At the COP 21 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, governments agreed that mobilizing stronger and more ambitious climate action is urgently required to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. To connect the work of governments with the many voluntary and collaborative actions taken by cities, regions, businesses and investors, nations decided to appoint two high-level champions.

The current UN High-Level Champions for Climate Action for COP27 and COP26, Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin and Mr Nigel Topping, build on the legacy of their predecessors to engage with non state actors and activate the ‘ambition loop’ with national governments. Their work is fundamentally designed to encourage a collaborative shift across all of society towards a decarbonized economy so that we can all thrive in a healthy, resilient and zero carbon world.

To help them deliver this work, the High-Level Champions are supported by a global team of experts covering a broad spectrum of fields.

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High-Level Climate Action Champion of Egypt, COP27 Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin

Dr. Mohieldin, is an economist with more than 30 years of experience in international finance and development. He is an Executive Director at the International Monetary Fund. He has been the United Nations Special Envoy on Financing the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda since February 2020. He was Minister of Investment of Egypt from 2004-2010, and […]

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High-Level Climate Action Champion of Egypt, COP27

Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin

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High-Level Climate Action Champion of the UK, COP26 Nigel Topping

Nigel Topping is the UK’s High-Level Climate Action Champion, appointed by the UK Prime Minister in January 2020. Working alongside Egypt’s High-Level Climate Action Champion for COP27, Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin, Mr Topping will help strengthen collaboration and drive action from businesses, investors, organisations, cities, and regions on climate change, and coordinate this work with governments […]

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High-Level Climate Action Champion of the UK, COP26

Nigel Topping

Nigel Topping is the UK’s High-Level Climate Action Champion, appointed by the UK Prime Minister in January 2020. Working alongside Egypt’s High-Level Climate Action Champion for COP27, Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin, Mr Topping will help strengthen collaboration and drive action from businesses, investors, organisations, cities, and regions on climate change, and coordinate this work with governments and parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Mr Topping was most recently CEO of We Mean Business, a coalition of businesses working to accelerate the transition to a zero carbon economy. Prior to that he was Executive Director of the Carbon Disclosure Project, following an 18 year career in the private sector, having worked across the world in emerging markets and manufacturing.

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Carbon Removals Lead Ashleigh Arton

Ashleigh has more than eight years of experience in the conservation, sustainability and fisheries sectors. She is currently a Senior Consultant in Deloitte Venture’s Climate Change & Environment Studio. The studio seeks to originate technology-based opportunities with clients, and co-innovation with strategic partners at an exciting time for climate action and ecosystems development.  Prior to […]

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Carbon Removals Lead

Ashleigh Arton

Ashleigh has more than eight years of experience in the conservation, sustainability and fisheries sectors. She is currently a Senior Consultant in Deloitte Venture’s Climate Change & Environment Studio. The studio seeks to originate technology-based opportunities with clients, and co-innovation with strategic partners at an exciting time for climate action and ecosystems development.  Prior to joining Deloitte, Ashleigh led research and policy development at the Marine Stewardship Council; the world’s leading sustainable fisheries standard and seafood eco-label. She emphasises using systems thinking to understand and unpack the linkages between nature, government, markets and communities. Ashleigh has a MSc in Biodiversity, Conservation and Management from the University of Oxford. Whilst there, she investigated incorporating fisher behaviours into agent-based models to understand the impact and effectiveness of fisheries management interventions. Ashleigh is happiest when collaborating with intelligent and passionate people to drive positive, resilient systems transformation.

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Director of Strategy and Policy Jen Austin

Prior to the joining the Climate Champions Team, Jen was the Policy Director for the We Mean Business coalition where she led the coalition’s global policy strategy, working with coalition partners and the world’s leading businesses to articulate a compelling business case for ambitious climate policy around the world.  Prior to We Mean Business, Jen […]

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Director of Strategy and Policy

Jen Austin

Prior to the joining the Climate Champions Team, Jen was the Policy Director for the We Mean Business coalition where she led the coalition’s global policy strategy, working with coalition partners and the world’s leading businesses to articulate a compelling business case for ambitious climate policy around the world.  Prior to We Mean Business, Jen served as Chief of Staff and Senior Policy Advisor to the Special Envoy for Climate Change at the U.S. State Department. Jen has experience in international climate policy, economics, diplomacy, and strategic communications, having also worked at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. Jen’s first jobs out of college were as a reporter for a daily newspaper in Uganda and with the International Rescue Committee in Liberia. Jen has a Masters in Public Administration in International Development from the Harvard Kennedy School where she wrote her thesis about global carbon markets, and got her undergraduate degree from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton. She is based in Washington, DC.

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Oceans Lead Ignace Beguin Billecocq

Ignace Beguin Billecocq is Ocean Lead for the Climate Champions since March 2021. Ignace is also Senior Manager, Ocean Stewardship Coalition, at the UN Global Compact. Ignace launched the Ocean Stewardship Coalition in 2018 with the objective to develop a global framework for Business Leadership in the Ocean to deliver on the Global Goals. The […]

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Oceans Lead

Ignace Beguin Billecocq

Ignace Beguin Billecocq is Ocean Lead for the Climate Champions since March 2021. Ignace is also Senior Manager, Ocean Stewardship Coalition, at the UN Global Compact. Ignace launched the Ocean Stewardship Coalition in 2018 with the objective to develop a global framework for Business Leadership in the Ocean to deliver on the Global Goals. The Coalition includes 150+ leading organizations in the ocean space, including global companies, public and private financial institutions, scientific institutions, civil society organizations and governments. Ignace worked with the UN Global Compact from 2014 to 2015 to mobilize companies in the lead up to the 2015 COP21 Climate Change Conference in Paris. Previously he served as Senior Consultant for large corporations on responsible communication and integrated reporting. He holds a Master’s Degree on International and European Environmental Law from University Aix-Marseille, France.

He is the father of a young daughter and loves cycling and trekking.

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Regenerative Agriculture Lead Federico Bellone

Federico studied environmental science (BSc), environmental technology (MSc), and international relations (MA), as well as oceanography. Formerly he was Managing Director for Latin America at Porticus, a global international private foundation, where he developed long-term funding programs in key areas such as Education, Human Rights, and Socio-environmental sustainability in Latin America. Previously he served as […]

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Regenerative Agriculture Lead

Federico Bellone

Federico studied environmental science (BSc), environmental technology (MSc), and international relations (MA), as well as oceanography. Formerly he was Managing Director for Latin America at Porticus, a global international private foundation, where he developed long-term funding programs in key areas such as Education, Human Rights, and Socio-environmental sustainability in Latin America. Previously he served as international portfolio manager at Avina Foundation, where he developed programs for forest conservation in the Pan-Amazon Basin, and with the Spanish International Development Agency (AECID), where he designed biodiversity and sustainable livelihood programs across Latin America

He is passionate about regenerative design for people, communities, businesses, and ecosystems, and when not working or visiting the field he can be found taking long rides on my bicycle or sailing.

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International Politics Unit Lead Dean Bialek

Dean is a leading international lawyer, diplomat and expert on energy, climate change and sustainable development.  He is currently based in Australia, working as Head of the Climate Champions ‘International Politics Unit’, a 4-person team providing strategic advice to the High-Level Champions on the political and diplomatic aspects on their work. After six years as […]

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International Politics Unit Lead

Dean Bialek

Dean is a leading international lawyer, diplomat and expert on energy, climate change and sustainable development.  He is currently based in Australia, working as Head of the Climate Champions ‘International Politics Unit’, a 4-person team providing strategic advice to the High-Level Champions on the political and diplomatic aspects on their work.

