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Committees, Convenors, Plenary speakers, M-Z

M - R

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M - R

Jane Madgwick BSc MSc, Wetlands International, United Kingdom
Since 2004, Jane has been CEO of Wetlands International, leading a network of 18 offices operating in over 100 countries. Over this period the organisation has tripled its capacity to safeguard and restore wetlands for people and nature. Previously Jane worked for WWF internationally. She has carried out ecological research and multiple use conservation programmes in the UK, Somalia, Belize, Yemen and Australia. Her technical expertise is primarily in ecological restoration of wetlands and water policy.

José Marengo, National Center for Monitoring and Early Warning of Natural Disasters (CEMADEN), Brazil 
José Marengo is Chief Research Scientist from CEMADEN, the reference centre on natural disasters and climate risk and natural disasters. He participates in the IPCC AR5 as Lead Author for the IPCC SREX and Coordinating Lead Author of the Fifth Assessment Report WG2.  Marengo has also worked with several other international organisations including the IAI, IGBP, WCRP, GWSP, GEF, working with climate prediction, climate change, climate extremes and impacts and vulnerability assessments. He is Professor at the Post Graduate Programs in Meteorology and Earth System Sciences at the National Institute for Space Research.  He is author of more than 300 publications  from papers to books and book chapters and reports. 

Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, UN Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development  
Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands is an active global voice on the importance of inclusive finance for achieving development and economic goals. Designated in 2009 by the UN Secretary-General as his Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development, Queen Maxima encourages universal access for individuals and enterprises, at a reasonable cost, to a wide range of financial services, provided by diverse responsible and sustainable institutions.
Queen Máxima has also served as honorary patron of the G20's Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion since 2011. She is a champion of financial inclusion in her own country, particularly in the areas of financial literacy and education. She is a member of the Netherlands Committee for Entrepreneurship and Finance and honorary chair of the Dutch Money Wise Platform. More information on her royal activities can be found on the official website of the Royal House of the Netherlands.                             

Cheikh Mbow, World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), Kenya
Dr. Cheikh Mbow is serving as a Senior Scientist on Climate Change and Development at World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) and Adjunct Professor at Michigan State University's Department of Forestry. He is lead author of the Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU) chapter in the IPCC's Fifth Assessment Report, a Member of the Scientific Committee of Future Earth. He is a regional expert on disturbances of savanna vegetative systems and above-ground carbon stock assessments. He coordinated the GOFC-GOLD Regional Network for West Africa. Cheikh is currently investigating land management influence agroforestry practices for improved food security under severe climate change.

Darryn McEvoy, RMIT University, Australia
Darryn McEvoy is a research Professor in climate change adaptation, specialising in urban resilience. He currently acts as chief investigator to a number of projects in Australia and the Asia Pacific region. Project examples include the development of a climate adaptation plan for RMIT University, community resilience to flooding in Queensland, reviewing the natural disaster risk assessment for Tasmania, and conducting vulnerability assessments and adaptation planning for UN-Habitat in Honiara (Solomon Islands) and Port Vila (Vanuatu). He is a member of the international scientific committee for ‘Urbanization and Global Environmental Change’, a global adviser for the Global Compact Cities Program, and was previously Deputy Director for the Victorian Centre for Climate Change Adaptation Research.

Jacqueline McGlade, United Nations Environment Programme, Kenya
Jacqueline McGlade is UNEP Chief Scientist and Director UNEP / DEWA. She was Executive Director of the European Environment Agency, Director of the UK Coastal and Marine Laboratories, Professor at University of Warwick, Director of Theoretical Ecology at the FZ Jülich and Senior Scientist at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography. Her research is on dynamics of ecosystems and planetary systems, sustainable development and environmental informatics. She has published over 200 peer-reviewed publications, written and produced award winning feature films and TV series (a.o. Planet RE:think, One Degree Matters, Our Arctic Challenge and Power of Nature). She founded her own software company, specialising in games and decision-making under high uncertainty. She was awarded the GSDI Global Citizen 2013.

