Jean -Paul Adam
Minister for Finance, Trade and the Blue Economy, Republic of Seychelles
Mr. Jean- Paul Adam is Minister for Finance, Trade and the Blue Economy of the Republic of Seychelles since February 2015. He previously served as the Minister for Foreign Affairs (June 2010-Jan 2015).
Prior to serving as a Minister, Mr. Adam worked in the Office of the President in various high level positions; namely Secretary of State(2008-2010), Principal Secretary (2007-2008) and Director General (2005-2007) of Presidential Affairs. Before that, Minister Adam worked in the Foreign Ministry as Second secretary and a trainee Protocol Officer.
Mr. Adam has a Degree in English Literature and French from the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom (UK). He also holds a Masters in International Political Economy which he obtained at the Department of Government, International Politics and Philosophy at the University of Manchester, UK.
Minister Jean- Paul Adam is married and father to two girls.
Minister for Foreign Affairs, Republic of Madagascar
Mrs Atallah is a judge who has worked for the National Electoral Council from 2002 to 2009. In 2009, she was appointed as Technical Advisor to the Minister of Finance and Budget of Madagascar. From 2012 to 2015, she served as the Chairwoman of the CENI-T, the National Independent Electoral Commission for the Transition in Madagascar.
Holder of a Master’s Degree in Private Law (1988) and a Certificate issued by the National Institute of Legal Studies (1990), she also graduated with high honors from the Centre for Diplomatic and Strategic Studies (CEDS) in 2009.
She is currently member of various associations, including the Association for Child Protection, and the Association of Lawyers of the Indian Ocean.
Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Ghana
Hon. Sherry Ayittey is the Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development. She was the Minister for Health from 2013 to 2014, and the Minister for Environment, Science and Technology from 2009 to 2012. She holds a B.Sc. Biochemistry and M.Sc. Industrial Microbiology from the University of Science and Technology, Kumasi.
She is a Fellow of the John Hopkins University; Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University, and of the Institute of Directors, United Kingdom, as well as a Fellow of the Ghana Institute of Planners.
Since 1995 she has served on various Boards and Commissions and is also involved in NGO activities and charities in Ghana.
She is the former Chairman of the United Nations Commission on Science and Technology and was Chairman of the Commonwealth Commission on Science and Technology. She is a Member of ECOWAS Board for Renewable Energy and a Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing.
Minister for Foreign Affairs, Commonwealth of Australia
Julie Bishop is Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party. She has been a Member of Parliament since 1998.
Minister Bishop has championed the blue economy concept, promoting a focus on sustainable marine economic activity in international fora including the regional Indian Ocean Rim Association. She is committed to driving innovative solutions to the world’s sustainable development challenges and has spearheaded Australia’s Blue Economy Challenge, an open invitation for aquaculture innovations from across the globe.
Minister Bishop also led the Australian delegation and chaired the Umbrella Group of countries that took a lead role in negotiating the historic Paris Climate Change Agreement.
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Norway
The Minister of Foreign Affairs is responsible for Norwegian foreign policy, the promotion of Norway’s interests internationally and the work of the Foreign Service, which includes more than 100 embassies, permanent missions and delegations, and consulates general.
Senior Vice President – SUSTAIN, Land O' Lakes
Matt Carstens comes to us from Land O’Lakes, a leader in the field of agricultural with focus in the areas of dairy foods, feed and crop inputs. He serves as the Senior Vice President of SUSTAIN.
Matt has an extensive agricultural background spanning the last 20 years. He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from Iowa State University where he majored in agricultural business with a management and sales emphasis.
He and his wife, Shanda, have three children and make their home in Johnston, IA. Matt enjoys spending time with his family and friends when he’s not working for the Land O'Lakes Member Owners and Customers.
Peter M. Christian
President, Federated States of Micronesia
His Excellency Peter M. Christian is the 8th President of the Federated States of Micronesia.
He was born in Pohnpei on October 16, 1947. He is a graduate of Xavier High School in Chuuk and went on to the University of Hawaii at Manoa as a recipient of the 1968 East-West Center Scholarship.
Being among the first fourteen members to be elected to the First FSM Congress in 1979, Christian began his political career by setting the record as the youngest elected member of the national body at the age of 32. He was conferred as most senior Member of the Congress having been a public servant spanning over 3 decades.
With a long political career of exemplary service to various government bodies, his early years in public service included key positions serving as the Employment Service Officer for the then Ponape District in 1970 and Ponape Field Service Officer in 1971.
His extensive diplomatic experience began during the formative stages of the Federated States of Micronesia. His rise in his political career took off when he was elected as representative of Kolonia Town to the Ponape District Legislature in 1975 and maintained his seat throughout the transitional phases from Trust Territory to a new independent Federated States of Micronesia.
While Christian has had active roles at the international level, throughout his public career, he was also active at the grassroots community level. His notable role included being the Chief Negotiator for the Amended Compact of Free Association with the United States of America. Christian also chaired the FSM Task Force which planned, transitioned and replaced Exxon Mobil Corporation with the Nation’s own FSM Petroleum Corporation.
Christian was elected to the Speakership for the 13th and 14th Congress of the FSM, becoming the fourth Speaker of the national body during his first undertaking for Speakership. He represented Pohnpei State’s Congressional Election District Three to the First FSM Congress and maintained his seat for the next 28 years.
While a long promising political career groomed him for key positions throughout his years in governance, Christian also served as the Secretary of Resources and Development until he ran and won the Pohnpei State at-large seat in 2009.
In 2012, Pacific region’s leading think-tank the Pacific Institute of Public Policy, invited Christian to represent Micronesia to debate the other Pacific archipelagos of Polynesia and Melanesia on the issue of Island States Neutrality in the Era of Strategic Contest. He was pitted against the South Pacific’s top guns the likes of former US Congressman Eni Faleomavaega of American Samoa, Major General Jerry Singirok of Papua New Guinea and Fiji’s Minister Kalipate Tavola.
President Christian was elected as the 8th President of the Federated States of Micronesia and was sworn into office on May 11, 2015. He is married to former Maurina Weilbacher and they have two children and five grandchildren.
Actor and Environmental Activist
Leonardo DiCaprio is an award-winning actor and a three-time Academy Award® nominee. DiCaprio’s 5th collaboration with Director Martin Scorsese “The Wolf of Wall Street” is available on Blu-ray & DVD now. DiCaprio starred as Jay Gatsby in “The Great Gatsby”, directed by Baz Luhrmann. Prior to “The Great Gatsby”, he starred in “Django Unchained,” where he received a Golden Globe nomination for his work. As the title role in “J. Edgar”, under the direction of Clint Eastwood, he received Golden Globe, Critics’ Choice and Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award® nominations for his work in the film. Additionally, he starred in Christopher Nolan’s blockbuster “Inception,” and the dramatic thriller “Shutter Island,” which marked his fourth collaboration with director Martin Scorsese.
DiCaprio earned an Oscar® nomination in 2007 for his performance in Edward Zwick’s drama “Blood Diamond,” also receiving Golden Globe, Critics’ Choice and Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award® nominations for his work in the film. That same year, he garnered Golden Globe, BAFTA Award, Critics’ Choice Award and SAG Award® nominations for his role in the Oscar®-winning Best Picture “The Departed,” directed by Scorsese. He also shared in a SAG Award® nomination for Outstanding Motion Picture Cast Performance as a member of the ensemble cast of “The Departed.”