After six years as an Australian diplomat, including representing his country at the UN in New York (2006-08), Dean worked as a lead negotiator and legal advisor to the world’s island states in negotiations that led to the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change. As a special adviser to Marshall Islands Foreign Minister Tony de Brum, Dean helped to convene the ‘High Ambition Coalition’ of ministers that worked to secure key elements of the Paris deal, including the 1.5°C temperature limit, the “net zero” emission long-term trajectory and the requirement that all countries deepen their emission reduction targets every five years.

Prior to his diplomatic career, Dean worked at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, and as Lecturer in Environmental Law at the Melbourne University Law School.  Dean has a PhD (International law) from the University of Melbourne, and a Master of Laws (Environmental Law) from the University of London (LSE / SOAS), where he won the prestigious Georg Schwarzenberger Prize in International Law.

Dean currently sits on the Board of Directors of the UK-based legal charity ‘Protimos’, and the Advisory Board of the ‘Sydney Salon’ speaker series.

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Chief of Staff to COP26 High Level Champion Lawrence Bird

Lawrence has worked in Government for six years, covering a variety of roles mainly in the centre of Government. Most recently, he was Private Secretary to two Chancellors of the Duchy of Lancaster, when that position was held by the de facto deputy Prime Minister. Before that he worked on economic policy in the newly […]

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Chief of Staff to COP26 High Level Champion

Lawrence Bird

Lawrence has worked in Government for six years, covering a variety of roles mainly in the centre of Government. Most recently, he was Private Secretary to two Chancellors of the Duchy of Lancaster, when that position was held by the de facto deputy Prime Minister.

Before that he worked on economic policy in the newly formed EU Exit department, joining right after the referendum. Lawrence started out as an economist on the Civil Service Fast Stream. Before Government Lawrence spent some time in the City after graduating in economics.

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Race to Resilience, Manager Nora Bouhaddada

Nora has been with the Race to Resilience since its inception, playing an integral role in it’s development & most recent success at COP26. She leads both on Partner Engagement & the Transformations workstream for the campaign. Nora holds a Masters from SOAS in Migration, Mobility and Development. She has extensive experience in management and […]

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Race to Resilience, Manager

Nora Bouhaddada

Nora has been with the Race to Resilience since its inception, playing an integral role in it’s development & most recent success at COP26. She leads both on Partner Engagement & the Transformations workstream for the campaign.

Nora holds a Masters from SOAS in Migration, Mobility and Development. She has extensive experience in management and operations, having worked in finance over the last decade at some of the world’s largest institutions including UBS, Bridgewater Associates, and Trafigura AG. She also has experience in alternative finance, having worked at Level 3 Capital Advisors, an Impact Investment consultancy and Capital Institute, a think tank anchored on Regenerative Economics.

She is passionate about systems change, with a particular interest in long lasting solutions towards vulnerable communities and climate change.

In her spare time, she enjoys playing with her kitten, hiking, traveling and trying out new recipes. She is currently based in London.

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Strategic Coordinator, Finance Team Tariro Bure

Tariro Bure is a program lead with extensive experience in launching projects and mobilising resources. She serves in the Climate Champions Finance team as the Strategic Coordinator, where she drives processes and supports initiatives in achieving systems transformation towards a net zero, resilient future. Previously she was the coordinator of African Youth Networks Movement (AYNM) […]

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Strategic Coordinator, Finance Team

Tariro Bure

Tariro Bure is a program lead with extensive experience in launching projects and mobilising resources. She serves in the Climate Champions Finance team as the Strategic Coordinator, where she drives processes and supports initiatives in achieving systems transformation towards a net zero, resilient future.

Previously she was the coordinator of African Youth Networks Movement (AYNM) at Mandela Institute for Development Studies – an initiative by Mrs. Graça Machel where she was instrumental in the launch of AYNM and in setting up chapters which reach more than a million youth in 45 African countries.

Tariro was part of the founding team for African Leadership University (ALU) as Special Projects Associate to the Chairman. In this role, she spearheaded the campus accreditation and inauguration processes in coordination with the Government of Mauritius. She earned a BA in Global Economics and Management at Jacobs University Bremen in Germany.

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Events Manager Anjali Dwesar

Anjali works in the Events team at the Climate Champions, where she designs and delivers impactful events. She is from the organisation Leaders’ Quest – a social enterprise that helps leaders and companies align profit with purpose. As part of this role, she has helped manage leadership programmes across the UK, US and Middle East. […]

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Events Manager

Anjali Dwesar

Anjali works in the Events team at the Climate Champions, where she designs and delivers impactful events. She is from the organisation Leaders’ Quest – a social enterprise that helps leaders and companies align profit with purpose. As part of this role, she has helped manage leadership programmes across the UK, US and Middle East. She holds an MA in Conflict, Security and Development from the War Studies department at King’s College London.

 

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Youth and Engagement Manager Shivi Dwivedi

As well as leading youth engagment for the High-Level Champions, Shivi is a Campaign Advisor for Reboot The Future and an Associate with a catalytic collaboration start-up, Bridging Ventures. Shivi’s last role was with Leaders’ Quest (LQ), a social enterprise that helps leaders and companies align profit with purpose. At LQ, she helped build and […]

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Youth and Engagement Manager

Shivi Dwivedi

As well as leading youth engagment for the High-Level Champions, Shivi is a Campaign Advisor for Reboot The Future and an Associate with a catalytic collaboration start-up, Bridging Ventures.

Shivi’s last role was with Leaders’ Quest (LQ), a social enterprise that helps leaders and companies align profit with purpose. At LQ, she helped build and deliver client programmes and Open Quests in China, India, Israel, Palestine, the US and UK. Shivi originally joined LQ to help grow the Leaders’ Quest Foundation and its grassroots leadership development programme in India. This role included nurturing the partnerships involved – an ideal fit with her development and business background.

Shivi is deeply passionate about driving sustainable and ethical change and holds a master’s in social entrepreneurship. She began her career studying finance, and worked as a consultant with Protiviti Consulting, a global audit firm.

In addition to seeing herself as a lifelong dreamer, and a struggling pianist, Shivi loves travelling, reading, exploring underwater life, and animals. She dreams of opening an animal shelter with her partner one day!

 

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Race to Resilience Manager Neliswa Fente Hare

Neliswa is a proud South African working as the Race to Resilience Campaign Manager and  Business Engagement Lead  since November  2021 She is seconded from Deloitte UK where she is leading Resilience within the ESG and Climate risk team. Prior to joining Deloitte UK Neliswa Lead Deloitte Africa World Impact team, focusing on World Climate […]

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Race to Resilience Manager

Neliswa Fente Hare

Neliswa is a proud South African working as the Race to Resilience Campaign Manager and  Business Engagement Lead  since November  2021

She is seconded from Deloitte UK where she is leading Resilience within the ESG and Climate risk team.

Prior to joining Deloitte UK Neliswa Lead Deloitte Africa World Impact team, focusing on World Climate and World Class

An entrepreneur by background, she co- founded a youth led innovation consultancy that she sold to Deloitte focusing on advising corporate organisations on societal impact

Neliswa is a Mandela Washington Fellow, a former World Economic Forum Global Shaper and South African  Presidential Youth Working group for former president of South Africa.

She is a mother of two toddlers and has recently moved to the UK.

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Campaign Director Ramiro Fernández

Ramiro Fernández has more than 20 years working in sustainable development. In he’s previous role he worked as Climate Change Director the Avina Foundation. Since 2008 he has specialized in climate change and energy. With vast experience on participatory planning process on the energy sector and worked with national governments in the implementation of their […]

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Campaign Director

Ramiro Fernández

Ramiro Fernández has more than 20 years working in sustainable development.

In he’s previous role he worked as Climate Change Director the Avina Foundation.

Since 2008 he has specialized in climate change and energy. With vast experience on participatory planning process on the energy sector and worked with national governments in the implementation of their commitments under the Paris Agreement.