Reinhard Mechler, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Austria
Reinhard Mechler has more than 15 years of experience working on the economics of disaster risk and resilience, risk modelling and climate change. He currently is deputy director of the ‘Risk, Policy, Vulnerability’ research programme at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA). He is a visiting Professor at the University of Graz, as well as a senior lecturer at the University for Economics and Business in Vienna. Reinhard has been leading and contributing to many international research and consultancy projects. He acted as a lead author on IPCC’s special report on adaptation to extreme events (SREX) and on IPCC’s 5th assessment report (Working group II).

Bettina Menne, WHO European Centre for Environment and Health (ECEH), Germany
Bettina is the head of the climate change, green health services and sustainable development programme (CGS) of the WHO Regional Office for Europe. CGS is the secretariat to the European WG on Health In Climate change (HIC) by representatives from 38 Member States and five agencies and  focuses on increasing health system resilience to climate change (adaptation) and health beneficial measures. Since 1997 she contributed to policy processes, such as the European Environment and Health Ministerial Conferences and scientific processes (e.g. CLA in AR4). She developed and implemented the first EC funded project on climate change and health, coordinated the post 2003 heat wave health protection developments in Europe. Bettina is a Medical Doctor and Medical specialist in Hygiene and Public Health.

Nobuo Mimura, Ibaraki University, Japan
Mimura is the President of Ibaraki University. Dr. Mimura holds a doctoral degree in urban engineering. He played a leading role in the establishment of the Institute for Global Change Adaptation Science (ICAS) at Ibaraki University and served as its director till 2014. Dr. Mimura specialises in global environmental engineering, coastal engineering and adaptation to climate change. He is engaged in climate change impact assessments and adaptation in Japan, Asia and small islands in the South Pacific. He served as coordinating lead author of the IPCC and as an advisor to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other ministries of Japan and in bodies such as The World Bank.

Rupa Mukerji, HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation, Switzerland
Building on 20 years of work in the natural resource management and livelihood domains, Rupa was responsible for one of the first field projects on ‘Adaptation to Climate Change’ in India in 2004 which was followed by inputs to corresponding National and State Action Plans there. Based on these experiences, she supports the design and implementation of activities that link climate research with practical actions in South America, South Asia and East Africa. With an academic background in natural sciences and management, Rupa engages with the complex interfaces between social and physical sciences. In recent years she worked as the Co-Head of the Advisory Services department and as a member of the Management Board of HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation.               

Ravi Narayanan, Governing Council, Asia-Pacific Water Forum, India
Ravi Narayanan, currently Chair of the Asia Pacific Water Forum, Chair of the Water Integrity Network and Advisor to the Arghyam Foundation in India. Ravi has twenty years of experience in the corporate sector and almost thirty in the not for profit sector, first with ActionAid as India’s Country Director, then Director for International Operations and finally as Asia Director. He was formerly the Chief Executive of WaterAid and a member of the UN Millenium Task Force on Water and Sanitation and the World Panel on Financing Water Infrastructure.  He was awarded an honorary CBE by the UK Government in 2009 for his services to the poor in countries in Africa and Asia.

Robert Nicholls, University of Southampton, United Kingdom
Robert Nicholls’ research concerns long-term coastal changes, especially the issues of coastal impacts and adaptation to climate change, with an emphasis on sea-level rise. He has been lead author of chapters in five reports of the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC). Currently he leads three large research projects: ESPA Deltas on Ecosystem Service and Poverty in Bangladesh, DECCMA on Migration in the Volta, Mahanadi and Ganges-Brahmaputra deltas and iCOASST on predicting decadal coastal geomorphic evolution. He was awarded the Roger Revelle Medal by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission in 2008.

Alex Nickson, Greater London Authority, United Kingdom
Alex Nickson is the Policy and Programmes Manager for Resilience and Quality of Life at the Greater London Authority, where he leads on managing the challenges of air quality pollution, water and increasing the resilience of London and Londoners to extreme weather and climate change. Alex led the development of the Mayor’s Climate Change Adaptation Strategy and Water Strategy and is responsible for their implementation. He is a founder member of the London Climate Change Partnership. He has also advised the UK government, European Commission, the European Investment Bank, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the IPPC on climate change adaptation in urban areas.