He previously earned an Academy Award® nomination for his performance in Scorsese’s acclaimed 2004 biopic “The Aviator.” DiCaprio’s portrayal of Howard Hughes in that film also brought him a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Drama, as well as Critics’ Choice and BAFTA Award nominations. He was also honored with two SAG Award® nominations, one for Best Actor and another for Outstanding Motion Picture Cast Performance as part of the “The Aviator” cast.
In addition to his acting work, DiCaprio launched his own production company, Appian Way. Under the Appian Way banner, he wrote, produced and narrated the acclaimed environmentally themed documentary “The 11th Hour.” Among Appian Way’s other productions are the aforementioned “Shutter Island” and “The Aviator,” as well as “The Ides of March,” “Red Riding Hood,” “Orphan,” “Public Enemies” and the soon to be released “Out of the Furnace” starring Christian Bale and Woody Harrelson and “Runner, Runner” starring Justin Timberlake and Ben Affleck.
Born in Hollywood, California, DiCaprio started acting at the age of 14. His breakthrough feature film role came in Michael Caton-Jones’ 1993 screen adaptation of Tobias Wolff’s autobiographical drama “This Boy’s Life.” That same year, he co-starred in Lasse Hallström’s “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape,” earning his first Oscar® and Golden Globe nominations for his performance as a mentally handicapped young man. In addition, he won the National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actor and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association’s New Generation Award for his work in the film.
In 1995, DiCaprio had starring roles in three very different films, beginning with Sam Raimi’s Western, “The Quick and the Dead.” He also garnered praise for his performance as drug addict Jim Carroll in the harrowing drama “The Basketball Diaries,” and for his portrayal of disturbed pansexual poet Arthur Rimbaud in Agnieszka Holland’s “Total Eclipse.” The following year, DiCaprio starred in Baz Luhrmann’s contemporary screen adaptation of “William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet,” for which he won the Best Actor Award at the Berlin International Film Festival. He also joined an all-star ensemble cast in “Marvin’s Room,” sharing in a SAG Award® nomination for Outstanding Motion Picture Cast Performance.
Sir Alan Duncan
Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Alan was born in 1957, the son of an RAF officer, and educated at Beechwood Park School, Herts, and Merchant Taylors' School before going on to read Politics and Economics at St John's College, Oxford.
Elected President of the Oxford Union in 1979, Alan went on to win a Kennedy Scholarship at Harvard University following an initial period working for Shell.
After living in Singapore between 1984 and 1986 and travelling widely during his time as an oil trader for an independent commodity company, Alan returned to contest the Barnsley West and Penistone seat in the 1987 General Election, before being elected for as MP for Rutland and Melton in 1992. He was subsequently re-elected in 1997, 2001, 2005 and 2010.
Having spearheaded William Hague's successful campaign for the Conservative leadership in 1997, Alan went on to hold a raft of Shadow Cabinet positions and become renowned as a modernising force within the party, encouraging a more socially and economically liberal approach. A respected voice on the Middle East within the party, Alan continues to travel extensively in the region. As the first ever openly gay Conservative MP he was at the forefront of the party's efforts to enact the Civil Partnership Bill.
Alan served as Minister of State for International Development from the formation of the Coalition Government in 2010 to 2014.
In July 2014 Alan was knighted, becoming a Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG).
Hakima El Haite
Minister Delegate in Charge of the Environment, the Kingdom of Morocco
H.E. Dr. Hakima El Haite is the current Minister Delegate in Charge of Environment of the Minister of Energy, Mining, Water and Environment of Morocco and a member of the executive board of the Popular Movement (MP), Chairwoman of the International Relations Committee.
Holder of a PHD in Environmental Engineering from the Scool of Mines of Saint Etienne (France) and a Degree in political communication, University of Washington (Washington),DC), Mrs El Haite is Vice –president of U.S–NAPEO (North Africa Partnership for Economic Opportunity), chairman of ConnectingroupIntand deputy chairwoman of the Liberal International for Women.
Trilingual (Arabic,French,English), MrsEl Haite participated as an observer in the presidential elections of the United States of America (2008) and parliamentary elections in Jordan (2010).
Oceanographer of the Navy, U.S. Navy
The son of a naval intelligence officer, Rear Adm. Tim Gallaudet received a bachelor’s degree in oceanography from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1989. He received masters and doctoral degrees in oceanography from Scripps Institution of Oceanography in 1991 and 2001 respectively.|
A naval oceanographer, Gallaudet's afloat tours included Oceanographic Unit 5 aboard USNS Harkness, USS Peleliu, USS Kitty Hawk and temporary assignments to the staff of Commander, 6th Fleet aboard USS LaSalle and aboard USNS Bowditch. During these tours, Gallaudet served in Operations Southern Watch, Provide Promise, Sharp Guard, Deny Flight, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. While aboard USNS Bowditch, he participated in the first operational launch and recovery of an undersea glider from a Naval Oceanographic Survey (T-AGS) ship.
Ashore, Gallaudet served with the Naval European Meteorology and Oceanography Center, Rota, Spain; the Naval European Meteorology and Oceanography Detachment, Souda Bay, Greece; the Naval Oceanographic Office and the staffs of the Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command and the oceanographer of the Navy. He was the plank-owner commanding officer of the Naval Oceanography Special Warfare Center and the superintendent of the U.S. Naval Observatory. He also served on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations as the deputy oceanographer of the Navy, before assuming command of the Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command in June 2014. In October 2015, he also assumed the role of Oceanographer of the Navy (OPNAV N2N6E).
Gallaudet wears several decorations, which are all the direct result of the professionalism, loyalty and excellence of the sailors and officers who served with him. His receipt of the 2003 Commander, Naval Air Forces Leadership Award is one such example.
Sidman P. Poole Professor, University of Virginia
James Galloway received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from UCSD in 1972. Following a postdoc at Cornell University he joined the faculty of the University of Virginia. He serves on the Boards of Trustees of the Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole MA, and the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences. In 2002 he was elected a Fellow of the AAAS. In 2008 he was elected a Fellow of the AGU and was awarded, with Harold Mooney, the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement. His current research focuses on the effects of nitrogen as it cascades between the atmosphere, terrestrial ecosystems and aquatic ecosystems.
Minister of the Environment, Republic of Ecuador
Walter Garcia was appointed as Environment Minister on June 13, 2016. He has devoted much of his professional life to the service of the environment, representing Ecuador in national and international forums and actively participating in the creation of incentives and good environmental practices in Ecuadorian legislation. He was the developer of Ecuador’s "Green Dot" environmental certification, the first national certification granted by the Ministry of Environment to the industrial sector.
At the international level, García was part of the negotiating team in the Rio + 20 Summit; a member of the XVII Science Expedition to the Antarctic; and Ecuador’s representative to the UN Commission on Sustainable Development. He served as advisor to the Ministry of Interior and was part of interagency and binational groups working on the implementation of environmental regulations.
García is an architect by profession graduated from the Catholic University of Santiago de Guayaquil. He holds a Masters Degree in Sustainable Development and Environmental Science from the University of Lund in Sweden as well as a degree in Sustainable Development Projects from the University of Lund and the University of Witswaterand in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Minister García speaks English, is married and has two children.
Executive Director / President, GAIA Philippines / Mother Earth Foundation
Mr. Froilan G. Grate is an environmental educator and zero waste advocate.
