transition from coal to clean renewable energy in developing countries.
Dr. Erik Olsen
Head of Research Group for Sustainable Development,
Institute of Marine Research
Erik Olsen is the head of the research group for Sustainable Development at the Institute of Marine Research, in Bergen, Norway, where he has been working since 1999. He has earned a PhD in fisheries biology in from the University of Bergen (2002). He has extensive experience with organizing and leading scientific surveys and investigations in Norwegian waters as well as in Nortwest Africa, Sudan, Angola, Mozambique and Bangladesh. Integrated ocean management and marine spatial planning has also been a key area of work and Erik was deeply involved in the development of the Norwegian Integrated management plans.
Mr. Hiroshi Ono
Vice-Minister for Global Environmental Affairs,
Ministry of the Environment, Japan
ONO Hiroshi was appointed Vice-Minister for Global Environmental Affairs of Ministry of the Environment (MOE), Japan on July 1, 2022. Before becoming the Vice-Minister, he held prominent positions during his 35 years in MOE Japan as Director-General of Global Environment Bureau, Director-General of Environmental Management Bureau and others. He has attended various international meetings representing Japan for environment, climate change, including G7, G20, and COP. He obtained master’s degree from the Graduate School of Engineering of the University of Tokyo in 1987.
Dr. Suneel Pandey
The Energy and Resources Institute
Dr Suneel Pandey is Senior Fellow and Director, Environment & Waste Management Division, TERI. In addition, he is also working as Director, Emerson Centre for Sustainability and Adjunct Faculty at TERI School of Advance Studies (TERI SAS). He has more than 30 years of consultancy/ research experience in the areas of municipal, industrial and hospital waste management, their linkage with climate change aspects and circular economy and resource efficiency, waste-to-energy issues, impact assessment, air, water and soil quality monitoring, site assessments, performance evaluation of ETP and institutional strengthening and capacity building. He has obtained his Ph. D. degree in hazardous waste characterization from Nagpur University while working as Project Fellow at NEERI, Nagpur. Prior to joining TERI, Suneel has worked for ERM India and at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology on development of landfill liner for containment of land disposed hazardous waste and deriving material balances and associated environmental pollution for Hong Kong region as part of Post Doctoral Research.
Mr. Janos Pasztor
Carnegie Climate Governance Initiative - C2G
Janos Pasztor is Executive Director of the Carnegie Climate Governance Initiative (C2G), with over four decades of experience in energy, environment, climate change, and sustainable development. Previously UN Assistant Secretary-General for Climate Change under Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. He worked in different capacities at WWF International, UNEP, UNEMG, UNFCCC, UN, Brundtland Commission, Beijer Institute. He has BSc, MSc degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Prof. Anand Patwardhan
University of Maryland, College Park
Anand Patwardhan is Professor in the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland, College Park. He was earlier a Professor at the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay. Anand has a BTech (Electrical Engineering) from IIT-Bombay and a MS (Civil Engineering) and PhD (Engineering and Public Policy), both from Carnegie Mellon University. Anand’s research focuses on mitigation and adaptation responses to climate change, and the assessment of vulnerability and adaptation, as well as broader issues of science, technology and innovation policy. He has been a coordinating lead author for the IPCC, and a member of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel of the Global Environmental Facility. He currently serves as co-chair of the Science Committee of the World Adaptation Science Program (WASP), and co-chair of the Adaptation Research Alliance (ARA).
Ms. Seema Paul
Sequoia Climate Foundation
Seema Paul is a program director at Sequoia Climate Foundation, where she leads grantmaking portfolio for India. Prior to joining Sequoia, Seema successfully led the launch of two environmental start-ups in India—Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation and, more recently, The Nature Conservancy. She has also worked in two philanthropic start-ups focused on climate change—Ted Turner’s United Nations Foundation and Climateworks Foundation—as well as for international organizations such as UNAIDS. She is Rockefeller Foundation’s Lead International Fellow and an Alfred Friendly Press. Seema completed the International Executive Program at INSEAD and holds one master’s degree in public policy from University of Maryland and another in English literature from University of Delhi.