Hiro Nishigushi, Japan Innovation Network, Japan
Hiro Nishiguchi is Co-founder and Executive Managing Director of  the Japan Innovation Network (JIN).  JIN’s mission is to create innovative eco-systems within and around Japanese multinational organisations by working closely with international knowledge partners. Hiro is also Co-founder and President of Japan Bosai Platform (JBP), a public-private partnership focusing on disaster risk reduction activities around the world with a strong focus on investment in structural and non-structural areas prior to disasters. JBP works closely together with international organisations such as UNISDR, Asia Development Bank and The World Bank. Hiro received a MBA from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a bachelor degree from Sophia University in Tokyo.                        

Ian Noble, Monash Sustainability Institute, Australia
Dr. Ian Noble was a research scientist for 25 years at the Australian National University Institute of Advanced Studies focusing on the interactions between humans and their landscapes. He also led international scientific research collaborations under the IGBP and has been involved in three IPCC Assessments and several Special Reports.  He later spent 10 years as Lead Climate Change Specialist at The World Bank working on financing and implementing mitigation and adaptation programmes in many countries. Since retiring from the Bank, he has continued to advise governments, UN organisations and the private sector on implementing, assessing and funding adaptation efforts.

Michael Nolan, United Nations Global Compact Cities Programme, Australia
Michael has over 20 years of experience in managing sustainability and climate change outcomes for cities, government and business.  He has extensive experience in sustainable infrastructure, climate change adaptation and resilience in Australia, United States, Canada, China, India, Brazil, New Zealand, and United Kingdom. In his previous role as Global Lead for Resilience and Climate Adaptation for AECOM, Michael led over 120 climate change risk assessment, adaptation and resilience projects. He also led the development of the UNISDR City Disaster Resilience Scorecard in collaboration with IBM. Michael was the Resilient Cities lead for the United Nations R!SE initiative focused on risk sensitive investment. Michael has also supported the development of strategy tools for 100 Resilient Cities programme pioneered by Rockefeller Foundation.

Joan Nymand Larsen, Stefansson Arctic Institute and University of Akureyri, Iceland
Dr. Joan Nymand Larsen is an Economist, Senior Scientist and Research Director with the Stefansson Arctic Institute, and Lecturer with the University of Akureyri. She has extensive background in Arctic research, with specialisation in economic development processes, natural resources, climate change impacts and northern sustainabilities. She has published widely on topics of the Arctic economy; Arctic human development and quality-of-life; and the socioeconomic impacts of climate change. She is editor of notable publications such as the Arctic Human Development Report: Regional Processes and Global Linkages (2014); Arctic Social Indicators (2010, 2014); and is coordinating lead author of the Polar Regions chapter in the IPCC, WG-II, 5Th Assessment Report.

Felix Olorunfemi, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Nigeria
Dr. Felix Olorunfemi a Senior Research Fellow in Social and Governance Policy Research Department of the Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research, Ibadan. He is also a Research Fellow of the Earth System Governance Project. He is an Alumnus of the African Climate Change Fellowship Programme. He is engaged in research and teaching in natural resource management, climate change adaptation and disaster risk management in universities in and outside Nigeria including a Visiting Lecturer in Graduate Research Programme on Climate Change and Human Security, University of Lome, Togo under the West Africa Service Center on Climate Change and Adapted Landuse (WASCAL).

Kate Orff, SCAPE / Landscape architecture PLLC, USA 
Kate Orff is the Founder and Design Director of SCAPE. She has designed landscapes for prominent institutions and private clients that have been published nationally and internationally.  With a background in environmental science, the political and social sciences, and fine arts, she merges ecology and strong form to create rich, bio-diverse, textured landscapes that magnify the relationship between people and place.  She lectures widely in the U.S. and abroad on the topic of urban landscape and new paradigms of thinking, collaborating and designing for the anthropocene era. Kate is also the Director of Columbia University GSAPP’s Urban Design Program.               