In 2014 and 2015 he acted as senior advisor to the Minister of the Environment of Peru, as President of COP 20, and member of the Steering Committee of the “Lima Paris Action Agenda” at COP 21.

Ramiro is Vice-chair of the Advisory Council of the “Momentum for Change” initiative of the UNFCCC

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Cement & Aluminium Lead Harald Friedl

Harald is a serial impact entrepreneur. Since 2017 he has been for 3 years the CEO of Circle Economy, an impact organization of 50 people based out of Amsterdam with a global reach. Circle Economy is a leading ecosystem builder that translates circular pathways into concrete action on the ground – with businesses, cities and […]

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Cement & Aluminium Lead

Harald Friedl

Harald is a serial impact entrepreneur. Since 2017 he has been for 3 years the CEO of Circle Economy, an impact organization of 50 people based out of Amsterdam with a global reach. Circle Economy is a leading ecosystem builder that translates circular pathways into concrete action on the ground – with businesses, cities and nation states. Harald has extensive international experience running both for-profit and non-profit businesses with a focus on scaling impact. Prior to joining Circle Economy in 2017, Harald spent 5 years in South East Asia (Myanmar) where he co-founded the Impact Hub Myanmar and was Managing Director of a renewable energy company. Before that he spent time working  with the United Nations in New York and worked as spokesperson for the Austrian Government and advisor to the Austrian Deputy Prime Minister. Harald started his career as journalist and TV anchor and presented a daily show for economic news in Austria. Harald enjoys connecting with people, spending time in nature and nurturing ecosystems and people that are dedicated to making the world a better place for future generations.

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Built Environment Lead Bex Porter

Bex is a senior structural engineer at Arup, with a focus on minimising the environmental impact of the built environment, particularly focussed on embodied carbon reductions. Bex has a large amount of practical construction stage delivery across a range of sectors and is passionate about holistic design from the outset of projects. She has worked […]

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Built Environment Lead

Bex Porter

Bex is a senior structural engineer at Arup, with a focus on minimising the environmental impact of the built environment, particularly focussed on embodied carbon reductions. Bex has a large amount of practical construction stage delivery across a range of sectors and is passionate about holistic design from the outset of projects. She has worked on a number of projects utilising mass timber construction, including a wholly-timber gymnasium which overcame industry barriers to implementation through research, testing and client engagement.

Bex is one of the UKGBC Future Leaders cohort for 2021. She has a part-time secondment to the COP26 Climate Champions Team where he supports the COP26 High Level Champion in generating and proliferating industry and government ambition and action to decarbonise the built environment.

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Strategic Communications Manager Sarah Goodenough

Sarah has worked on climate change communications, strategy, and policy for a range of NGOs, foundations, and climate start-ups, including for Global Optimism with Tom Carnac and Christiana Figueres, the Climate Crisis Foundation, and CDP. Sarah came top in her year in the MSc Environmental Technology at Imperial College London, during which she worked in […]

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Strategic Communications Manager

Sarah Goodenough

Sarah has worked on climate change communications, strategy, and policy for a range of NGOs, foundations, and climate start-ups, including for Global Optimism with Tom Carnac and Christiana Figueres, the Climate Crisis Foundation, and CDP.

Sarah came top in her year in the MSc Environmental Technology at Imperial College London, during which she worked in Bangladesh with the International Centre for Climate Change and Development on reducing women’s vulnerability in the design of community-based climate change adaptation.

She has a first class BA in History from the University of Oxford, and outside of work she is currently training for her second triathlon and first marathon.

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Associate, HLC Mainstreaming Resilience Peter Hall

Peter is Vice President and global director for sustainable and resilient infrastructure for the Wood organization working across all industry sectors.  He integrates sustainability and resilience into Wood projects to deliver outputs that support climate risks, community impact and align with finance.  He is the Ambassador for Climate Resilience at the Stimpson Center, manages the […]

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Associate, HLC Mainstreaming Resilience

Peter Hall

Peter is Vice President and global director for sustainable and resilient infrastructure for the Wood organization working across all industry sectors.  He integrates sustainability and resilience into Wood projects to deliver outputs that support climate risks, community impact and align with finance.  He is the Ambassador for Climate Resilience at the Stimpson Center, manages the firms partnerships with the Resilience Cities Network (R-Cities) and supports partnerships with Microsoft, BP, Google and the Resilience Shift.   He developed & directs the Wood ‘ADAPT for Resiliency’ delivery platform to support business growth and integrated delivery from projects that can transform with outcomes a carbon neutral world, provide resilient infrastructure and align services to  communities with scalable solutions for measurable impact.

He manages the Wood ResilienceLens Screen for Investments tool that was developed in partnership with the Rockefeller Foundation and R-Cities that can prioritize and measure infrastructure projects and their impacts to community benefits.  He has been with Wood for over 34 years and is based in Portland, Maine.  He has a B.Sc. Degree from St. Lawrence University, a Business Management Credential from USM School of Business and an Alliance for Water Stewardship Accredited Professional.

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Race to Resilience Co-Lead David Howlett

David is Head of Policy at the Global Resilience Partnership (GRP), and is also the focal point on resilience and adaptation for the Marrakech Partnership on Global Climate Action. David is seconded from the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID). He has over thirty five years’ experience in development in Africa, Asia and the […]

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Race to Resilience Co-Lead

David Howlett

David is Head of Policy at the Global Resilience Partnership (GRP), and is also the focal point on resilience and adaptation for the Marrakech Partnership on Global Climate Action. David is seconded from the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID). He has over thirty five years’ experience in development in Africa, Asia and the Pacific with an academic background in chemistry, soil science, and agriculture.

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GFANZ Lead Patricia Hudson

Patricia is responsible for driving effective coordination, expansion and alignment across the GFANZ sector alliances  by establishing a high-functioning Secretariat and helping to develop and execute work plans for the CEO-led task forces and steering committee working groups. Patricia has more than 15 years of experience at global asset management firms, most recently as head […]

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GFANZ Lead

Patricia Hudson

Patricia is responsible for driving effective coordination, expansion and alignment across the GFANZ sector alliances  by establishing a high-functioning Secretariat and helping to develop and execute work plans for the CEO-led task forces and steering committee working groups.

Patricia has more than 15 years of experience at global asset management firms, most recently as head of ESG strategy for State Street Corporation, where she helped launch the Sustainable Markets Initiative Task Force for Asset Managers and Asset Owners and presented on ESG investing at the Aspen Institute, the IIF, OMFIF and other institutional investor forums. While at State Street Global Advisors, she was part of the Fearless Girl campaign to increase gender diversity on corporate boards.  She also worked for BNY Mellon Investment Management, Bridgewater Associates and Wellington Management.

Patricia started her career as a political and financial journalist, covering the fall of the Berlin Wall and German unification, and later European capital markets for Bloomberg News. Patricia has a B.A. with honors in European history and German from Harvard University and did graduate work at the University of California, Berkeley, where she was awarded a Mellon Fellowship, as well as the University of Hamburg, where she was a DAAD Fellow.

 

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Climate Connector for Africa Jabri Ibrahim

Jabri holds a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Environmental Conservation and Natural Resource Management from The University of Nairobi. He also holds a Law Degree (LLB) from The University of Nairobi Law School where he specialized in Environmental Law, Energy Law, Climate Law and Biodiversity Law. He joins the Champions team having worked at the […]

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Climate Connector for Africa

Jabri Ibrahim

Jabri holds a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Environmental Conservation and Natural Resource Management from The University of Nairobi. He also holds a Law Degree (LLB) from The University of Nairobi Law School where he specialized in Environmental Law, Energy Law, Climate Law and Biodiversity Law.