He currently works as the Executive Director of GAIA Philippines and as the Asia Pacific Co-coordinator for the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives. He is also the President of Mother Earth Foundation, an NGO that has successfully implemented zero waste models in the Philippines. Recently, he was elected as the next CSO representative and Commissioner to the National Solid Waste Management Commission.
A passionate advocate against the use of plastic, he has not used a single plastic drinking straw or shopping bag in more than 10 years. This, and his love for composting has allowed him to reduce his household waste to less than 2 kilos for the whole year of 2015.
President, Republic of Mauritius
Ameenah Gurib-Fakim has been, prior to joining the State House, the Managing Director of the Centre International de Développement Pharmaceutique (CIDP) Research and Innovation as well as Professor of Organic Chemistry with an endowed chair at the University of Mauritius. Since 2001, she has served successively as Dean of the Faculty of Science and Pro Vice Chancellor (2004-2010). She has also worked at the Mauritius Research Council as Manager for Research (1995-1997).
Ms Gurib-Fakim earned a BSc in Chemistry from the University of Surrey, UK (1983), and a PhD from the University of Exeter (1987), at which time she began working at the University of Mauritius. Between 1987 and 1992, she served as Project Leader for the first Regional Research Project on the Inventory and Study of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants of the Indian Ocean funded by the European Development Fund under the aegis of the Indian Ocean Commission. During 2000-2002, she served as the National Coordinator for the ‘Indian Ocean University’ funded by the European Union.
She has participated in several consultation meetings on environmental issues organized by international organisations such as the World Bank, SIDA, CIDA, EU and UN amongst others. Between 2011 and 2013, she was elected and served as Chairperson of the International Council for Scientific Union – Regional Office for Africa.
She has also served as an Independent Director on the Board of Barclays Bank of Mauritius Ltd between 2012 and 2015.
As a Founding Member of the Pan African Association of African Medicinal Plants, she co-authored the first ever African Herbal Pharmacopoeia.
She has authored and/or co-edited 28 books and several book chapters and scientific articles in the field of biodiversity conservation and sustainable development. She has lectured extensively across the world and is a Member of the Editorial Boards of major journals, has served on Technical Committees in various capacities, including the Chair of several National Committees in Mauritius.
Ms Gurib-Fakim has been elected Fellow of the Linnean Society of London in 2007, Fellow of the Islamic Academy of Science, Jordan, in 2009, and Fellow of the African Science Institute in 2010 and the African Academy of Sciences. Ms Gurib-Fakim received the 2007 L’Oréal-UNESCO Prize for Women in Science and Laureate of the National Economic and Social Council. She is recipient of the special prize from the CTA/NEPAD/AGRA/RUFORUM and the African Union Commission Award for Women in Science, both in 2009.
Dr (Mrs) Gurib-Fakim, was elevated to the Order of the Commander of the Star and Key by the Government of Mauritius in 2008, and admitted to the Order of the Order of the Chevalier de L’Ordre des Palmes Académiques by the Government of France in 2010, and received DSc from the Université Pierre et Marie Curie (Sorbonne Université), Paris, France in 2013 and from Greenwich University Pakistan (2015).
In 2014, Dr (Mrs) Gurib-Fakim became the first Mauritian to address the prestigious TEDGlobal Conference in Rio de Janeiro.
On 05 June 2015, Dr (Mrs) Gurib-Fakim was sworn in as the 6th President and the First Female President of the Republic of Mauritius. She was elevated to the Order of GCSK by the Government of Mauritius and received the Legion d’Honneur from the Government of France in 2016.
Anisa Kamadoli Costa
Chairman and President, Tiffany & Co Foundation
Anisa Kamadoli Costa is chief sustainability officer at Tiffany & Co. and also serves as chairman and president of The Tiffany & Co. Foundation. In this dual role, reporting to the CEO of Tiffany & Co., she oversees the company's global corporate responsibility agenda and directs the strategic grantmaking portfolio on behalf of the Foundation.
Prior to joining Tiffany & Co., Anisa worked at the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, an international grantmaking foundation. Anisa serves on the board of directors of the American Swiss Foundation and Oceans 5, a funder collaborative dedicated to protecting the world’s oceans. She currently serves on the Governance and Nominating Committee of Philanthropy New York and previously served on its board. Anisa also recently served as chair of the board of the Environmental Grantmakers Association.
She holds a bachelor's degree from Barnard College and a master's degree from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs
Managing Director, Closed Loop Fund
Rob Kaplan is co-founder and Managing Director of the Closed Loop Fund, an innovative platform for impact investing, sustainability, and the circular economy. The Fund aims to scale recycling through zero interest loans to cities and investments in waste companies.
Prior to joining the Fund, Rob served as Director of Sustainability for Walmart Stores and helped lead corporate responsibility and brand strategy for Brown-Forman Corporation.
Rob received his MBA from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley and his undergraduate degree in political communication from the George Washington University. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and two children.
Director of Global Fisheries and Aquaculture, Monterey Bay Aquarium
Jennifer oversees Monterey Bay Aquarium’s activities in support of sustainable fisheries and aquaculture on a global scale, working with a range of stakeholders to drive improvements in environmental performance and management. This includes the respected Seafood Watch program, which engages and empowers North American consumers and businesses to support ocean-friendly fisheries and aquaculture through their purchasing decisions.
Jennifer has also served as program manager for the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership and Senior Conservation Associate for New England Aquarium. She has also worked for American Oceans Campaign (Oceana) and Environmental Media Services.
Jennifer earned a Master of Science degree in environmental sciences from Johns Hopkins University and a Bachelor of Science in education from Florida State University.
Secretary of State, United States
On February 1, 2013, John Forbes Kerry was sworn in as the 68th Secretary of State of the United States, becoming the first sitting Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman to become Secretary in over a century.
Secretary Kerry joined the State Department after 28 years in the United States Senate, the last four as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Secretary Kerry was born on December 11, 1943, at Fitzsimons Army Hospital in Aurora, Colorado, one of four children of the late Rosemary Forbes Kerry and Richard Kerry, a Foreign Service Officer.
Shortly before he graduated from Yale University, Secretary Kerry enlisted to serve in the United States Navy, and went on to serve two tours of duty. He served in combat as a Swift Boat skipper patrolling the rivers of the Mekong Delta, returning home from Vietnam with a Silver Star, a Bronze Star with Combat V, and three Purple Hearts.
Back in the United States, Secretary Kerry began to forcefully speak out against the Vietnam War. Testifying at the invitation of Chairman J. William Fulbright before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he asked the poignant question, "How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?" He also began a lifelong fight for his fellow veterans as a co-founder of the Vietnam Veterans of America, and later as a United States Senator who fought to secure veterans’ benefits, extension of the G.I. Bill for Higher Education, and improved treatment for PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).
In 1976, Secretary Kerry received his law degree from Boston College Law School and went to work as a top prosecutor in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, where he took on organized crime, fought for victims' rights, and created programs for rape counseling. He was elected Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts in 1982, and 2 years later, he was elected to the United States Senate where he served for 28 years.
In 2009, Secretary Kerry became Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, assuming a leadership role on key foreign policy and national security issues facing the United States, including Afghanistan and Pakistan, nuclear nonproliferation, and global climate change. His service as Chairman built on his previous Senate work that included helping to expose the Iran-Contra scandal and leadership on global AIDS.
As Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs, he worked to learn the truth about American soldiers missing in Vietnam and to normalize relations with that country.
In 2010, as Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, Secretary Kerry was instrumental in the ratification of the New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) Treaty, a vital nuclear arms reduction agreement with Russia that helps steer both countries away from dangerous nuclear confrontations.