Balgis Osman Elasha, Afrian Development Bank, Sudan
Balgis Osman Elasha did a masters in environmental science and holds a PhD in forestry science. She has 18 years of experience in different climate change issues with special focus on vulnerability and adaptation assessment related to African countries and the Arab region. Her research focuses on the human dimension of global environmental changes and implications for sustainable development. She is a guest editor to a number of scientific journals and wrote many publications. Mrs. Osman-Elasha is a member of many professional networks, among them the   Advisory Panel to the Regional   Adaptation Framework in the Mediterranean, and the Steering Committee of the NEPAD Climate Change Fund.

Gualbert Oude Essink, Deltares, the Netherlands
Gualbert Oude Essink is hydrogeologist at Deltares and Utrecht University, with a background at three Dutch universities (DUT, UU, VUA). He combines innovative monitoring techniques with state-of-the-art modelling, leading to new tools for better assessing fresh groundwater resources in the coastal zone, in countries such as the Netherlands (FRESHEM, Water Nexus, NatureCoast), Vietnam (UDW Rise and Fall) and Bangladesh (SWIBANGLA). Activities include variable-density groundwater and salt water intrusion under paleo, global and climate change conditions. Gu leads a Dutch Aquifer Storage and Recovery project to improve local fresh groundwater supply, teaches at UNESCO-IHE Delft and supervises 6 PhDs.

Chantal Oudkerk Pool, City of Rotterdam, the Netherlands
Chantal Oudkerk Pool is senior advisor for Climate Change Adaptation, Circular Economy and International Cooperation at the City of Rotterdam. After obtaining her masters degree in Urban Planning and International Development she held various positions within the City of Rotterdam. From 2005-2007 she lived in Bangladesh where she worked on projects related to water supply, sanitation and housing. She joined the Rotterdam Climate Proof programme in 2008 and is now responsible for the implementation of the Rotterdam Adaptation Strategy. As coordinator of the international network Connecting Delta Cities she facilitates the exchange of knowledge and best practices between delta cities.

Henk Ovink, Special Envoy on International Water Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
Henk Ovink is the Dutch Special Envoy for International Water Affairs. Before that he was Senior Advisor to the former US Presidential Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force and in that capacity Principal for Rebuild by Design. In the Netherlands Ovink was Acting Director of Spatial Planning and Water Affairs. He teaches around the world, was Curator for the 5th International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam 2012, initiated the research programme Design&Politics and is chief editor for the Design&Politics book series published by nai010 publishers.

Jean Palutikof, Griffith University, Australia
Jean Palutikof is Director of the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility at Griffith University, and Co-Chair of the Scientific Steering Committee for PROVIA. She moved to Griffith University in 2008, having previously managed the production of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report for Working Group II (Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability), while based at the UK Met Office. Prior to joining the Met Office, she was a Professor in the School of Environmental Sciences, and Director of the Climatic Research Unit, at the University of East Anglia, UK, and a Lecturer at the Department of Geography, University of Nairobi, Kenya. Her research interests focus on climate change impacts and adaptation, and the communication of knowledge to adaptation decision-makers.

Martin Parry, Centre for Environmental Policy, Imperial College London, United Kingdom
Martin Parry is visiting Professor at Imperial College, University of London.  He was Co-Chair of Working of Group II (Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) during its 2007 Assessment, and was and a coordinating lead author in the IPCC first, second and third assessments.  He has held positions as Professor of Geography at the Universities of Oxford, University College London, University of Birmingham and University of East Anglia.  He has published 5 books and about 150 scientific papers on climate change impacts, including 'Assessing the Costs of Adaptation to Climate Change' (2009) and 'Climate Change and Hunger' (2009).

Vivienne Parry, United Kingdom
Vivienne is a freelance British writer and broadcaster.  A scientist by training she is best known for her health and science programmes for BBC radio and television and for the wide ranging features she contributes to newspapers and magazines.  She also has a part time position as Head of Engagement for the 100,000 Genomes Project, the UK’s flagship gene sequencing programme and is on the board of the Medical Research Council.  She facilitates many major scientific and policy events across the globe, particularly on innovation. 