He joins the Champions team having worked at the Stakeholder Engagement Team of the UNFCCC Secretariat and has prior multilateral experience working at UNEP, Red Cross Kenya and Crevit Mulier (a legal bureau based in Nairobi) as well as volunteering at Greenpeace Africa and the Kenya Environmental Action Network.

In his free time, he enjoys hiking, painting, solving puzzle games, volunteering and exploring new places.

He speaks fluent Kiswahili and basic Arabic. Jabri currently resides in Nairobi, Kenya.

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Business Engagement Lead Bridget Jackson

She is seconded from PwC UK where she has been the Chief Sustainability Officer since 2010. A strategist by background, with a degree in languages from Oxford, an MBA from INSEAD and an MSc in Environmental Technology from Imperial, she held multiple leadership positions in industry and in a global management consultancy before joining PwC […]

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Business Engagement Lead

Bridget Jackson

She is seconded from PwC UK where she has been the Chief Sustainability Officer since 2010. A strategist by background, with a degree in languages from Oxford, an MBA from INSEAD and an MSc in Environmental Technology from Imperial, she held multiple leadership positions in industry and in a global management consultancy before joining PwC in 2010, where she focused on setting science-based targets, driving innovative decarbonisation programmes, employee behaviour change, and establishing nature based solutions.

Bridget is a Fellow of the Marketing Society and the Institute for Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability, a former Commissioner of the London Sustainable Development Commission, and is seen as a leader in driving environmental best practice.

In her spare time she is a keen cyclist that likes to head to the alpine passes.

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Director of Dialogues & Events Melanie Jamieson

Melanie is the Director of Dialogues & Events for the Climate Champions, and a Managing Partner at Leaders’ Quest. For the Climate Champions, Melanie leads the Events Team to curate high quality, impactful events that deepen trust and human engagement, and support regional relationships for radical collaboration. For more than a decade in her work […]

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Director of Dialogues & Events

Melanie Jamieson

Melanie is the Director of Dialogues & Events for the Climate Champions, and a Managing Partner at Leaders’ Quest.

For the Climate Champions, Melanie leads the Events Team to curate high quality, impactful events that deepen trust and human engagement, and support regional relationships for radical collaboration.

For more than a decade in her work at Leaders’ Quest, Melanie has supported global organisations on journeys of transformation to create purposeful, innovative cultures that drive sustainable, just growth. She’s designed and delivered programmes around the world to foster radical collaboration, and build diverse partnerships across companies, civil society and grassroots communities.

Early in her career, Melanie toured Australia and the UK as a singer-songwriter, and delivered music programmes for at-risk youths living in marginalised communities. She then spent the next chapter of her work focused on enabling community-based organisations to bring their brand and communications into alignment with the people they serve, including London-based youth charity, Greenhouse.

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Technology, Innovation, Venture Capital Lead Alex Joss

Alex leads our work in technology, innovation, and venture capital. Most recently, he was Chief of Staff at a rapidly growing AI start-up. Prior to that, he previously spent 5 years at McKinsey & Company, leading projects in high-tech industries, private equity, and the public sector.

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Technology, Innovation, Venture Capital Lead

Alex Joss

Alex leads our work in technology, innovation, and venture capital. Most recently, he was Chief of Staff at a rapidly growing AI start-up. Prior to that, he previously spent 5 years at McKinsey & Company, leading projects in high-tech industries, private equity, and the public sector.

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Clean Power Lead John Kidenda

John is the Director of Software, Analytics and Customer Support at PowerGen Renewable Energy, a leading mini-grid developer in East Africa. He leads several teams developing cutting edge software to monitor and control decentralized energy resources while ensuring sector leading customer support. Prior to joining PowerGen, John was a Senior Consultant in Dalberg’s Nairobi office […]

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Clean Power Lead

John Kidenda

John is the Director of Software, Analytics and Customer Support at PowerGen Renewable Energy, a leading mini-grid developer in East Africa. He leads several teams developing cutting edge software to monitor and control decentralized energy resources while ensuring sector leading customer support. Prior to joining PowerGen, John was a Senior Consultant in Dalberg’s Nairobi office where he worked in the areas of agriculture, access to finance and energy with a functional focus on value chain analysis, business strategy, learning management and stakeholder convening and coordination.

Before Dalberg, John worked as an Associate Director at the Austin, TX office of The Advisory Board Company (ABC), a Washington D.C. based research, technology and consulting firm focused on healthcare and higher education. While at ABC, John managed the deployment and maintenance of ‘Crimson’, the company’s flagship physician performance management technology platform at 15 national hospital systems. He also headed CSR at the company’s 400-person Austin office.

John holds a master’s degree in Public Administration in International Development (MPAID) from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and a bachelor’s degree in Finance and Computer Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.

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Operations Director Lisa Larsen

Lisa has a long track record of building, developing and leading high performing teams and social purpose organizations. Over the past 20 years she has worked in senior roles related to public service research and consultancy, including the Behavioural Insights Team, Accenture and the Nordic sustainability house, Ramboll. She combines operational expertise with a deep […]

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Operations Director

Lisa Larsen

Lisa has a long track record of building, developing and leading high performing teams and social purpose organizations. Over the past 20 years she has worked in senior roles related to public service research and consultancy, including the Behavioural Insights Team, Accenture and the Nordic sustainability house, Ramboll.

She combines operational expertise with a deep understanding of what it takes to shape high performing teams and deliver social impact – from strategy to implementation; performance improvement; budget management; proposals and fundraising; thought leadership and market positioning; research and evaluation.

In addition to her role with the Climate Champions Team, Lisa leads a module in Health Policy Delivery, part of an MSc programme at Imperial College London.  She holds a Cand.Scient.Pol in Political Science from Copenhagen University.

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Systems Change Lead Kelly Levin

Kelly is a senior associate with WRI’s global climate program and WRI’s Director of Tracking and Strengthening Climate Action. She focuses her work on supporting countries in the design and tracking of climate commitments, as well as planning for long-term transitions associated with decarbonization. Kelly is also currently a lecturer with Yale’s School of Environment. […]

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Systems Change Lead

Kelly Levin

Kelly is a senior associate with WRI’s global climate program and WRI’s Director of Tracking and Strengthening Climate Action. She focuses her work on supporting countries in the design and tracking of climate commitments, as well as planning for long-term transitions associated with decarbonization. Kelly is also currently a lecturer with Yale’s School of Environment. With the Champions Team, Kelly will be supporting the tracking of progress towards systems change and the race to zero’s goals.

Kelly holds a PhD and Master of Environmental Management from Yale’s School of Environment and a B.A. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Yale College. She has been awarded the Google Climate Science Communication Fellowship and the Academic Council on the United Nations System Dissertation Award, and is a Switzer Fellow, Teresa Heinz Scholar, and Udall Scholar.

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Events Manager Rhiannon Ledger

Rhiannon works within the Climate Champions Events team, curating diverse and impactful events. Previously she supported the High Level Climate Champion, Nigel Topping, as his Executive Assistant. Prior to working with the Climate Champions, Rhiannon worked as a Programme Coordinator at Leaders’ Quest, where she worked on programming, logistics and delivery of leadership development programmes […]

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Events Manager

Rhiannon Ledger

Rhiannon works within the Climate Champions Events team, curating diverse and impactful events. Previously she supported the High Level Climate Champion, Nigel Topping, as his Executive Assistant. Prior to working with the Climate Champions, Rhiannon worked as a Programme Coordinator at Leaders’ Quest, where she worked on programming, logistics and delivery of leadership development programmes and workshops around the world. Rhiannon has also produced events and carried out research on the future of work and the workplace and has a BSc in Business & Management from Aston University. She enjoys collaborating with diverse teams from around the globe, to bridge gaps, build connections and enhance the impact of business on people and the planet.