Ms. Elba Rosa Pérez Montoya
Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment
She graduated as bachelor of Philosophy and Sociology. She began his career as professor at the Faculty of Social and Humanistic Sciences at the Eastern University in Santiago de Cuba province, in which held the position of chief professor in the Department of Philosophy and Dean of the Faculty of Humanities. She has held various educational, institutional and political positions from th grassroots level to municipal and provincial levels, up to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Republic of Cuba in which she serves as a member since 1997. In 1998 was appointed to the professional activity of the Cuban Communist Party, where from the very beginning oversaw the work related to the national development policy in the fields of Science, Technology, Innovation and the Environment. Similarly, she was assigned that responsibility in the Scientific Pole of Biotechnology. From 2000 to 2012 she worked at the Department for Science.
Dr. Janez Potočnik
International Resource Panel
Dr Janez Potočnik (1958) graduated from the Faculty of Economics at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia (Ph.D. degree 1993). He started as a researcher at the Institute of Economic Research (1989) and was nominated for a Director of the Institute of Macroeconomic Analysis and Development in 1994. He was appointed Head of the Negotiating Team for Accession of Slovenia to the EU (1998). He was also Director of Government Office for European Affairs (2000), Minister Councillor at the Office of the Prime Minister (2001) and Minister responsible for European Affairs (2002). In 2004 he joined the European Commission, first as ‘shadow’ Commissioner for Enlargement, and then as Commissioner for Science and Research. In 2010 he became the European Commissioner for Environment. After the end of his mandate in November 2014, he was appointed as a Co-Chair of UN Environment International Resource Panel. From April 2016 he has also been a Partner of SYSTEMIQ.
Mr. Amit Prothi
Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure
Mr. Prothi brings a wealth of international experience and expertise on climate and disaster resilience issues. He is an international expert with nearly 25 years of progressive leadership in the fields of urban planning and resilient infrastructure, with experience across more than 15 countries in North America, Asia and Europe. He has managed multidisciplinary teams on thematic topics that relate to climate change mitigation and adaptation including environmental planning, urban policy, land use and transportation planning, natural resource management, flood management, disaster resilient infrastructure, housing, and community development.
Recently, at the Atlantic Council's Arsht Rock Resilience Centre and previously at the Resilient Cities Network (and its predecessor 100ResilientCities), he engaged directly with cities, national governments, private sector partners, funders and technical experts.
Mr. Prothi has a Bachelors in Architecture from the School of Planning and Architecture in Delhi and a Masters in Regional Planning from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
Dr. Nurul Quadir
Secretary and Former Negotiator,
Society of Experts on Environment and Development
Dr Nurul Quadir, a former civil servant, earned Ph.D from UK and MSc in Urban Environment Management from AIT, Bangkok, Thailand. He served Bangladesh Government for about 30 years including eight years in the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. Currently Dr. Quadir is teaching at North South University as a Faculty (part time) in the Department of Environmental Science and Management.
Dr. Quadir is a Member of the LDC Elders Group and advise/support the group as and when required by the group. Dr.Quadir is very much involved in the climate change negotiation process. He was the executive committee member of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage of the UNFCCC. He was also the Alternate Member of the CDM Executive Boad of UNFCCC/KP. Currently, Dr. Quadir is the General Secretary of the Society of Experts on Environment and Development (SEED)
Mr. Michael R. Bloomberg
UN Special Envoy on Climate Ambition & Solutions, Founder of Bloomberg LP,
Mike Bloomberg is an entrepreneur and three-term mayor of New York City whose innovations in business, government, and philanthropy have made him a pioneering leader on critical global issues. Bloomberg LP, the technology and media company he launched in 1981, revolutionized the investment industry and now employs some 21,000 people. Elected mayor just weeks after the attacks of September 11, 2001, Bloomberg led New York City’s resurgence – spearheading the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan, cutting carbon emissions, increasing New Yorkers’ life expectancy by three years, and spurring record job growth. His foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, works on initiatives in public health, education, the environment, government innovation, and the arts, as well fighting COVID-19. He has given away $14.4 billion. Bloomberg serves as UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Climate Ambition and Solutions and as WHO Ambassador for Noncommunicable Diseases and Injuries. He graduated from Johns Hopkins University and Harvard Business School.