Florrie de Pater, De Pater, consultant Climate and Water, the Netherlands
After her study in land and water management at Wageningen University, Florrie started working in development cooperation in Mozambique. Subsequently, she held positions as project officer, programme coordinator in Zimbabwe and senior consultant at OXFAM/Novib. She followed a MSc course in environmental studies and started working for the province of Noord-Holland leading teams to produce strategic policy plans. Subsequently she managed a team in the province of Utrecht involved in strategic planning. In 2005 Florrie started working for the research programme Climate changes Spatial Planning and in 2008 also for Knowledge for Climate, where she managed the Knowledge Transfer, a team engaged in communication activities.

Anand Patwardhan, University of Maryland, USA
Anand Patwardhan is Professor in the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland and holds the Shailesh Mehta Chair at the School of Management, Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. Anand has worked extensively in the area of climate policy at the national and multilateral level, focusing on mitigation and adaptation responses to climate change, and the assessment of vulnerability and adaptation. He was a coordinating lead author for the Fourth and Fifth Assessment Reports of the IPCC. He is a member of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP) of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), and a member of the Steering Committee of PROVIA.

Pieter Pauw, German Development Institute, Germany
Pieter Pauw conducts research and provides policy advice on international climate policy, in particular on equity/CBDR, adaptation and adaptation finance in developing countries. He published numerous scientific papers, book chapters, reports and op-eds and is a contributing author to the IPCC’s 5th assessment report (WG II, Africa chapter). Before joining DIE he worked at the Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM) at VU University Amsterdam. He was a guest researcher at SEI in Stockholm in April-May 2014. Pieter holds an MSc in ‘Environment and Resource Management’ from the IVM. Concurrently he writes a PhD here on the role of the private sector in adaptation and adaptation finance in developing countries.

Åsa Persson, Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), Sweden
Dr. Åsa Persson is Senior Research Fellow at Stockholm Environment Institute and Theme Leader of the institute-wide Transforming Governance theme. She has conducted research and assignments on climate adaptation finance since 2008, in particular how it can be equitably and efficiently allocated. She has a broader interest in global environmental governance, with studies on the greening of development aid and governance implications of the notion of ‘planetary boundaries’ which she co-developed in 2009. Her current research project (2013-2017) analyses climate adaptation as a global governance regime and is funded by the Swedish Research Council Formas.

Emma Porio, Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines 
Emma Porio is Professor of Sociology, School of Social Sciences, Ateneo de Manila University (Philippines) and Science Research Fellow at the Manila Observatory. She is co-principal investigator of “Coastal Cities at Risk: The Case of Metro Manila”, part of the International Research Initiative on Adaptation to Climate Change, a global research project involving cities in Asia, Africa and Canada. She has served in the Executive Board of the International Sociological Association (2006-2014) and the Global Development Network (2010-2017), among others. Prof. Porio has done extensive national/regional studies on climate adaptation, community resilience, governance, marginality and social inequality.

Benjamin L. Preston, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, USA
Benjamin Preston is a senior research scientist in Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Environmental Sciences Division where he also acts as the Deputy Director of ORNL’s Climate Change Science Institute (CCSI) and the lead for CCSI’s Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability Science research theme. His research involves the development of empirical and process models as well as the application of geographic analysis tools to estimate climate change impacts and, in particular, characterise interactions between climatic and socio-economic change. He is also active in research evaluating opportunities and constraints associated with climate adaptation and risk management.

Roger Pulwarty, NOAA, USA
Roger S. Pulwarty is Senior Science Advisor for Climate and Director of the National Integrated Drought Information System at the NOAA Climate Program. His research is on climate, impacts and adaptation in the Americas. Roger has contributed to several international assessments, including the IPCC as a convening lead author. Roger provides testimonies before the US Congress and serves on advisory committees on climate risk management for the UN and other development agencies. He co-chairs the WMO Commission on Climatology Climate Services Information System Implementation Team. Roger received several awards, including the Gold Medal for Excellence in Applied Science and Technology from the Government of Trinidad and Tobago. He is Adjunct Professor at the universities of Colorado and the West Indies.