In his 28 years on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Secretary Kerry chaired the Asia and Middle East subcommittees where he authored and passed major legislation on international drug trafficking, international money laundering, humanitarian aid, and climate change, and he helped negotiate the UN’s genocide tribunal to prosecute war crimes in Cambodia.
He also held senior positions on the Finance, Commerce, and Small Business committees, as well as served as a member of the bipartisan Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction, where he worked across party lines to try and reduce the country’s debt and strengthen our economy. Prior to his departure from the Senate, Secretary Kerry was the seventh-most senior Senator.
Secretary Kerry was the Democratic Party's nominee for President of the United States in 2004.
Secretary Kerry is the author of best-selling books, including A Call to Service: My Vision for a Better America and This Moment on Earth, a book on the environment which he co-authored with his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry. Together they are proud of a blended family that includes two daughters, three sons, and three grandchildren.
Assistant Professor, University of California Santa Cruz
Kristy Kroeker is an Assistant Professor at the University of California Santa Cruz. Her research examines the ecological effects of climate change and ocean acidification on marine communities and ecosystems. She also studies whether actions or policies at a local-scale can offset the effects of global change in order to protect both nature and people. She is a Packard Fellow in Science and Engineering and a Sloan Fellow in Ocean Sciences.
CEO, DONG Energy Wind Power
Samuel Leupold has been a member of DONG Energy’s group management since 2013 and is responsible for Wind Power. He has also served as the Executive Vice President for BKW FMB Energie. He holds an MBA from Insead and holds an MSc in Mechanical Engineering from ETH Zurich (Eidgenoessische Technische Hochschule, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, in Zurich).
Minister of Foreign Affairs, New Zealand
Mr McCully entered Parliament in the 1987 General Election. He was first appointed a Minister in October 1991. He has held the following portfolios: Customs, Housing, Tourism, Accident Compensation Commission (ACC), and Sport, Fitness and Leisure (including responsibility for the America's Cup and Millennium events).
He holds a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) and is a qualified lawyer (barrister and solicitor). Prior to entering Parliament, he was principal of a major public relations company.
Mr McCully was born in Whangarei, New Zealand in 1953.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration, Commonwealth of The Bahamas
Attorney Fred Mitchell was born in Nassau on October 5, 1953 to the late Fredrick A. Mitchell, Sr. and Lilla Angelina Mitchell (nee Forde).
Political Highlights: Mr. Mitchell was sworn in as the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration on May 10, 2012.
His present Ministerial portfolio: Foreign Affairs, foreign missions, protocol matters, extradition, treaty succession, coordination of applications for International Technical Assistance, Law of the Sea, UN, OAS and CARICOM Affairs, passports, visas and immigration.
Minister Mitchell served as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Public Service (2002 – 2007); Chairman, Senate Select Committee on Culture (1992 – 1997); Former Chairman of Council for Foreign and Community Relations of CARICOM; Founding Member of The Bahamas Committee on Southern Africa. He has also recently Chaired the Commonwealth Experts for Presidential Elections Committee.
As Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mitchell was instrumental in the fight to integrate Haiti as a member state of CARICOM. He also negotiated a number of important international agreements on behalf of The Bahamas, including the Shengen Visa Agreement and the European Partnership Agreement.
He was also instrumental in establishing the Bahamian diplomatic mission in Cuba. During his tenure he also established the Bahamas Embassy in China.
As the Member of Parliament for Fox Hill, Mitchell established a permanent constituency office in the community that is now used as a community centre for Fox Hillians.
He has been instrumental in community building within Fox Hill proper and the wider constituency and has been a benefactor and friend to all of the schools in the area, most notably the Sandilands Primary School, L.W. Young Junior High School, and the Doris Johnson High School.
Education: He received his early education at Eastern Junior School and St. Augustine’s College, completing his tertiary education at Antioch College; Harvard University; and University of Buckingham with a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature; Master’s in Public Administration; and Bachelor of Laws. He has also attained Professional Certificates of Calls to both the English and Bahamas Bars.
Civics/Social: Mr. Mitchell has served in many social and professional organisations. He is a member of the Bahamas Bar Association; he is a founding member of the Bahamas Committee on Southern Africa and was an activist in The Bahamas Human Rights Association. Mr. Mitchell currently is the Co-Chairman on the Progressive Liberal Party’s Committee on Foreign Affairs & Foreign Trade.
Professional/Career: Mr. Mitchell before becoming a Minister was the Sole Practitioner at Gwendolyn House. He has worked at the Bahamas Tourist News Bureau; Bahamas Information Services; Broadcasting Corporation of The Bahamas; Office of the Prime Minister; The Herald; Al Dillette & Associates; Toothe, Unwala and Leonard.
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chile
Political Scientist from the Universidad Católica de Chile. Holds Doctorate degrees in Political Science and International Studies from the University of Denver. Completed studies at the University of Harvard and the State University of New York. Technical Certificate in International Relations from the Universidad Católica de Chile.
Principal Scientist, Center for International Forestry Research
Professor Daniel Murdiyarso is currently holding a position as principal scientist at the Center for International Forestry Research. He is also a Professor at Bogor Agricultural University, Indonesia. His research is related to land-use change and biogeochemical cycles, including in wetland ecosystems. Dr Murdiyarso was involved in a number of assessments of the Nobel Peace Prize winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. In 2000 he served the Government of Indonesia as Deputy Minister of Environment, during which he was also the National Focal Point of the UNFCCC. Since 2002 Professor Murdiyarso is a member of the Indonesian Academy of Sciences.
Director/CEO, Sabah Parks Board
Dr. Jamili Nais is currently the Director/CEO of the Sabah Parks Board. Jamili has been at the Sabah Parks service for 28 years and has assumed various positions: as the Parks Ecologist, then as the Interpretative and Education Officer at the renown Kinabalu Park, a World Heritage Site. He then became the Head of the Research Division, then the Deputy Director, before becoming the current Director/CEO, looking after all the terrestrial and Marine Parks in Sabah, Malaysia. Jamili obtained his B.Sc (Hons) in Botany from Malaysia National University and Ph.D in Plant Ecology from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. Jamili is of the native Dusun tribe, an indigenous (or Momogun) tribe of Sabah in the Northern part of Borneo. He was born and grew up at the tropical rain forests on the foothills of mount Kinabalu.
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Senegal
Mr. Mankeur Ndiaye was appointed as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Senegalese Abroad on October 29, 2012. He was promoted to the rank of Ambassador in 2003 and previously served as Ambassador of Senegal to Mali, France, and Monaco and as First Counsellor at the Senegalese Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York. He has taken part in the past seven annual UN General Assembly sessions and oversaw the Pilot Group on Innovating Financing for Development and the Millennium Challenge Account Senegal project. He is married and has two sons and a daughter.
Catherine A. Novelli
Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment, United States
Catherine A. Novelli was sworn in as Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment on February 18, 2014. In this capacity, she leads the State Department’s efforts to develop and implement economic growth, energy, oceans, environmental, and science and technology policies to promote economic prosperity and address global challenges in a transparent, rules-based, and sustainable system. She is also the State Department’s Senior Coordinator for International Information Technology Diplomacy.
Prior to assuming her current duties, she was Vice President, Worldwide Government Affairs at Apple, Inc. In that role, Ms. Novelli headed a multinational international team responsible for Apple’s federal, international, and state and local government relations and public policy.