Dr. M Ravichandran
Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India
Dr. M. Ravichandran is the Secretary to Government of India, Ministry of Earth Science, since Oct 2021. He was Director, National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR), Goa during 2016-2021. He obtained his Ph.D degree in Physics from University of Pune. He worked as an Atmospheric Scientist in Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (ESSO-IITM), Pune (1988 to 1997), Ocean Technologist at National Institute of Ocean Technology (ESSO-NIOT), Chennai (1997-2001) and a Physical Oceanographer at Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (ESSO-INCOIS), Hyderabad (2001-2016), before joining at NCPOR.
He is a Fellow of National Academy of Sciences India (NASI) and Fellow of India Meteorological Society. He is editor for Pure and Applied Geophysics (Atmosphere and Ocean Sciences) since 2015.
Spent more than 500 days at sea on-board research vessels for various ocean related studies and published more than 150 publications in referred Journals.
Prof. Jeffrey Sachs
President UN SDSN,
Center for Sustainable Development, Columbia University
Jeffrey D. Sachs is University Professor and Director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University, where he directed the Earth Institute from 2002 until 2016. He is President of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, Co-Chair of the Council of Engineers for the Energy Transition, Commissioner of the UN Broadband Commission for Development, academician of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences at the Vatican, and Tan Sri Jeffrey Cheah Honorary Distinguished Professor at Sunway University. He has been Special Advisor to three United Nations Secretaries-General, and currently serves as an SDG Advocate under Secretary General António Guterres. He spent over twenty years as a professor at Harvard University, where he received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees. Sachs has received 41 honorary doctorates, and his recent awards include the 2022 Tang Prize in Sustainable Development, the Legion of Honor by decree of the President of the Republic of France, and the Order of the Cross from the President of Estonia. His most recent books are The Ages of Globalization: Geography, Technology, and Institutions (2020) and Ethics in Action for Sustainable Development (2022).
Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR)
Dr. Claudia Sadoff
Executive Managing Director,
Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR)
Dr Claudia Sadoff, Executive Managing Director of CGIAR (Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research), is a globally recognized leader in water management for international development. She served as the Director General of the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), a CGIAR Center working globally to find water solutions for sustainable, climate-resilient development. Prior to joining IWMI, she spent over 20 years at the World Bank where she held multiple positions, including Lead Economist and Global Lead for Water Security and Integrated Water Resource Management. She served as a Member of the Scientific Group of the 2021 United Nations Food Systems Summit.
Mr. Jagjeet Sareen
Jagjeet Sareen recently joined as a Principal at Dalberg Advisors’ Delhi office to lead climate work in the Asia-Pacific regiona and globally. He served as the Assistant Director-General at the International Solar Alliance and as a Senior Policy Officer in the Global Climate Practice at the World Bank headquarters in Washington, DC. Over the past 17 years, his focus has been on green infrastructure, investment, and climate finance, working at the Climate Investment Funds, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, Green Climate Fund, the Unitedtions Climate Change Secretariat, Ernst & Young, and TERI. He has facilitated global climate finance negotiations and supported the design process of international climate funds at the UN and multilateral development banks.
Mr. Ovais Sarmad
Deputy Executive Secretary,
UNFCCC UN Climate Change secretariat
Mr. Ovais Sarmad joined the United Nations Climate Change secretariat (UNFCCC) on 1 September 2017. Mr. Sarmad advises the Executive Secretary on a range of issues relating to the intergovernmental affairs and strategic planning of the UNFCCC process. He provides oversight to the overall operations of the UNFCCC covering human and financial resources as well as organizational development.
Previously he served as Chief of Staff/Chef de Cabinet at the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Geneva. Mr. Sarmad worked in several management and policy
capacities in IOM over a period of 27 years. Prior to IOM, he worked in the private and public sectors in London, where he qualified as a Chartered Management Accountant (ACMA) and Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA). He graduated from Osmania University in Hyderabad, India, as a Bachelor of Commerce.
Mr. A K Saxena
Senior Fellow and Senior Director,
Mr. A. K. Saxena currently heads the Electricity and Fuels Division in The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI). He has over 40 years of experience in the power sector in India. He has worked with the Central Electricity Authority, Ministry of Power and Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC). Post retirement from Government service in 2016, he is with TERI where he leads various projects in the Power Sector. Key areas of focus of his work at present include Energy Transition, Just Transition, Smart Distribution with Energy Storage, E-mobility, Demand Side Management, Smart Grid, etc., which involve a strong interaction with power utilities in the country as well as leading organisations/institutes in India and other countries. He was Chair/Member/Convenor of Committees set up by CERC and is currently Chairperson of Industry Advisory Board of IIT-K & La Trobe University Research Academy. Mr. Saxena holds a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering and MBA.