Gaby Ramm, Munich Climate Insurance Initiative, UN University, Germany
Gaby Ramm is a member of the Munich Climate Insurance Initiative (MCII) at the UN University, working for bi-and multilateral agencies and the insurance industry in the area of integrated risk management, incl. insurance and managed Public-Private-Partnerships against weather-related risks. She was a steering committee member of the ILO Microinsurance Innovation Facility. As a GIZ Program Director in India and Representative of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation in Pakistan and Nepal she headed poverty alleviation projects (e.g. economic & rural development). She is a founding member of the Microinsurance Network, facilitating the Capacity Building working group and the Agriculture working group. She holds two MA degrees in Political Science/Mass Communication and Landscaping Engineering.

Debra Roberts, eThekwini Municipality, South Africa
Dr. Debra Roberts established and heads the Environmental Planning and Climate Protection Department of the eThekwini Municipality. She was a lead author of Chapter Urban Areas of WG II 5th AR. She is a member of the South African climate negotiating team and sits on various international advisory bodies focused on climate change issues in cities. Debra was vice-chair of UN-Habitat’s HS-NET Advisory Board which oversaw the production of the 2011 ‘Cities and Climate Change’ Global Report. She is a member of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network Thematic Group on Sustainable Cities, working towards the establishment of an urban SDG as part of the post-2015 development regime. She was also appointed as a member of the Future Earth Engagement Committee and as thematic policy expert on Africa for UNEP’s GEO6.

Timmons Roberts, Brown University, USA
Timmons Roberts is the Ittleson professor of Environmental Studies and Sociology at Brown University and a nonresident senior fellow in the Global Economy and Development program at Brookings Institution. He is co-author and editor of 11 books and edited volumes, and over 70 articles and book chapters. Timmons's current research focuses on equity and why addressing it is a crucial part of confronting climate change. He works locally on urban adaptation, state-level on legislation, and internationally on the UN climate negotiations, focusing on climate finance pledges and tracking of follow-through by contributor and recipient countries.

Cynthia Rosenzweig, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, USA
Cynthia Rosenzweig heads the Climate Impacts Group at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. She is Co-Chair of the New York City Panel on Climate Change, advising the city on adaptation for its critical infrastructure. She was a Coordinating Lead Author of the IPCC Working Group II Fourth Assessment Report. She is Co-Director of the Urban Climate Change Research Network (UCCRN) and Co-Editor of the First UCCRN Assessment Report on Climate Change and Cities (ARC3). She is the founder of AgMIP, a major international effort to understand climate impacts and enhance adaptation capacity in the agricultural sector. She is a Professor at Barnard College and a Senior Research Scientist at the Earth Institute at Columbia University. 

Mark Rounsevell, University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Professor Mark Rounsevell holds the David Kinloch Michie Chair of Rural Economy & Environmental Sustainability within the School of GeoSciences at the University of Edinburgh. He conducts research on the human dimensions of environmental change, including the analysis of socio-ecological systems, land use and land cover change and the impacts of climate change on land-based, natural resources. He combines qualitative, social elicitation methods with social simulation models to undertake experiments on human-environment interactions and works with a number of different modelling approaches from local to global scale levels, both in the present and for future environmental change scenarios.

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S - Z

Sophie Sanders, MCI Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Sophie studied Leisure Management at InHolland Diemen. Since 2007 she has been working at MCI Amsterdam at the Professional Congress Organiser department, where she has handled many different events and conferences. She is in charge of the scientific programme, all logistics, controlling the budget, basically all responsibilities that comes with the organisation of a congress. Currently Sophie is working for MCI as a Senior Project Manager on the organisation of the Adaptation Futures 2016 Conference. She is, together with the Organising Committee, responsible for the logistics, exhibition and finance.

Melanie Schultz van Haegen, Minister of Infrastructure and the Environment, the Netherlands
In 2012 Melanie Schultz Verhagen was appointed Minister of Infrastructure and the Environment in the Rutte-Asscher government. From 2010 till 2012 she held the same position in the Rutte-Verhagen government. From 2007 to 2010 she worked for Achmea Zorg healthcare insurers where she was the director responsible for contracts with care providers. In 2002 she was appointed State Secretary for Transport, Public Works and Water Management in the first Balkenende government, and also held this office in the second and third Balkenende governments. She was responsible for aviation and water management and, from May 2003, for railways.