Formerly Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Europe & the Mediterranean, Ms. Novelli coordinated U.S. trade and investment policy for the over 65 countries of Western Europe, Central Europe, Russia, the NIS, the Middle East and Northern Africa. She has taken a leading role in many of the most important U.S. trade negotiations in Europe, Russia, the Middle East, and North Africa. As the point person for the $1 trillion economic relationship between the United States and Europe, Ms. Novelli led efforts to ensure access to the European market for U.S. manufactured and agricultural products.
Ms. Novelli was the lead strategist in creating the United States’ free trade agenda with the Middle East. She led free trade agreement negotiations with Jordan, Morocco and Bahrain, Oman and United Arab Emirates. She chaired the Trade and Investment Framework Councils with a number of countries in the region, including Turkey, Egypt, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Algeria. As the Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Central and Eastern Europe and Eurasia, she negotiated most of the bilateral trade and investment agreements that underpin our economic relationship in that region.
Ms. Novelli is a graduate of Tufts University, holds a law degree from the University of Michigan and a Master of Laws from University of London (with concentrations in international and comparative law at the London School of Economics and School of Oriental and Asian Studies).
President, United States
Barack H. Obama is the 44th President of the United States.
His story is the American story — values from the heartland, a middle-class upbringing in a strong family, hard work and education as the means of getting ahead, and the conviction that a life so blessed should be lived in service to others.
With a father from Kenya and a mother from Kansas, President Obama was born in Hawaii on August 4, 1961. He was raised with help from his grandfather, who served in Patton's army, and his grandmother, who worked her way up from the secretarial pool to middle management at a bank.
After working his way through college with the help of scholarships and student loans, President Obama moved to Chicago, where he worked with a group of churches to help rebuild communities devastated by the closure of local steel plants.
He went on to attend law school, where he became the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review. Upon graduation, he returned to Chicago to help lead a voter registration drive, teach constitutional law at the University of Chicago, and remain active in his community.
President Obama's years of public service are based around his unwavering belief in the ability to unite people around a politics of purpose. In the Illinois State Senate, he passed the first major ethics reform in 25 years, cut taxes for working families, and expanded health care for children and their parents. As a United States Senator, he reached across the aisle to pass groundbreaking lobbying reform, lock up the world's most dangerous weapons, and bring transparency to government by putting federal spending online.
He was elected the 44th President of the United States on November 4, 2008, and sworn in on January 20, 2009. After being re-elected in 2012, President Obama is currently serving his second and final term, which will end in January 2017. See photos from the President's second inauguration here.
President Obama and his wife, Michelle, are the proud parents of two daughters, Malia and Sasha.
Founder and Director, Exposure Labs
Filmmaker Jeff Orlowski served as director, producer, and cinematographer on the Sundance Award-Winning film, Chasing Ice. Orlowski’s documentary was invited to screen at the White House, the United Nations and the United States Congress. It captured over forty awards from film festivals around the world and has screened on all seven continents. He founded Exposure Labs, a production company geared toward socially relevant filmmaking. He has traveled representing the Sundance Institute, President Obama's Committee for the Arts and Humanities, and the National Endowment of the Arts. Recently, Orlowski received the inaugural Sundance Institute Discovery Impact Fellowship for environmental filmmaking.
Trustee, David and Lucile Packard Foundation
Julie Packard is founding executive director of the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Based on a lifelong passion for science and nature, she has led the Aquarium to become a global force for ocean conservation. She chairs the board of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute and she is deeply engaged in ocean conservation through her work as a trustee of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. Julie served as a member of the Pew Oceans Commission and more recently served on the California Parks Forward Commission to develop a sustainable path for California's state parks. Julie holds a masters degree in biology with a focus in marine algal ecology.
Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees, Oak Foundation
Kristian Parker is a member of Oak Foundation’s founding family. Since its inception in 1998, he has overseen the Oak Foundation’s Environment Programme, which dedicates the majority of its resources to fight climate change and collapsing fish stocks.
Kristian is a British and Danish citizen, raised in Switzerland. He graduated from Colby College, received a Doctorate in Environmental Sciences from the Duke Marine Laboratory and held a postdoctoral fellowship at the Kewalo Marine Laboratory in Honolulu, Hawaii. Kristian is also a founding board member of OceansFive and a member of the Board of Oceana and ClimateWorks.
Special Envoy for Climate Change, United States
Dr. Jonathan Pershing is the Special Envoy for Climate Change at the U.S. Department of State. Previously, he served as the Senior Climate Advisor to the U.S. Secretary of Energy and the Principal Deputy Director of the Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis at the Department of Energy.
Prior to joining DOE, Dr. Pershing was the Deputy Special Envoy for Climate Change and the lead negotiator representing the United States at meetings of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Before his appointment to the Obama Administration, he spent six years as the Director of the Climate, Energy and Pollution Program at the World Resources Institute, a Washington, D.C., think tank; five years as the Head of the Environment Division at the International Energy Agency in Paris; and for nearly a decade in the 1990s, served the Science Advisor and Deputy Director of the Office of Global Change in the U.S. Department of State.
Dr. Pershing holds a Ph.D. in geology and geophysics, and has also held positions in the private sector as a petroleum and mining geologist, and as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Minnesota and at American University. He has published and lectured widely on climate and energy issues, and has served as a lead author, review editor and contributor for reports of the Nobel-prize winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Director, Clean Baltic Sea, John Nurminen Foundation
Ms. Marjukka Porvari has directed the Clean Baltic Sea projects of the John Nurminen Foundation, Finland since 2005, when the Foundation started environmental work. The projects have decreased eutrophying load to one of the most polluted basins of the Baltic Sea, the Gulf of Finland, by over 50 % mainly by enhancing wastewater purification in Russian municipalities and industry. Prior to her current position, Porvari worked in the Finnish Environment Institute, focusing on international water management and environmental policy assignments. Ms. Porvari studied environmental sciences and economics at the Helsinki University and holds a Master’s Degree in Political Sciences.
Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Indonesia
Susi Pudjiastuti was appointed Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries under President Joko Widodo’s administration on October 27, 2014. During her tenure, her practice of sinking foreign vessels found to be engaged in Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) fishing in Indonesian waters has earned her widespread popularity in Indonesia, where resource nationalism continues to be a key part of the political discourse. She was selected as Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries by Jokowi in the initial round of cabinet appointments, on October 26, 2014.
Susi is an entrepreneur, and is the former owner and CEO of ASI Pudjiastuti Aviation, which operates chartered and commuter service airline Susi Air. She began her career as a fishbroker in Pangandaran, West Java, and in 1996 opened a fish processing facility under her company ASI Pudjiastuti Marine Project. She also owns the famous “Susi Brand” lobster.
Ussif Rashid Sumaila
Professor and Director of the Fisheries Economics Research Unit, University of British Columbia
Professor and Director, Fisheries Economics Research Unit & the OceanCanada Partnership. Specializes in in bioeconomics, marine ecosystem valuation and the analysis of global issues such as fisheries subsidies, illegal fishing, climate change and oil spills. Authored over 180 journal articles; including in Science and Nature. Winner of the 2013 American Fisheries Society Excellence in Public Outreach, the Stanford Leopold Leadership Fellowship and the Pew Marine Fellowship. Given talks at the UN Rio+20, the WTO, the White House, the Canadian Parliament and the British House of Lords.