Mr. Girish Sethi
Senior Director-Energy Program,
The Energy and Resources Institute
Girish Sethi is Senior Director of the Energy Program at TERI, having more than 37 years of experience in the field of energy, environment and sustainable development. His direct responsibilities at TERI include providing strategic direction and coordinating the activities related to industrial energy efficiency, renewable energy, fuels and electricity including demand side management. Other areas of interest include GHG inventorization of corporate level GHG emissions and aspects related to technology transfer and promotion of low carbon energy technologies in the context of climate change. He is presently coordinating a new initiative at TERI that looks at options for deep de-carbonization in harder-to-abate industrial sectors in the longer term, including options for use of hydrogen. He has represented TERI in various national and international forums on different aspects related to energy and environment. He is a Chemical Engineer and holds Master’s Degree in Energy Studies from Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi. He has also completed a multi-disciplinary Masters course on “Technology in the Tropics” from University of Applied Sciences, Cologne, Germany
Mr. Ajay Shankar
Ajay Shankar is a Distinguished Fellow at TERI.
He has rich and varied experience in public service for over forty years as a member of the Indian Administrative Service. He has served in the Government of India in key policy making positions in the areas of industry and energy. He has been Secretary, DIPP (Department of Industrial, Policy and Promotion) in the Government of India as well as Member Secretary, NMCC (National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council).
He had earlier worked in the Ministry of Power for many years and held the posts of Special Secretary, Additional Secretary and Joint Secretary. He played a key role in piloting the reform legislation, the Electricity Act 2003 and the major programme for completing the universalization of electricity access launched in 2005 to electrify 1,25,000 villages. Village electrification has now been completed. He was closely involved in the design of the National Solar Mission at the time of its inception.
He writes on policy issues and his articles have been appearing in the national economic papers.
Prof. Prateek Sharma
TERI SCHOOL OF ADVANCED STUDIES
Dr. Prateek Sharma is the Vice Chancellor (Acting) and Professor in the Department of Sustainable Engineering at TERI School of Advanced Studies. He pursued his Ph. D. degree in Environmental Engineering from Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi; M.E. (Hydraulics) and B.E. (Civil) from Civil Engineering Department, Delhi College of Engineering, Delhi. He has more than 22 years of research and teaching experience. His general research interest focusses on environmental systems modelling, statistical applications in environmental and water resources engineering and, environmental risk assessment. He has contributed to several high impact academic journals and authored two books in the area of vehicular pollution modelling and stochastic modelling and one monograph. Dr. Sharma is a member of several professional societies. He has been admitted as a Fellow of Wessex Institute of Great Britain in 2004, in recognit
Ms. Prachi Shevagaonkar
Founder & CEO,
Cool The Globe
Prachi Shevgaonkar is a Climate Entrepreneur and the founder of Cool The Globe - An app for climate action with users from 100+ countries. Prachi was awarded by the finance minister of India as the 'Young Change- maker of the year.' Prachi is the first Indian citizen to be appointed on the advisory board of Climate Leadership Coalition, alongside the former Prime Minister of Finland. She was selected by the Ministry of Environment and UNICEF to represent India at COP27 climate summit in Egypt, where she received COP27 Young Scholar Award from Hon. Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav. Prachi spent months covering stories of youth, farmers, and waste-picker communities, to understand the impact of climate change in day-to-day lives of people. She has been mobilising citizens to tackle climate change through technology, advocacy and grass-root action. She firmly believes that when ordinary citizens come together, miracles can happen.
Prof. Lindiwe Majele Sibanda
System Board Chair,
Lindiwe Majele Sibanda is an animal scientist and a practicing farmer with extensive experience, serving as a policy advisor to numerous African governments and global institutions. She is Professor, Director and Chair of the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA) Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Food Systems at the University of Pretoria, in South Africa. She is a Member of the Board of Nestlé S.A. and serves on the Board of the World Vegetable Center (WorldVeg). She is an Associate Fellow at Chatham House, and member of Champions 12.3, accelerating progress on UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 12.3, halving global per capita food waste.