Laurent Sédogo, West African Science Service Center on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL), Ghana
Dr. Laurent Sédogo graduated on the use of GIS/RS in sustainable management of natural resources from ITC in Enschede and Wageningen, the Netherlands. He is (co-)author of publications on geoinformation science and participatory GIS. He worked with institutions dealing with land degradation and desertification control in Burkina Faso and the Sahel region. Laurent held a variety of (political) offices such as Minister of Farmers’ Cooperatives, Minister of the Environment and Quality of Life and Minister of Agriculture, Water Resources and Fishery, Vice President of the Governing Council of UNEP and Member of the Governing Council of the Sahara and Sahel Observatory. He was a Member of Parliament in Burkina Faso, and the Pan African Parliament until joining WASCAL as Executive Director.                

Feike Sijbesma, CEO Royal DSM, the Netherlands
Feike Sijbesma joined the Managing Board of Royal DSM in 2000. He became CEO in 2007. He is Supervisory Board member of De Nederlandsche Bank (Dutch Central Bank); member of the board of
Unilever; and member of the Global CEO Council of Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries. He is a recipient of the Humanitarian of the Year Award and the Leaders of Change Award, both presented by the United Nations; the George Washington Carver Award for Biotechnology and he received an honorary doctorate from Maastricht University, Netherlands. Feike Sijbesma studied medical (molecular) biology at Utrecht University and business administration at Erasmus University Rotterdam.

Robert-Jan Smits, Director-General for Research and Innovation, European Commission
Robert-Jan Smits is Director-General of DG Research and Innovation (RTD) at the European Commission. He is responsible for defining and implementing the EU policy and programmes in the field of research and innovation (average annual budget of 8 billion euro). He has degrees from Utrecht University in the Netherlands, Institut des Hautes Etudes Internationales in Switzerland and Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy in the United States of America.    

Ottelien van Steenis, Wageningen UR, the Netherlands
Ottelien is communication officer and has worked in the field of climate change for a large number of years working for the research programmes Climate changes Spatial Planning, Knowledge for Climate. She specialised in the organisation of numerous national and international conferences (a.o. the very successful Deltas in Times of Climate Change conferences in 2010 and 2014) and associated websites, newsletters etc. 
Join us again this time and come to Rotterdam, the Netherlands!

Roger Street, UK Climate Impacts Programme (UKCIP), University of Oxford, Member of JPI Climate, United Kingdom 
Roger Street has an MSc in Physics from the University of Toronto and came to UKCIP in January 2006 after working over 32 years with the Canadian federal government. His work has focused on climate, and climate impacts, vulnerability and adaptation, including the provision of information to inform climate decision-making processes. Roger has also contributed to the first IPCC assessment report, led the Canada Country Study, was involved in the first US National Assessment on climate change impacts, and supports the UK Climate Change Risk Assessment process. As UKCIP Director, Roger leads the Programme’s technical and scientific work aimed at guiding impacts, risk and adaptation studies, developing and delivering new supportive resources and tools, and supporting the design and development of climate services and the use of web-based platforms that support adaptation.

Swenja Surminski, London School of Economics and Political Science, United Kingdom
Swenja is a Senior Research Fellow at GRI at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). She is Programme Leader for the ‘climate risk, insurance and private sector’ work, her research focuses on climate adaptation and disaster risk reduction with special interest in the role of the private sector, particularly insurance and public-private partnerships (EU FP7 ENHANCE project) as well as adaptation policy. She is lead author for the business and industry chapter of the UK Climate Change Risk Assessment, Visiting Academic at the Bank of England, and a contributing author to the IPCC. Prior to LSE, Swenja spent more than ten years in the insurance industry working on climate and risks management, including roles at Munich Re, Marsh Mc Lennon and the Association of British Insurers.