Smith Postdoctoral Fellow in Conservation Biology, University of California Davis
Dr. Chelsea Rochman is finishing up a Smith Postdoctoral Fellowship at UC Davis and transitioning into a faculty position as Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto. Rochman has her PhD in ecology with emphases on marine ecology, environmental chemistry and ecotoxicology. Her expertise is regarding the sources, sinks and ecological implications of plastics and their associated cocktail of chemical contaminants in marine and freshwater habitats. In addition to her academic research, Chelsea participates in policy meetings and working groups to translate scientific research beyond academia.
Président of COP21/CMP11 H.E. Ms Ségolène Royal, Minister of Environment, Energy and the Sea
Ms. Ségolène Royal was born in Dakar (Senegal) on 22 September 1953. She has been in her current ministerial posting since April 2014. She was Minister Delegate for Family Affairs, Childhood and Disability (March 2000 - May 2002), Minister Delegate for School Education (June 1997 - March 2000), and Minister for the Environment (April 1992 - March 1993). She was President of the Poitou-Charentes Region from April 2004 to May 2014 and was a member of the French Parliament for the Deux-Sèvres department numerous times between 1988 and 2007. She was the runner-up for the 2007 presidential election, the first woman in France to be nominated as a presidential candidate by a major party. Minister Royal was also Vice-President and Spokeswoman for the Banque publique d’investissement (French Public Investment Bank), Vice President of Socialist International, and was an advisor to French President François Mitterrand from 1982-1988. Minister Royal attended the Ecole Nationale d’Administration and the Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Paris, and holds a degree in economics. She has written several books. She is currently the President of the COP 21.
Explorer in Residence, National Geographic Society
Enric Sala is a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence working to protect the last wild places in the ocean, and to develop new business models for conservation. To date, his Pristine Seas project has helped to create nine of the largest marine reserves, covering over 3 million square km. 2008 World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, 2013 Explorers Club Lowell Thomas Award, 2013 Environmental Media Association Hero Award, 2016 Russian Geographical Society Award. Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. Enric serves on the boards of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation and the National Aquarium, and advises international organizations and governments.
Isabel de Saint Malo de Alvarado,
Vice President, Republic of Panama
The Vice President of the Republic and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Isabel de Saint Malo de Alvarado, has over 20 years of experience in consulting, development and implementation of public policies in Latin America. Following her election as Vice-President and her appointment as foreign minister, she became the first woman to hold both positions in the history of her country.
She was the Alternate Ambassador from Panama to the United Nations in New York for 15 years and worked with the United Nations Development Program, as Country Manager for Panama.
From this office, she worked with the team that designed and executed the Agreements called Panama 2000 (“Acuerdos Panamá 2000”), in whose framework the legislation to create the Panama Canal Authority was drafted, to receive the waterway once it reverted to Panamanian hands.
She was awarded by the Harry S. Truman Institute for the Promotion of Peace, for the achievements in building dialogue and consensus throughout her career, and for the role played by the Government of the Republic of Panama, preparing the stage for the meeting between the presidents of Cuba and the United States, in the framework of the VII Summit of the Americas. The Vice-President is the first person in Latin America to receive this recognition.
She also received from the Panamanian Business Executives Association (APEDE) the award of “Woman of the Year 2012”, for her contributions in building national consensus for over two decades.
She has been part of the board of directors of several organizations such as: BBVA Bank, Fundación Democracia y Libertad, and the Women Corporate Directors Association of Panama, among others.
Currently, in her capacity as Vice-President of the Republic, and based on the priorities of the Government of Panama, she presides the Social Cabinet (“Gabinete Social”) and supports the National Council for Development (“Concertación Nacional para el Desarrollo”), where she seeks to articulate social policies, in coordination with civil society, around the strategic objective of eradicating poverty and social inequality through the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals.
In that same course of action, from her office she promotes matters related with transparency, the fight against corruption and gender equality.
As Minister of Foreign Affairs, among other aspirations, she promotes the project of modernization and institutional strengthening of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, whose main objective is to promote the professionalism of Panamanian diplomacy.
Her vision is to promote a foreign policy where Panama serves as a country of dialogue; consensus building, positioned at the forefront of the global development agenda.
She has a Degree in International Relations from Saint Joseph´s University and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Nova Southeastern University.
She is married and has 3 children.
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
Mangala Samaraweera was born in Matara, Southern Sri Lanka on 21st April 1956. He hails from a renowned political family and his father, Mahanama Samaraweera was a Minister in the governments of Hon. S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike and Hon. Sirimavo Bandaranaike. His mother, Khema Samaraweera was the first female councilor of the Matara Urban Council in the late 1950s.
After having his primary education at Royal College, Colombo, Mangala completed his studies in London. He obtained his BA (Hon) in Fashion and Textile Design at the prestigious Central St. Martins in London. On his return to Sri Lanka in 1982, he worked as a visiting lecturer at the Institute of Aesthetic Studies, University of Kelaniya as well as being a consultant to the Department of Textiles, spearheading a campaign to market local textiles in the west.
In 1988, Mangala entered the political arena at the request of Hon. Sirimavo Bandaranaike, leader of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party and in the General Elections of 1989, Mangala Samaraweera was elected as a Member of Parliament for the Matara District and he has continuously represented the Southern constituency, making him one of the most senior Parliamentarians in Sri Lanka today. In the Presidential Election of 2015, his constituency in Matara defeated the incumbent Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Speaker, Roz Savage Coaching
Roz Savage MBE spent the first 11 years of her career working as a management consultant, before an environmental epiphany led to her transformation into a world-class adventurer. Since 2005 Roz has rowed, solo, across the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans making her the world’s foremost female ocean rower. On the ocean Roz had to redefine her comfort zone on a daily basis as she spent up to five months alone at sea on a 23-foot rowboat, thousands of miles from land and humanity.
Roz now speaks to organisations globally, sharing stories and lessons learned from her epic adventures.
U.S. Senator for Hawai’i
Senator Brian Schatz has dedicated his career to public service as a strong advocate for Hawai‘i’s middle-class families, a clean energy economy, seniors, our veterans, and Native Hawaiians.
As Hawai‘i’s senior United States Senator, Brian serves on three Senate Committees essential to the future of Hawai‘i: Appropriations, Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and Indian Affairs. Senator Schatz is also one of just three Democrats on the Select Committee on Ethics.
In the United States Senate, Schatz is working to create new clean energy jobs for Hawai‘i, strengthen the middle-class, enhance Social Security and Medicare, make college more affordable, support Native Hawaiian programs, and ensure our veterans receive the benefits they have earned.
As a leader on clean energy, Senator Schatz has introduced legislation to reduce the effects of climate change while also moving our nation into a clean energy economy, creating jobs, and lessening America’s dependence on foreign oil.
Staying true to his commitment to Social Security and our seniors, Brian helped to fight back efforts in Congress that would have unfairly cut seniors’ Social Security benefits. He introduced legislation to help our seniors by increasing their Social Security benefits while strengthening the financial stability of the program.
As the father of two young children, Senator Schatz has made education a top priority. He is working to provide every family with access to early childhood education and to also make college more affordable for Hawai‘i students and families.
He is committed to working with President Obama to reduce the cost of college by promoting accountability, innovation, and competition amongst colleges. This plan takes significant steps toward making college more accessible and affordable for Hawai‘i students and all middle-class families.