She previously served as Board Chair for the International Livestock Research Institution (ILRI); Board Member of the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT); and program advisor to the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS). She also served on the EAT-Lancet Commission on healthy diets from sustainable food systems and as a member of the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) Policy Advisory Council. She has served in senior leadership positions in various organizations, including co-Chair of the Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture (GACSA), Vice-President, Country Support, Policy and Partnerships for the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), and CEO and Head of Mission of the pan-African Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN). She holds a PhD and MSc in Agriculture from the University of Reading, and BSc in Animal Production from the University of Alexandria, Egypt.
She was appointed to the CGIAR System Board in April 2021, and served as the Chair since 1 January 2023.
Ms. Kadri Simson
Commissioner for Energy,
Kadri Simson is an Estonian politician from the Centre Party. She is serving as a European Commissioner for Energy in the Von der Leyen Commission since 1 December 2019.
She was previously the Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure in Jüri Ratas' first cabinet from 2016 to 2019. During the Estonian Presidency in the Council of the EU, Simson chaired both energy ministers and transport ministers meetings in TTE Council and ministers of economy format in EU Competitiveness Council.
From 2007–2016 Kadri Simson was a member of the 11th, 12th, and 13th Riigikogu and in 2019 she was also elected to the 14th Riigikogu. She holds a Master's degree in Political Science from University College London.
Mr. Abhinav Singh
Abhinav is a business, technology and operations leader with experience leading technology, product , sales and operations. Abhinav has worked in domains as diverse as oil and gas, shipping, technology and retail in multiple countries. He has led customer facing product development, launched new businesses and led large scale operations. At Shell and now at Amazon, he has held leadership roles in Supply Chain, Transportation and Fulfilment.
A strong advocate of sustainability, Abhinav has played a crucial role in identifying and transforming operational processes to contribute towards Amazon’s decarbonization goals. Under his leadership, Amazon is well on its way to achieve its goal of deploying 10,000 EVs in the delivery fleet in India by 2025. He has played a key role in finding ways to meet customers' demand for sustainable packaging by engaging suppliers to develop packaging alternatives and using less material that maintain carbon benefits in the supply chain while ensuring damage-free delivery.
Mr. Mahendra Singhi
Managing Director & CEO,
Dalmia Cement (Bharat) Limited
Mahendra Singhi MD and CEO, Dalmia Cement (Bharat) Limited Mr. Mahendra Singhi is an affable and cheerful person. He is designated as Carbon Pricing Champion by the World Bank Group, COP 26 Business Leader by UN COP 26 Presidency and also recognised as one of the five global Climate Defenders by the BBC World. Mr. Singhi is Managing Director and CEO of Dalmia Cement, a prominent cement manufacturing group in India ranked no.1 globally by CDP on Low Carbon Economy Transition and appreciated by the UN Secretary-General on climate innovation. Dalmia Cement has committed to become a carbon-negative cement group by 2040. Mr. Singhi also serves the following organizations and commissions in India and abroad: Carbon Pricing Champion, CPLC, World Bank Group COP 26 Business Leader, United Nations COP-26 Presidency Commissioner, Energy Transitions Commission (ETC), London, U.K., Director, Global Cement and Concrete Association
Mr. Sumant Sinha
Chairman & CEO,
Sumant Sinha is the Chairman and CEO of ReNew Power – India’s leading clean energy companies with a portfolio of ~14 GW. Sumant is Co-Chair of the Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders India, at the World Economic Forum. Sumant also serves as the President of the ASSOCHAM. He serves on the Board of USISPF as well as the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI). In 2021, Sumant was recognized as a United Nations Global Compact’s SDG Pioneer, as ‘Trailblazer of the Year 2021’ by S&P Global Platts & conferred with ‘Distinguished Alumni Award 2022’ by Columbia SIPA. Sumant has previously worked as an investment banker with Citicorp and ING Barings in the US & UK and as CFO of the Aditya Birla Group and COO at Suzlon. Sumant holds a Master’s degree in International Affairs from Columbia University, an MBA from IIM, Calcutta and a B. Tech from IIT, Delhi.