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International Politics Unit Daniela Lerario

Daniela is Brazilian biologist and mother of two young boys. With an MBA in waste management, Daniela has worked as an environmental consultant and manager for the sustainability area of the biggest national food retailer in LatAm.  She started her journey in the surprising universe of street waste pickers and the vulnerable population working in […]

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International Politics Unit

Daniela Lerario

Daniela is Brazilian biologist and mother of two young boys. With an MBA in waste management, Daniela has worked as an environmental consultant and manager for the sustainability area of the biggest national food retailer in LatAm.  She started her journey in the surprising universe of street waste pickers and the vulnerable population working in Cooperativas. She is the only Latin American member of the Pangea Expedition which in 2012 crossed the Pacific Ocean on a sailboat in search of the negative impacts of plastic pollution on the marine ecosystem. In late 2014, Daniela joined TriCiclos implementing a more circular approach to the transition from the linear model of production and consumption applying systemic tools for the entire value chain, where I became partner and held the position of CEO during the past 3 years. Member of The New Plastics’ Economy of The Ellen MacArthur Foundation from 2016-2019, and panel expert for the recently launched study ‘Breaking the Plastic Wave’ (Pew Charitable and SystemiQ). Volunteer for the high level Champion team at COP25, to help raise engagement of Brazilian non-party stakeholders for Climate Action. Part of the BCorp Movement since 2014, I currently serve as co-chair of the Board for Sistema B Brasil. Resident of the House of Beautiful Business since 2019.

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Emerging Markets Lead Andreas Lunding

Andreas is Lead – Emerging Markets & Developing Countries Finance Mobilization at the Climate Champions. Bringing more than 15 years of experience within global climate finance, Andreas joined the Climate Champions team from the Green Climate Fund (GCF), where he served as Manager and Head of Climate Markets. In this role, Andreas led the growth […]

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Emerging Markets Lead

Andreas Lunding

Andreas is Lead – Emerging Markets & Developing Countries Finance Mobilization at the Climate Champions. Bringing more than 15 years of experience within global climate finance, Andreas joined the Climate Champions team from the Green Climate Fund (GCF), where he served as Manager and Head of Climate Markets. In this role, Andreas led the growth of GCF’s activities and investments within structured funds, climate bonds and carbon markets, serving also as focal point for the Fund’s private sector engagement within adaptation and nature-based solutions.

Prior to GCF, Andreas was at the Asian Development Bank (ADB), where he helped establish Asia Climate Partners, an innovative $450m public-private climate investment fund focused on developing countries in the Asia-Pacific region, and prior to that worked for a number of years as Vice President at leading UK-based low-carbon adviser and asset manager Climate Change Capital on a range of clean energy and carbon markets investments globally.

Originally from Denmark, Andreas resides in Hong Kong and holds a a joint MBA from Columbia Business School and London Business School, as well as degrees in management and international relations from the London School of Economics.

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Race to Zero Campaign Manager Fiona Macklin

Fiona began her career focusing on student support in higher education. She worked in the UK, France, Germany before moving to Australia to pursue a Masters in International Development. During her time in Australia, Fiona led an Emergency Services team for the Red Cross to support victims of the 2019 Bushfire season. She graduated with […]

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Race to Zero Campaign Manager

Fiona Macklin

Fiona began her career focusing on student support in higher education. She worked in the UK, France, Germany before moving to Australia to pursue a Masters in International Development. During her time in Australia, Fiona led an Emergency Services team for the Red Cross to support victims of the 2019 Bushfire season.

She graduated with a BA in Modern Languages from the University of Cambridge and completed a Masters in International Development Studies at the University of Melbourne.

Outside of work, she’s currently learning Arabic and training for a half ironman.

 

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Private Secretary to UN High Level Champion for COP26 Annabel Mahgerefteh

Annabel joins the Climate Champions team from the UK civil service, having worked as Strategy Advisor for the National Leadership Centre, Cabinet Office prior to this role. Here she supported the CEO on the strategic development of the unit, which helped public service chief executives work more collaboratively to improve public services. She also developed […]

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Private Secretary to UN High Level Champion for COP26

Annabel Mahgerefteh

Annabel joins the Climate Champions team from the UK civil service, having worked as Strategy Advisor for the National Leadership Centre, Cabinet Office prior to this role. Here she supported the CEO on the strategic development of the unit, which helped public service chief executives work more collaboratively to improve public services. She also developed the unit’s international strategy as policy lead for its international summit of Cabinet Secretaries. Prior to the National Leadership Centre, Annabel worked in the private office of the Director General of Government Digital Services. She holds a BA in Human, Social and Political Sciences from the University of Cambridge, where she was President of International Development Society.

 

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Systems Transformation Lead Steve Martineau

Steve brings more than 30 years’ experience of product management and programme delivery in the telecoms industry in Europe, South East Asia and Africa. Before joining the Climate Champions, initially to lead sector work for ICT and Mobile, and now Co-Lead for Systems Transformation, he was the senior sponsor for Climate Action at the global […]

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Systems Transformation Lead

Steve Martineau

Steve brings more than 30 years’ experience of product management and programme delivery in the telecoms industry in Europe, South East Asia and Africa. Before joining the Climate Champions, initially to lead sector work for ICT and Mobile, and now Co-Lead for Systems Transformation, he was the senior sponsor for Climate Action at the global mobile telecoms industry association, the GSMA. As Chief of Staff there, he was responsible for Board engagement, programme management and coordination of priority activities across the GSMA, including the organisation’s regional engagement on key programmes.

Steve holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Nottingham in the UK, and a master’s in management from McGill University in Montreal, Canada. He is an alumnus of INSEAD’s Advanced Management Programme.

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Engagement Lead in Africa Fiona Napier

Fiona is an independent consultant, based in Nairobi. She channels her interest in young people’s futures, promoting accountable governance and protecting the natural world, through her consultancy work and in a personal capacity. She is a trustee of  the Environmental Funders Network,  and sits on the strategic advisory board of Leaders Quest. Previous experience includes […]

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Engagement Lead in Africa

Fiona Napier

Fiona is an independent consultant, based in Nairobi. She channels her interest in young people’s futures, promoting accountable governance and protecting the natural world, through her consultancy work and in a personal capacity. She is a trustee of  the Environmental Funders Network,  and sits on the strategic advisory board of Leaders Quest.

Previous experience includes International Advocacy Director with the Open Society Foundations, Associate Campaigns Director on Environmental Governance at Global Witness in London, and Save the Children.  Fiona was a founder board member of the Ethical Trade Initiative, and co-founded the Publish What You Pay campaign which led to the establishment of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.

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Aviation Co-Lead Natalie Nehme

Natalie Nehme is a Consultant within Accenture’s Aviation practice, based in London. She has been with Accenture for 6 years and has worked in different projects around revenue management, digital transformation, business model definition and organizational restructuring for carriers and travel services companies in Europe, Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East. Most recently she […]

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Aviation Co-Lead

Natalie Nehme

Natalie Nehme is a Consultant within Accenture’s Aviation practice, based in London. She has been with Accenture for 6 years and has worked in different projects around revenue management, digital transformation, business model definition and organizational restructuring for carriers and travel services companies in Europe, Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East.

Most recently she has been focusing on sustainability topics for the aviation industry including the ideation of decarbonization initiatives for air travel and the implementation of an internal carbon fee for a major technology services company.

Prior to Accenture, Natalie worked in an investment banking boutique in Bogota and got her first exposure to the aviation world by working in Airbus in Toulouse and Madrid.

Natalie holds a BA in Business Administration from the Universidad de los Andes (Bogota, Colombia) and a Master in Banking and Corporate Finance from Toulouse Business School. She speaks 6 languages including Spanish, English, French, Arabic, Italian and Portuguese.