As Lieutenant Governor of the State of Hawai‘i, Brian turned the Office of Lieutenant Governor into a flexible and dynamic force. This included Brian heading up the development of Asia-Pacific relations by serving as the State lead when Hawaii hosted the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in 2011. The event brought 20,000 government and business leaders from 21 Asia-Pacific economies to Honolulu and $37.7 million for Waikiki hotels.
Brian led the State’s clean energy efforts including the Hawai‘i Clean Energy Initiative. Through collaborative leadership with state and federal agencies, Schatz developed strategies to put Hawai‘i on track to exceed their renewal energy portfolio standard goals and to be number one in the nation. The Hawai‘i Clean Energy Initiative has made the state a national model for clean energy growth and created new clean economy jobs.
From 1998 to 2006, Brian Schatz was a member of the State House of Representatives. He served as the House Majority Whip, Chair of the Economic Development Committee, Vice-Chair of Water, Land and Ocean Resources, Vice-Chair of Consumer Protection and Commerce, and as a member of the Hawaiian Affairs, Higher Education, Energy and Environmental Protection, and Agriculture Committees.
Before being elected Lieutenant Governor, for eight years Schatz was the CEO of Helping Hands Hawai‘i, one of Hawai‘i’s largest non-profit community social services organizations.
Senator Schatz was raised in Hawai‘i, and graduated from Pomona College in Claremont, California. He is married to Linda Kwok Schatz, who is an architect. They have a son and daughter.
Co-founder and CEO, Take 3
Tim Silverwood is a passionate surfer and environmentalist from Sydney, Australia. Tim is committed to reducing the impacts of waste and pollution on our oceans and biosphere.
Tim is co-founder and CEO of Take 3, an organisation reducing global plastic pollution through education and participation. Take 3 asks everyone to simply take 3 pieces of rubbish with them when they leave the beach, waterway or…anywhere.
Tim is Director of ReChusable, an eco-enterprise providing reusable alternatives to disposable plastic.
A spokesperson for the Boomerang Alliance, Tim has led successful campaigns in Australia for plastic bag bans, bottle bills and microplastic reduction.
Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, NOAA
Dr. Kathryn Sullivan was confirmed by the Senate as the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator on March 6, 2014, having served as Acting NOAA Administrator since February 28, 2013. She is a distinguished scientist, renowned astronaut and intrepid explorer.
Prior to her appointment as Acting Administrator, Dr. Sullivan held the position of Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Environmental Observation and Prediction and Deputy Administrator, and also performed the duties of NOAA's Chief Scientist, a vacant position. Dr. Sullivan was one of the first six women selected to join the NASA astronaut corps in 1978 and holds the distinction of being the first American woman to walk in space. She flew on three shuttle missions during her 15-year tenure, including the mission that deployed the Hubble Space Telescope.
President, Polynesian Voyaging Society
Nainoa Thompson is the President of the Polynesian Voyaging Society and a master in the traditional Polynesian art of non-instrument navigating. Inspired by his kupuna, his teachers, he has dedicated his life to exploring the deep meaning of “voyaging.” Among many other important mentors, Yosio Kawano took him at an early age to tide pools to explore the mysteries of the inshore ocean; Herb Kane introduced him to the stars his ancestors used to navigate great ocean distances; and pwo navigator Mau Piailug taught him to see the natural signs he would use to guide Hōkūleʻa, a replica of an ancient Polynesian voyaging canoe, throughout Polynesia. Nainoa’s father taught him the universal values of voyaging – of having a vision of islands rising from the sea, of self-discipline, preparation, courage, risk-taking and the spirit of aloha that would bind a crew on arduous journeys.
Executive Director, Community and Biodiversity Civil Association
Jorge Torre is Executive Director, and co-founder, of Comunidad y Biodiversidad, A.C. (COBI, www.cobi.org.mx), an NGO whose goal is marine biodiversity conservation and sustainable fisheries through effective, participatory approaches. Jorge obtained his Ph.D. from the School of Natural Resources, University of Arizona and since 1988 has worked in marine conservation in Mexico. His work focuses on generating practical answers to marine conservation problems hand-in-hand with fishing communities. Jorge has spoken at over 50 congresses and symposiums, and collaborated in more than 40 peer-reviewed publications. He holds leadership and management qualifications from Smithsonian Institution and Wharton Executive Education, University of Pennsylvania.
Managing Partner & CEO, The B Team
Keith Tuffley is the Managing Partner & CEO of The B Team. The B Team comprises a group of global business leaders who have come together to drive a better way of doing business for the wellbeing of people and planet. He is also the Founder & Chairman of NEUW Ventures SA. NEUW is an entrepreneurial impact investing company, focused on the creation and financing of new businesses which reduce the human ecological footprint and accelerate the world’s transition to a sustainable economic system. Keith has spent over 25 years in finance, investment banking and the capital markets, and was previously Managing Director and Head of Investment Banking at Goldman Sachs in Australia.
Investigative Reporter, New York Times
Ian Urbina is an investigative reporter for The New York Times based in the Washington Bureau. His investigations most often focus on worker safety and the environment. He has received a Pulitzer, a Polk, and various other journalism awards. Several of his stories have been made into feature films. His most recent and ongoing series, "The Outlaw Ocean", explores lawlessness on the high seas. To report the stories, Urbina has spent two years traveling through Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, much of that time spent on fishing ships, chronicling a diversity of crimes offshore, including the killing of stowaways, sea slavery, intentional dumping, illegal fishing, the stealing of ships, gun running, stranding of crews, and murder with impunity.
Chairman, Waitt Foundation
Ted Waitt co-founded Gateway 2000, Inc. in 1985. By the time he was barely 30, he was a Fortune 500 CEO and a member of the Forbes 400. He retired from Gateway in 2004, and devoted the bulk of his time to philanthropy.
Since then The Waitt Foundation has invested over $60 million in various ocean conservation initiatives, and The Waitt Institute is directly engaged helping coastal communities.
Mr. Waitt serves as a Trustee of Salk Institute and National Geographic Society, is a founding member of Oceans 5, and serves on the advisory board for the NGS Pristine Seas Initiative.
His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales
The Prince of Wales, eldest son of The Queen and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, was born at Buckingham Palace at 9.14pm on 14th November 1948.
A proclamation was posted on the Palace railings just before midnight, announcing that Her Royal Highness Princess Elizabeth had been safely delivered of a son. It was announced later that the baby Prince weighed 7lb 6oz.
On 15th December, Charles Philip Arthur George was christened in the Music Room at Buckingham Palace, by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Geoffrey Fisher.
The Prince's mother was proclaimed Queen Elizabeth II at the age of 25, when her father, King George VI, died aged 56 on 6th February 1952. On The Queen's accession to the throne, Prince Charles - as the Sovereign's eldest son - became heir apparent at the age of three.
The Prince, as Heir to The Throne, took on the traditional titles of The Duke of Cornwall under a charter of King Edward III in 1337; and, in the Scottish peerage, of Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Carrick, Baron Renfrew, Lord of the Isles, and Prince and Great Steward of Scotland.
The Prince was four at his mother's Coronation, in Westminster Abbey on 2nd June 1953. Many who watched the Coronation have vivid memories of him seated between his widowed grandmother, now to be known as Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, and his aunt, Princess Margaret.
The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh decided that The Prince should go to school rather than have a tutor at the Palace. The Prince started at Hill House school in West London on 7th November 1956.
After 10 months, the young Prince became a boarder at Cheam School, a preparatory school in Berkshire. In 1958 while The Prince was at Cheam, The Queen created him The Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester. The Prince was nine-years-old.