Mr. Erik Solheim
6th Executive Director,
Erik Solheim is a well-known global leader on environment and development as well as an experienced peace negotiator.
He served as Norwegian minister of Environment and International Development from 2005-2012. During that period, he initiated the global program for conservation of rainforests and brought through game changing National legislation - among them the Biodiversity Act and legislation to protect Oslo city forests. He brought Norwegian development assistance to 1%, the highest in the world.
He led the peace efforts in Sri Lanka from 1999-2009 as the main negotiator of the peace process and played a vital role in peace efforts in Nepal, Myanmar and Sudan.
Erik was the Executive Chair of the OECD Development Assistance Committee (the main body of world donors) from 2012-2016 and Executive Director of UN Environment from 2016 to 2018.
Currently he is Senior Adviser at World Resources Institute.
Erik is Chief Mentor of Global Alliance for Sustainable Planet and Chairman of the Board of Afroz Shah Foundation & Youth of India Foundation. He is adviser to April, the world ́s largest paper and pulp company in Indonesia, to Aker Horizons, Norway’s leading green industry corporation and to Norwegian electric battery company Morrow.
He serves as chairman of the development roundtable in Green Hydrogen Organization and as a board member of International Hydropower Association.
Mr. Bård Vegar Solhjell
Norad - Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation
Bård Vegar Solhjell has been Director General of the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, Norad, since January 2020. Before this, he was Secretary General of WWF Norway for 1,5 years. Mr. Solhjell has held senior positions in the Norwegian Socialist Left Party, including Vice-chairman 2007-2015. He was member of Parliament 2013-2017 and prior to that Minister of Education 2007-2009 and Minister of the Environment 2012-2013. Bård Vegar Solhjell has comprehensive leadership experience and years of practice in decision making. He holds a master’s degree in Political Science from University of Oslo and University of Bergen and has written several books.
Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways
Mr. Sarbananda Sonowal
Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways,
Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways
Sarbananda Sonowal is a politician from Assam and the Union Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways and Minister of AYUSH in the Government of India. He is a Member of Parliament in the Rajya Sabha and also a member of the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs. Sarbananda Sonowal was the 14th Chief Minister of Assam, the first BJP Chief Minister in the state, having served from 2016 to 2021.
Sarbananda Sonowal was also the Union Minister of State for Sports and Youth Affairs and Union Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and Skill Development from 2014 to 2016. He is a former two time MP in the Lok Sabha. Sarbananda Sonowal was the President of Assam's oldest student body, the All Assam Students Union (AASU) from 1992 to 1999 and Chairman of the North East Students Organisation (NESO) from 1996 to 2000.
Active in sports, culture and social work from a young age, Sarbananda Sonowal was a major public figure in the post Assam Accord period in Indian politics and is well known for his historic role in the removal of the IMDT Act from the Assam.
Mr. Achim Steiner
United Nations Development Programme
Achim Steiner became UNDP Administrator on 19 June 2017 following the confirmation of his nomination by the United Nations General Assembly. Mr. Steiner is the Vice-Chair of the UN Sustainable Development Group, which unites 40 entities of the UN system that work to support sustainable development.
Over nearly three decades, Mr. Steiner has been a global leader on sustainable development, climate resilience and international cooperation. Prior to joining UNDP, he was Director of the Oxford Martin School, University of Oxford. Mr. Steiner has served across various international organizations, looking at global challenges from both a humanitarian and a development perspective. He led the United Nations Environment Programme (2006-2016), the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (2001 – 2006) and the World Commission on Dams (1998 – 2001).
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change - UNFCCC
Mr. Simon Emmanuel Kervin Stiell
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change - UNFCCC
Simon Stiell was appointed Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in August 2022. From 2013 to June 2022, he served in a number of ministerial roles in the Government of Grenada, including as Minister for Climate Resilience and the Environment for five years. He also served as member of Grenada’s Upper House of Parliament, the Senate, where he was Leader of Government’s Business throughout this period. Prior to his return to Grenada, Simon had a successful career spanning fourteen years within the technology sector, holding senior executive positions in several industry leading companies.