 

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Clean Cooking Lead Charlenne Onyango-Obbo

Charlenne is a lawyer with over six years’ experience in operations, stakeholder engagement, program and project management and implementing policy and regulations. Charlenne has worked with the Supreme Court of Kenya, advised Government Ministries with DLA Piper, and worked with local and international NGO’s such as Code IP Trust and United Nations Foundation (Clean Cooking […]

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Clean Cooking Lead

Charlenne Onyango-Obbo

Charlenne is a lawyer with over six years’ experience in operations, stakeholder engagement, program and project management and implementing policy and regulations. Charlenne has worked with the Supreme Court of Kenya, advised Government Ministries with DLA Piper, and worked with local and international NGO’s such as Code IP Trust and United Nations Foundation (Clean Cooking Alliance) to implement and leverage policy to benefit public good.

As Clean Cooking Alliance Senior Manager, Compliance and Operations she has a unique global point of view of the clean cooking sector from a financial, legal, policy and technical perspective giving her a refined understanding of sector implementations, similarities and synergies that can be leveraged to forge partnerships and foster stakeholder engagement.

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Editor Charlotte Owen-Burge

Charlotte has worked as a journalist and editor in Brussels and London since 2008. She began her career as an environment correspondent, specialising in EU energy and climate policy before working in London as a magazine editor. From 2014-2020 she was the BBC’s Senior Commercial Editor, delivering multimedia content campaigns on platforms that included BBC […]

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Editor

Charlotte Owen-Burge

Charlotte has worked as a journalist and editor in Brussels and London since 2008.

She began her career as an environment correspondent, specialising in EU energy and climate policy before working in London as a magazine editor. From 2014-2020 she was the BBC’s Senior Commercial Editor, delivering multimedia content campaigns on platforms that included BBC World News and BBC Earth. She holds a degree in Politics from Bristol University.

Any spare time Charlotte has is spent outdoors, sharing her passion for nature with her two young children. Her current editorial priority is helping to elevate the voices and interests of those on the climate frontlines.

 

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Shipping Lead Katharine Palmer

Katharine Palmer is the global head of sustainability for Lloyd’s Register.. With nearly 20 years’ experience in the shipping industry she is an established thought leader and expert on environment and sustainability  within the maritime value chain. Katharine represents Lloyd’s Register on many industry forums and collaborative initiatives including the UN Global Compact, Getting to […]

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Shipping Lead

Katharine Palmer

Katharine Palmer is the global head of sustainability for Lloyd’s Register.. With nearly 20 years’ experience in the shipping industry she is an established thought leader and expert on environment and sustainability  within the maritime value chain.

Katharine represents Lloyd’s Register on many industry forums and collaborative initiatives including the UN Global Compact, Getting to Zero Coalition and the Sustainable Shipping Initiative and is currently the co-chair of the IMarEST Technical Leadership Board and an elected trustee on the Board of the Sustainable Shipping initiative.

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PMO Associate Ella Penny

Ella is part of the BCG team supporting the Climate Champions. Since joining BCG, Ella has mainly worked on sustainability projects including working with the Council for Inclusive Capitalism on their just transition framework and solution sharing mechanism Prior to joining BCG, Ella was an Earth scientist at Oxford University, specialising in climate change and […]

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PMO Associate

Ella Penny

Ella is part of the BCG team supporting the Climate Champions.

Since joining BCG, Ella has mainly worked on sustainability projects including working with the Council for Inclusive Capitalism on their just transition framework and solution sharing mechanism

Prior to joining BCG, Ella was an Earth scientist at Oxford University, specialising in climate change and oceanography. She has a CFA level 4 qualification in ESG investing.

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Global Co-Lead, Cities Dania Petrik

Dania is a climate and development specialist with experience as a consultant, applied policy researcher and technical adviser. In her professional career, Dania has worked extensively on numerous projects related to building resilience in the water, biodiversity and livelihoods sectors across some of the most at-risk countries in Africa. In a policy and governance context, […]

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Global Co-Lead, Cities

Dania Petrik

Dania is a climate and development specialist with experience as a consultant, applied policy researcher and technical adviser. In her professional career, Dania has worked extensively on numerous projects related to building resilience in the water, biodiversity and livelihoods sectors across some of the most at-risk countries in Africa. In a policy and governance context, Dania’s expertise lies in identifying transversal climate risks in particular contexts across different regions and countries, as well as establishing what the relevant entry points are for mainstreaming climate priorities into local development plans and national climate-related policies, such as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

In her project management experience, Dania has also gained extensive stakeholder engagement practice – working with a multitude of different actors, from academia, NGOs, youth groups, the private sector, multilateral organisations, donors, journalists and local and national government authorities. Prior to graduating with a Masters in Energy and Development Studies in 2014, Dania worked in communications and marketing for several years.

Dania loves the great outdoors and her passion for working in the climate field stems from a deep love of nature and protecting the planet’s natural resources. She is a qualified mountain guide, and you can find her hiking the rugged landscapes of South Africa in her spare time.

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Dialogues and Events Jade Phillips

Jade joined the Climate Champions team in September 2020 and is part of the Events Curation team responsible for events up to, and including COP26. Before this, Jade spent 10 years with Leaders’ Quest (LQ) – a social enterprise which creates immersive programmes to help leaders explore critical global issues. Jade worked with a range […]

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Dialogues and Events

Jade Phillips

Jade joined the Climate Champions team in September 2020 and is part of the Events Curation team responsible for events up to, and including COP26.

Before this, Jade spent 10 years with Leaders’ Quest (LQ) – a social enterprise which creates immersive programmes to help leaders explore critical global issues. Jade worked with a range of multinational clients on programmes in Africa, Asia, Europe and South America. Prior to LQ, Jade delivered senior leadership programmes at the London Business School, where her client portfolio (Nestlé, Arup and RTZ) took her to Hong Kong, Switzerland and the US.

Jade graduated with a BSc in Communications and Cultural Studies from London Metropolitan University. She lives in London with her partner Ebi and their two energetic young sons. In her spare time (!), she enjoys concocting her own skin/hair care range, experimenting in the kitchen and considers herself a massive foodie!

 

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Communications Director Matthew Phillips

For the last ten years, Matthew has led strategic communications and campaigns to advance the climate action agenda. His work to support the international climate negotiations has included positions at UN Climate Change, Mission 2020, and initially as an Advisor in Christiana Figueres’ ‘groundswell unit’ in the run-up to the Paris Agreement. Before joining the […]

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Communications Director

Matthew Phillips

For the last ten years, Matthew has led strategic communications and campaigns to advance the climate action agenda. His work to support the international climate negotiations has included positions at UN Climate Change, Mission 2020, and initially as an Advisor in Christiana Figueres’ ‘groundswell unit’ in the run-up to the Paris Agreement.

Before joining the Climate Champions, Matthew managed the Reporting & Tracking team at UN Climate Change and acted as co-Chair of the Camda community – a network of over 30 data analysts dedicated to showcasing and tracking climate actions.

Matthew is also a Co-founder of Beautiful Corporations – a sustainability engagement agency he established in 2013. He holds a degree in Modern History from the University of St Andrews.

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PMO Associate Charlotte Saint-Bonnet

Charlotte is part of the BCG team supporting the Climate Champions. Since joining BCG, Charlotte has been working mainly on Climate & Sustainability topics, including experience in climate adaptation and resilience in Africa or climate strategies for businesses, NGOs, industry standards and governments. Charlotte is a core member of BCG’s Center for Climate and Sustainability […]

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PMO Associate

Charlotte Saint-Bonnet

Charlotte is part of the BCG team supporting the Climate Champions.

Since joining BCG, Charlotte has been working mainly on Climate & Sustainability topics, including experience in climate adaptation and resilience in Africa or climate strategies for businesses, NGOs, industry standards and governments. Charlotte is a core member of BCG’s Center for Climate and Sustainability and local Green and Social Impact teams

Prior to joining BCG, Charlotte worked in private equity. She holds a Master in Management from ESCP Europe Business School.