In April 1962 The Prince began his first term at Gordonstoun, a school near Elgin in Eastern Scotland which The Duke of Edinburgh had attended.
The Prince of Wales spent two terms in 1966 as an exchange student at Timbertop, a remote outpost of the Geelong Church of England Grammar School in Melbourne, Australia.
When he returned to Gordonstoun for his final year, The Prince of Wales was appointed school guardian (head boy). The Prince, who had already passed six O Levels, also took A Levels and was awarded a grade B in history and a C in French, together with a distinction in an optional special history paper in July 1967.
The Prince went to Cambridge University in 1967 to read archaeology and anthropology at Trinity College. He changed to history for the second part of his degree, and in 1970 was awarded a 2:2 degree.
He was invested as Prince of Wales by The Queen on 1st July 1969 in a colourful ceremony at Caernarfon Castle. Before the investiture The Prince had spent a term at the University College of Wales at Aberystwyth, learning to speak Welsh.
On 11th February 1970, His Royal Highness took his seat in the House of Lords.
On 8th March 1971 The Prince flew himself to Royal Air Force (RAF) Cranwell in Lincolnshire, to train as a jet pilot. At his own request, The Prince had received flying instruction from the RAF during his second year at Cambridge.
In September 1971 after the passing out parade at Cranwell, The Prince embarked on a naval career, following in the footsteps of his father, grandfather and both his great-grandfathers.
The six-week course at the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, was followed by service on the guided missile destroyer HMS Norfolk and two frigates.
The Prince qualified as a helicopter pilot in 1974 before joining 845 Naval Air Squadron, which operated from the Commando carrier HMS Hermes. On 9th February 1976, The Prince took command of the coastal minehunter HMS Bronington for his last nine months in the Navy.
On 29th July 1981, The Prince of Wales married Lady Diana Spencer in St Paul's Cathedral who became HRH The Princess of Wales.
The Princess was born on 1st July 1961, at Park House on The Queen's estate at Sandringham, Norfolk. She lived there until the death in 1975 of her grandfather, the 7th Earl, when the family moved to the Spencer family seat at Althorp House in Northamptonshire.
Lady Diana's father, then Viscount Althorp and later the eighth Earl Spencer, had been an equerry to both George VI and The Queen. Her maternal grandmother, Ruth, Lady Fermoy, was a close friend and lady in waiting to The Queen Mother.
The Prince and Princess of Wales had two sons: Prince William, born on 21st June 1982; and Prince Harry, born on 15th September 1984.
From the time of their marriage, The Prince and Princess of Wales went on overseas tours and carried out many engagements together in the UK.
On 9th December 1992, The Prime Minister, John Major, announced to the House of Commons that The Prince and Princess of Wales had agreed to separate.
The marriage was dissolved on 28th August, 1996. The Princess was still regarded as a member of the Royal Family. She continued to live at Kensington Palace and to carry out her public work for a number of charities.
When The Princess was killed in a car crash in Paris on 31st August 1997, The Prince of Wales flew to Paris with her two sisters to bring her body back to London. The Princess lay in the Chapel Royal at St James's Palace until the night before the funeral.
On the day of the funeral, The Prince of Wales accompanied his two sons, aged 15 and 12 at the time, as they walked behind the coffin from The Mall to Westminster Abbey. With them were The Duke of Edinburgh and The Princess's brother, Earl Spencer.
The Prince of Wales asked the media to respect his sons' privacy, to allow them to lead a normal school life. In the following years, Princes William and Harry, who are second and fourth in line to the throne, accompanied their father on a limited number of official engagements in the UK and abroad.
On 9th April 2005, The Prince of Wales and Mrs Parker Bowles were married in a civil ceremony at the Guildhall, Windsor.
After the wedding, Mrs Parker Bowles became known as HRH The Duchess of Cornwall.
The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall were joined by around 800 guests at a Service of Prayer and Dedication at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle.
The Service was followed by a reception at Windsor Castle hosted by Her Majesty The Queen. It is intended that The Duchess of Cornwall should use the title HRH The Princess Consort when The Prince of Wales accedes to The Throne.
The Duchess supports The Prince of Wales in his work. Through the years, His Royal Highness developed a wide range of interests which are today reflected in The Prince's Charities, a group of not-for-profit organisations of which The Prince of Wales is Patron or President.
The group is the largest multi-cause charitable enterprise in the United Kingdom, raising over £100million annually. The organisations are active across a broad range of areas including education and young people, environmental sustainability, the built environment, responsible business and enterprise and international.
The charities reflect The Prince of Wales's long-term and innovative perspective, and seek to address areas of previously unmet need.
These interests are also reflected in the list of more than 400 organisations of which His Royal Highness is Patron or President.
The Prince's interest in fields such as the built environment, global sustainability, youth opportunity, education and faith have been elaborated over many years in a large number of speeches and articles.
Director, The Walton Family Foundation
Rob Walton is the retired chairman of the board of Walmart and serves as chair of the Environment Program Committee of the Walton Family Foundation.
Rob serves on the board of directors of Conservation International and is chairman of the Conservation International Center for Environmental Leadership in Business. He is co-chairman of the Arizona State University Global Institute of Sustainability. Rob is also a member of the Mayo Clinic Arizona Leadership Council and is an emeritus life trustee of The College of Wooster.
Rob joined Walmart in 1969, where he held a variety of positions, including senior vice president, corporate secretary, general counsel and vice chairman. He is a member of the board of directors at Walmart and served as chairman from 1992 to 2015. Before joining Walmart, Rob was a partner with the law firm of Conner & Winters in Tulsa, Okla.
Rob is a graduate of the University of Arkansas and the Columbia University School of Law.
He is married to Melani Walton and is the son of Helen Walton and Walmart founder Sam Walton.
U.S. Senator for Rhode Island
Sheldon Whitehouse, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, plays a key role in crafting policies addressing environmental protection and climate change. He worked to establish the National Oceans and Coastal Security Fund to support ocean and coastal research, restoration, and conservation. In 2011, he co-founded the bipartisan Senate Oceans Caucus, which has promoted solutions for oceans and coastal issues, including approval of four international fisheries treaties and passage of the IUU Fishing Enforcement Act to deter pirate fishing. Whitehouse also led the successful bipartisan effort this year to reauthorize the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Estuaries Program.
Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, European Union
Karmenu Vella is the European Commissioner for Environment, Fisheries and Maritime Affairs. He was born in Malta on June 1950. Mr Vella graduated in Architecture and Civil Engineering, and later obtained a Master of Science in Tourism Management from University of Sheffield. He was first elected to Parliament in 1976 and was re-elected nine consecutive times. During his political career he has been appointed Minister for Public Works, Minister for Industry and Minister for Tourism twice. Mr Vella had also held various senior posts in the private sector.
Administrator State Oceanic Administration, People’s Republic of China
Born in 1963 in Qingdao, Shandong Province, Wang Hong earned a PhD from the Ocean University of China. He worked as a Researcher, Director, and Division Director at China Oceanic Information Network. Within the SOA, he has served in a variety of positions. From 2007-2015 as the Deputy Administrator and Member of Party Committee; from 2001-2006 as the Deputy Director General in the Department of Finance; from 1999-2001 as the Director of National Marine Information Center, from 1997-1999 as the Deputy Director of National Marine Information Center; from 1993-1997 as Deputy Division Director in the Research Office of the National Marine Center; and finally from 1985-1993 as an Engineer at National Marine Information Center.