Dr. Soumya Swaminathan
M S Swaminathan Research Foundation
Soumya Swaminathan was most recently WHO's Chief Scientist and previously, Deputy Director-General for Programmes. A pediatrician from India and a globally recognised researcher on tuberculosis and HIV, she has 30 years of experience in clinical care and research, working throughout her career to translate research into impactful programmes. Dr Swaminathan was Secretary to the Government of India for Health Research and Director General of the Indian Council of Medical Research from 2015 to 2017, and focused on bringing science and evidence into health policy-making, building research capacity in Indian medical schools, also forging south-south partnerships in health sciences. From 2009 to 2011, she served as Coordinator of the UNICEF/UNDP/World Bank/WHO Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases, Geneva.
Dr. Renu Swarup
Ministry of Science & Technology, Government of India
Dr Renu Swarup, is the Former Secretary, Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of
India. Having served in Department of Biotechnology for over 30 years, she was also the
Chairperson of Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), She also held the
Additional Charge of Secretary Department of Science &Technology for a short period.
A PhD in Genetics and Plant Breeding, She did her Post Doctoral Research at The John Innes
Centre, Norwich UK, Dr. Renu Swarup has been instrumental in the planning and implementation
of some major National programmes. As a Science Manager issues related to policy planning and
implementation were a part of her assignment. She was actively engaged in the formulation of
National Biotechnology Vision and Strategy in 2001, 2007 and 2015and 2021. She was also a
member of the Task Force on Women in Science constituted by the Scientific Advisory Committee
to the Prime Minister.
Prof. Kazuhiko Takeuchi
Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES)
Kazuhiko Takeuchi is President of the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) and a Project Professor at the Institute for Future Initiatives (IFI), the University of Tokyo. He served as Senior Vice-Rector of the United Nations University (UNU) and currently holds a position as Senior Visiting Professor at UNU Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS). He has served, inter alia, as Acting Chair of the Central Environment Council; and Chair of the Nature Conservation Committee of the Central Environment Council, Government of Japan, Editor-in-Chief of the journal Sustainability Science (Springer Nature), and Distinguished Chair, Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace and Environmental Studies, University of Nairobi.
He specialises in landscape ecology, landscape planning, and sustainability science.
He engages in research and outreach activities on creating eco-friendly environments for a harmonious coexistence of people and nature, especially focusing on Asia and Africa.
Mr. Rajiv Tikoo
Consulting Editor - Sustainability,
Rajiv Tikoo is a senior journalist, editor and development communication expert with experience of working with media houses, UN, governments, corporates and NGOs.
He is presently working as Consulting Editor (Sustainability) with Outlook Group. He is a former Deputy Editor of The Financial Express, Asia Editor of United Nations Millennium Campaign and Editor-in-Chief of OneWorld South Asia.
A recipient of fellowships from the Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership, Panos and International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Rajiv specialises in media management, sustainable development, human rights and environmental law.
Apart from reporting for mainstream, alternative and community media, he has edited 10 books and compendiums, including ‘Forest Lanterns’ published by Penguin Random House.
Rajiv has also produced audio programmes for All India Radio and films on behaviour change communication. Besides, he has explored the use of mobile Apps, IVR-based helplines, info-kiosks and Community Radio Stations for hyperlocal communication.
Lord Adair Turner
Energy Transition Commission
Lord Turner chairs the Energy Transitions Commission, a global coalition of major power and industrial companies, investors, environmental NGOs and experts working out achievable pathways to limit global warming to 1.5C by 2040. In addition, he is Chairman of Chubb Europe and on the Advisory Board of Envision Energy. Lord Turner has held high profile roles in public policy: he was Director General of the Confederation of British Industry (1995-2000); chairman of the Pensions Commission (2003-2006); chairman of the Climate Change Committee (2008-2012) an independent body to advise the UK Government on tackling climate change, and chaired the UK’s Financial Services Authority during the financial crisis of 2008, where he played a leading role in the post crisis redesign of global banking and shadow banking regulation.
Mr. Rasmus Valanko
We Mean Business Coalition
Rasmus Valanko is the Managing Director for Systems Transformation at We Mean Business (WMB). He works to implement systemic change by working with companies and partner organizations on climate change. Rasmus brings a wealth of knowledge on sustainability from private, public and NGO sectors and believes in the power of collaboration to find innovative solutions to some of the most complex challenges faced by society today.