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Consumer Goods and Retail Lead Alisha Shaparia

Alisha is a manager in Accenture’s Strategy practice in London with experience working across the private, public, and third sectors – from C-suites of FMCGs to Executive Directors of non-profits and Heads of public safety agencies. During this time she has lived and worked in the UK, Spain, Turkey, Singapore, India, Netherlands, Croatia and Poland. […]

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Consumer Goods and Retail Lead

Alisha Shaparia

Alisha is a manager in Accenture’s Strategy practice in London with experience working across the private, public, and third sectors – from C-suites of FMCGs to Executive Directors of non-profits and Heads of public safety agencies. During this time she has lived and worked in the UK, Spain, Turkey, Singapore, India, Netherlands, Croatia and Poland.

She has a strong sector focus in Consumer Goods & Services and has helped large FMCG companies with growth, digital, cost reduction, e-commerce marketing and category strategies. She was also previously seconded to the Accenture Development Partnerships, where she undertook different projects including a leadership strategy for CDP and a business model and pricing strategy for the largest global health conference in the world, helping the non-profit navigate the challenges created by Covid-19.

Alisha holds a BSc from the London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) in International Relations.

 

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Private Office Juanita Silva

Juanita is a sociologist from Chile, who has participated in several social projects, focusing on migration, poverty and gender related issues. She combines her deep understanding of social problems with her eagerness to improve the living conditions for those most vulnerable. Previously she worked coordinating the youth engagement agenda for COP25 and the Ministry of […]

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Private Office

Juanita Silva

Juanita is a sociologist from Chile, who has participated in several social projects, focusing on migration, poverty and gender related issues. She combines her deep understanding of social problems with her eagerness to improve the living conditions for those most vulnerable.

Previously she worked coordinating the youth engagement agenda for COP25 and the Ministry of Environment. She worked with different stakeholders in order to enhance youth participation at every level, focusing on involving young people in the process through the Young Negotiators Program, COY15.

Juanita is co-founder of the Dar Hogar foundation in Chile, a project that builds houses for underprivileged families, and she is a director in Tremendas, a small NGO dedicated to the empowerment of young girls who work on diverse projects related to the SDGs.

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Strategic Communications Advisor Sara Stefanini

Sara Stefanini is a strategic communications adviser, helping advocates across the climate action and clean air space and writing newsletters, speeches, talking points and other content. As well as working in the High Level Climate Champions, Sara works with clean air advocates in the Campaign Collective. Prior to this, Sara was a journalist for over […]

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Strategic Communications Advisor

Sara Stefanini

Sara Stefanini is a strategic communications adviser, helping advocates across the climate action and clean air space and writing newsletters, speeches, talking points and other content. As well as working in the High Level Climate Champions, Sara works with clean air advocates in the Campaign Collective. Prior to this, Sara was a journalist for over 10 years, covering climate change, energy and the environment around the world. She was a senior reporter at Politico Europe, and wrote for Climate Home News, the Financial Times, Devex, Interfax Energy and other publications. Sara is based in London and is half Italian and half Australian.

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Global Lead, Cities & Regions, Race to Resilience Kate Strachan

Kate holds a PhD in coastal science and has a nearly a decade of experience in climate change, coastal and resilience management. Kate has a wealth of experience when it comes to supporting local and subnational governments across the African continent plan and respond to the impacts of climate change. Her experience includes developing adaptation […]

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Global Lead, Cities & Regions, Race to Resilience

Kate Strachan

Kate holds a PhD in coastal science and has a nearly a decade of experience in climate change, coastal and resilience management. Kate has a wealth of experience when it comes to supporting local and subnational governments across the African continent plan and respond to the impacts of climate change. Her experience includes developing adaptation and resilience plans, mainstreaming nature-based solutions, ecosystem-based adaptation, coastal management plans, ad  climate risk identification. Kate has been involved in drafting policies, plans and  several guidelines and training modules to support this work. She has also most recently been  working with national governments across Sub-Saharan Africa with increasing their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) ambitions and strengthening their adaptation and resilience  targets. As well as establishing what the relevant entry points are for mainstreaming climate priorities into local development plans and national climate-related policies, such as NDCs.

During her professional career, Kate has project managed a number of highly strategic projects at ICLEI Africa including the Urban Natural Assets: Coasts for Life, which supported coastal cities with mainstreaming nature into coastal management planning; a project which supported coastal cities in the West Indian Ocean region with enhancing their climate change adaptation and resilience capacity; and IMPACT which investigated how African cities can implement collaboration mechanisms that enable Improved Municipal Planning in African CiTies (IMPACT) for climate resilient development.

 

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Nature-based solutions Lead Irene Suárez Pérez

Irene is the lead of nature-based solutions for the of the Climate Champions team, focusing on 2030 breakthrough targets based on MPP pathways: Strengthening nature’s place in the Races and creating a share nature positive narrative with partners; Increasing financial flows for nature-based solutions; Ensuring financial institutions commit to tackling commodity driven deforestation by 2025; […]

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Nature-based solutions Lead

Irene Suárez Pérez

Irene is the lead of nature-based solutions for the of the Climate Champions team, focusing on 2030 breakthrough targets based on MPP pathways:

  • Strengthening nature’s place in the Races and creating a share nature positive narrative with partners;
  • Increasing financial flows for nature-based solutions;
  • Ensuring financial institutions commit to tackling commodity driven deforestation by 2025;
  • Promoting corporations tackling commodity driven deforestation and contributing to nature positive economy by 2030.

Irene was the lead for nature-based solutions for the United Nations Secretary General in the lead up to the Climate Action Summit and was the lead of AILAC unto the UNFCCC which she previously advised for six years on adaptation and loss and damage.

Previously, Irene was a lead UNFCCC negotiator for Costa Rica, whilst she was Senior climate advisor for The Nature Conservancy and had previously focused on sustainable agriculture in EARTH University. She is an economist by training and specialized in development studies in The Netherlands.

She is the mother of Javier and loves being in nature and trekking.

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International Politics Unit Kiran Sura

Kiran joins the Climate Champions team on a part-time secondment from PwC where she is an Assistant Director in the Sustainability & Climate Change practice covering international climate policy and finance. Alongside her work with the Climate Champions team, Kiran leads the delivery of BEIS’s flagship climate negotiations programme supporting developing countries and small island […]

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International Politics Unit

Kiran Sura

Kiran joins the Climate Champions team on a part-time secondment from PwC where she is an Assistant Director in the Sustainability & Climate Change practice covering international climate policy and finance. Alongside her work with the Climate Champions team, Kiran leads the delivery of BEIS’s flagship climate negotiations programme supporting developing countries and small island states to engage in international climate processes, and is steering PwC’s engagement in COP27. Kiran is a member of WBCSD’s Climate Policy Expert Working Group and sits on the Advisory Board of Climate Home News.

During her time at PwC Kiran has provided technical input and strategic oversight on several global, multi-year, international climate and development projects for a number of donors including the UK (BEIS and FCDO), the Netherlands (DGIS), Germany (BMUB and IKI), Norway (Norad and NICFI) and the U.S. (State Department).

Prior to joining PwC, Kiran served as an economist for the UK government with spells in DCLG and Defra. She joined the UK Committee on Climate Change in 2007 as lead economic advisor on the UK’s long term (2050) emissions reduction target and latter on adaptation.

Kiran holds an MSc in Economics with reference to Sub-Saharan Africa from SOAS, and a BSc in Economics from City University.