Prof. Jean-Pascal van Ypersele
Former IPCC Vice-Chair; Professor,
Université catholique de Louvain
Jean-Pascal van Ypersele is full professor of climatology and sustainable development sciences at the Université catholique de Louvain (Belgium), and member of the Belgian Royal Academy. A physicist and climate modeller, he has published with natural and social scientists about climate change and sustainable development at global and regional scales for forty years, with a strong attention for climate justice and just transition. He has participated to almost all UNFCCC COPs since COP1 in 1995. He was Vice-Chair of the IPCC from 2008 to 2015, and is now the official candidate of Belgium for the IPCC Chair position. "Scientific rigour and quality, relevance and usefulness for decision-making, service, ethics, clarity and pedagogy, gender balance, inclusiveness and respect at all stages of the IPCC's work will be at the heart of my action if I am elected Chair."
Mr. Arne Walther
Independent Adviser and Former Diplomat,
Ambassador Arne Walther is currently an independent adviser on government relations, geopolitics and international energy affairs through his company “Walther International Consulting”. He has served as Norway's Ambassador to India, Japan, Austria and the UN Organizations in Vienna. He has been Chairman of the Governing Board of the International Energy Agency (Paris) and the founding Secretary General of the International Energy Forum (Riyadh). He has served as Special Adviser on International Affairs for former Norwegian Prime Minister Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland. Ambassador Walther is a member of the International Steering Committee for TERIs World Sustainable Development Summit
Prof. Mark Williams
School of Geography, Geology and the Environment,
University of Leicester
Mark Williams is a Professor of Palaeobiology at the University of Leicester in the UK. He is a long time member of the Anthropocene Working Group since its beginning, and his focus has been on quantifying changes to the biosphere as a result of human actions. He recently published the book 'The Cosmic Oasis' (Oxford University Press), with Jan Zalasiewicz.
Dr. Henning Wuester
Dr. Wuester currently leads the Initiative for Climate Action Transparency, ICAT, and directs its day-to-day work based on the Initiative’s strategic plan. Prior to joining ICAT, he worked in the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) overseeing the Agency’s work on knowledge, policy, and finance. Previously, Dr. Wuester served the Green Climate Fund (GCF) as Senior Manager at the Interim Secretariat. He also worked in several positions within the United Nations system, including as Special Adviser to the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and at the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) in several roles in the secretariat of the Convention on Transboundary Air Pollution. Dr. Wuester holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Munich, where he started his career as assistant professor.
The Aspen Institute, Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security
Ms. Riddhima Yadav
Non-Resident Fellow, Board Director,
The Aspen Institute, Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security
Riddhima is a leader in sustainability and climate strategy with trisector experience in the public, private and NGO sectors. She has most recently been part of the Sustainable Investing Group at Goldman Sachs prior to which she was a founding team member of the Sustainable Finance Group in the Executive Office partnering with Goldman Sachs’ global businesses to deliver sustainability-related solutions for clients and stakeholders and designing group-level strategy including a target to deploy $750 billion in sustainable finance by 2030. Riddhima has advised hundreds of corporations, asset managers and asset owners globally on climate finance, ESG and sustainability. Prior to Goldman Sachs, she was named inaugural climate fellow for Secretary John Kerry and worked for the United Nations on trade and climate policy. She holds a B.A. in Ethics, Politics and Economics from Yale University and sits on the board of the We Are Family Foundation.
Prof. Jan Zalasiewicz
University of Leicester
Jan Zalasiewicz is Emeritus Professor of Palaeobiology at the University of Leicester, previously of the British Geological Survey. He chairs the Subcommission on Quaternary Stratigraphy of the International Commission on Stratigraphy and is a member of its Anthropocene Working Group. A field geologist, palaeontologist and stratigrapher, interests include Early Palaeozoic fossils and rocks, the Quaternary Ice Ages and the geology made by humans. He is a co-editor of The Anthropocene as a geological time unit: a guide to the scientific evidence and current debate (2019). Books he has written include The Earth After Us (2008), The Planet in a Pebble (2010), and (with Mark Williams) The Goldilocks Planet (2012), Ocean Worlds (2014), Skeletons (2018) and Cosmic Oasis (2022).
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