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Finance Team Tom Tayler

Tom is a Senior Manager in the Aviva Investors Sustainable Finance Centre for Excellence. His work focuses on market and regulatory reform, and sharing expertise and best practice on sustainable finance through the Aviva Investors ESG Academy. Tom has supported Aviva Investors’ sustainable finance and market reform work including contributing to the work of the […]

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Finance Team

Tom Tayler

Tom is a Senior Manager in the Aviva Investors Sustainable Finance Centre for Excellence. His work focuses on market and regulatory reform, and sharing expertise and best practice on sustainable finance through the Aviva Investors ESG Academy.

Tom has supported Aviva Investors’ sustainable finance and market reform work including contributing to the work of the EU High Level Expert Group on Sustainable Finance, the UK Green Finance Taskforce, the UN-convened Net Zero Asset Owners’ Alliance, the Net Zero Asset Manager Initiative, and the UN Global Investors for Sustainable Development. He has also spent time in the Aviva public policy team, working on sustainable finance issues and key reforms including the EU Action Plan for Financing Sustainable Growth, the DWP clarification of pension funds’ fiduciary duties, and the IOSCO Sustainable Finance Network. He worked in the Aviva Investors legal team for five years, specialising in regulated collective investment funds. He is a member of the reference group for the UNPRI/UNEP FI Legal Framework for Impact and is a qualified solicitor, holding an MA (Oxon) in Jurisprudence from The Queen’s College, Oxford. He previously worked at Allen & Overy LLP, the Department of the Treasury Solicitor, Beachcroft LLP and the University of Law.

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Business Engagement Associate Payal Thadani

Payal is a part of Wood’s Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure Team and has worked on the development of the ADAPT Framework to identify the resilient and sustainable attributes that can be incorporated into future projects globally. Payal has also been seconded to The Resilience Shift’s Resilience Realized project where she worked with a technical team […]

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Business Engagement Associate

Payal Thadani

Payal is a part of Wood’s Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure Team and has worked on the development of the ADAPT Framework to identify the resilient and sustainable attributes that can be incorporated into future projects globally.

Payal has also been seconded to The Resilience Shift’s Resilience Realized project where she worked with a technical team to develop a framework to score and rank the resilience of energy and infrastructure projects.

On the Climate Champions Team, Payal has been part of the Business Engagement team since June 2021, liaising with corporate members and onboarding them to the Race under Partner Initiatives. She has also worked with partners to implement the 4P resilience criteria framework for 2030.

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Built Environment Lead Nigel Tonks

Nigel is a Director of Arup with 30 years experience in the building industry. He is a member of the UKIMEA Board, where he holds the Regional portfolio for Sustainable Development.  He leads the Building group in London, comprising Engineers, Architects and specialists. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers, […]

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Built Environment Lead

Nigel Tonks

Nigel is a Director of Arup with 30 years experience in the building industry. He is a member of the UKIMEA Board, where he holds the Regional portfolio for Sustainable Development.  He leads the Building group in London, comprising Engineers, Architects and specialists. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers, with a background in the mechanical engineering and environmental design of buildings.  He fosters a multidisciplinary environment, leading multi-professional collaborations with signature architects, delivering passive and low energy developments. Nigel has delivered high quality sustainable development in the UK and around the world. His recent projects include the renovation of the Royal Academy of Arts in London, the headquarters for the Nobel Institute in Stockholm, the Edinburgh Music Venue and the headquarters building for Amorepacific in Seoul and for Rolex in New York.

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Executive Director Frances Way

Frances joined the Climate Champions on secondment from CDP where she is Chief Strategy Officer. CDP is an international non-profit that drives companies and governments to measure and reduce their environmental impacts. Prior to CDP, she worked in the private finance sector, primarily at Dresdner Kleinwort’s Global Equities Division. Frances sits on the board of […]

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Executive Director

Frances Way

Frances joined the Climate Champions on secondment from CDP where she is Chief Strategy Officer. CDP is an international non-profit that drives companies and governments to measure and reduce their environmental impacts. Prior to CDP, she worked in the private finance sector, primarily at Dresdner Kleinwort’s Global Equities Division. Frances sits on the board of EIRIS Foundation and holds an MSc in Environmental Technology from Imperial College.

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Co-Lead, Aviation David Walfisch

David Walfisch is a Principal Director in Accenture’s Travel practice. He has been working in the aviation industry for over 13 years and has developed expertise in network and fleet optimization, fleet acquisition negotiations, aircraft maintenance, manpower planning, financial modeling, industry research and forecasting, and market screening. Most recently Mr. Walfisch has been focusing on […]

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Co-Lead, Aviation

David Walfisch

David Walfisch is a Principal Director in Accenture’s Travel practice. He has been working in the aviation industry for over 13 years and has developed expertise in network and fleet optimization, fleet acquisition negotiations, aircraft maintenance, manpower planning, financial modeling, industry research and forecasting, and market screening.

Most recently Mr. Walfisch has been focusing on sustainability initiatives within the Aviation industry and have supported multiple fleet and network optimization projects for legacy carriers and the wide and narrow-body fleet renewal of a major operators focusing on next generation more fuel efficient aircraft types (A350, 787, 777X, A320NEO, 737MAX).

Since joining Accenture , Mr. Walfisch has also been involved with aircraft demand / production forecast exercises, new platform market acceptance forecast projects, market screening and due diligence projects within the aviation and aerospace industry. Mr. Walfisch conducted multiple maintenance benchmarking analyses, assisted major North and Latin American carriers in identifying manpower optimization initiatives, and has been involved in companywide cost reduction projects for major legacy carriers

Mr. Walfisch has a B.S. and an M.S. degrees in Aerospace engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Resilience African Cities Lead Hellen Wanjohi-Opil

Hellen works as the Resilience African Cities Lead at the World Resources Institute (WRI) and is on full-time secondment to the Climate Champions. She holds an Msc.(Climate Change & Adaptation) as well as a B.A.(Urban and Regional Planning). She has over twelve years of experience within both the rural and urban space in Africa, particularly […]

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Resilience African Cities Lead

Hellen Wanjohi-Opil

Hellen works as the Resilience African Cities Lead at the World Resources Institute (WRI) and is on full-time secondment to the Climate Champions. She holds an Msc.(Climate Change & Adaptation) as well as a B.A.(Urban and Regional Planning). She has over twelve years of experience within both the rural and urban space in Africa, particularly working at the grassroots with vulnerable communities. Hellen has been involved in participatory planning for land tenure regularization and infrastructure development in over 20 informal settlements, and planning with marginalized communities in Kenya’s Arid and Semi-Arid Areas (ASALs).

Hellen has also worked extensively with city, regional and national authorities in the preparation of over 15 development plans in Kenya and Rwanda. Her experience also includes consulting work on multiple donor-funded projects in the areas of climate resilience, urban governance, urban investment planning, policy, gender, and social inclusion. Hellen also has previously consulted for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) providing technical expertise on county spatial planning, and at the Climate Change Planning Unit at UN-Habitat.

Hellen is based in Nairobi, Kenya, where she lives with her husband and three children.

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Finance SIDS Angela Whitney

Angela Whitney is Co-Director of the Green Bank Design Platform and leads RMI’s initiative on green banks. Her work focuses on supporting countries to establish financial institutions dedicated to increasing the volume and efficacy of investments flowing to climate solutions, while also building financial capacity in low-carbon markets. Angela came to RMI from the Hewlett […]

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Finance SIDS

Angela Whitney

Angela Whitney is Co-Director of the Green Bank Design Platform and leads RMI’s initiative on green banks. Her work focuses on supporting countries to establish financial institutions dedicated to increasing the volume and efficacy of investments flowing to climate solutions, while also building financial capacity in low-carbon markets. Angela came to RMI from the Hewlett Foundation where she created the Environment Program’s climate finance strategy and grant making. She holds a Master of Environmental Science degree from the Yale School of the Environment and a BA from Willamette University.