Rina Suryani Oktari, Tsunami and Disaster Mitigation Research Center (TDMRC) / Faculty of Medicine, Syiah Kuala University, Indonesia
Rina Suryani Oktari is a lecturer and researcher at Syiah Kuala University. She is a coordinator of disaster education and management research group at TDMRC. She is also a research fellow of the Pan-Asia Risk Reduction (PARR) Fellowship Programme at Kyoto University, Japan. She has more than ten years working experience in disaster/ humanitarian and development issues, including with Islamic Relief, United Nations, and Australian Government's funded programme called Local Governance Innovations for Community in Aceh Phase II (LOGICA2). Her broad research interests include disaster education, disaster health, early warning system, community preparedness and resilience, knowledge management and disaster communication.

Rob Swart, Wageningen UR, the Netherlands
Rob Swart currently is coordinator of international climate change adaptation research at Wageningen University and Research Centre (Alterra) in the Netherlands. From 2002-2006 he headed the European Topic Centre on Air and Climate Change of the European Environment Agency and from 1997-2002 he was head of the Technical Support Unit of the IPCC Mitigation Working Group. Most of his career he worked on integrated assessment of international environmental problems in the context of sustainable development at the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency for a variety of clients, including UNEP, OECD, European Commission and the Netherlands Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment.

Åsa Gerger Swartling, Stockholm Environment Institute, Sweden
Åsa Gerger Swartling, Phd in Sociology, is a Senior Research Fellow at the Stockholm Environment Institute and Affiliated Researcher of the Stockholm Resilience Centre. Over the years Swartling has been involved in, and led a wide number of research and consultancy projects and programmes dealing with stakeholder engagement, science communication, learning, sustainability assessment, project evaluation and policy integration particularly in the areas of climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction, and natural resource management. She currently leads the interdisciplinary research component on adaptation processes as part of Sweden’s largest integrated research effort on climate change, impacts and adaptation, the Mistra-SWECIA programme (2008-2015). She was Contributing Author of Global Environment Outlook 5 report, Working Group 4 chapter on Europe (2011-2012) and serves on the Advisory Board of the Brock University Environmental Sustainability Research Unit (ESRC), Ontario, Canada (2011 - present).

Petteri Taalas, World Meteorological Organization
Petteri Taalas was appointed Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Congress in June 2015. He has served as the Director-General of the Finnish Meteorological Institute in 2007 2015 and 2002-2005. Between 2005 2007 he was Director of WMO Development and Regional Activities Department. He has been Member of WMO Executive Council since 2008 and of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) Council from 2002 to 2005 and from 2007 to present. He was Chairman of the EUMETSAT Council (2010-2014) and the EUMETNET Council (2003-2005). He has authored about 50 peer-reviewed papers on satellite technology, global change, climate & atmospheric chemistry, dozens of other publications & presentations.

Pieter Terpstra, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Netherlands
Pieter Terpstra is Policy Coordinator at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, working on climate change with a focus on adaptation, as well as on inclusive green growth and sustainable development. His expertise is mostly in climate finance, international cooperation, and trade. From 2012-2015, Pieter was a Senior Associate at the World Resources Institute, working on adaptation finance. Before that he held several positions at the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tokyo, Dhaka and The Hague and for Wetlands International in Dakar. His publications include blogs and reports on adaptation finance and the role of the private sector in adaptation.

Andrea Tilche, DG Research and Innovation, European Commission, Belgium
Andrea Tilche obtained his Doctor Degree in Agricultural Sciences at the University of Milano in 1978. His scientific career was mainly carried out in Italy where he set up and directed the wastewater treatment laboratories of ENEA in Bologna, working on advanced anaerobic treatment and biological nutrient removal technologies. In 1998 he moved to the Joint Research Centre of the EC in Ispra as Head of the Water Research and Monitoring Unit, and later moved to Brussels to lead the Water Key Action of the 5th Framework Programme. He is presently Head of the Unit Climate Action and Earth Observation in DG Research & Innovation. He is in charge of drafting European research programmes in the field of climate change and earth observation, and of managing their execution.

Ibrahim Thiaw, Deputy Executive Director, United Nations Environment Programme
Ibrahim Thiaw is the Deputy Executive Director for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations, since August 2013. Mr. Thiaw plays a critical role in the implementation of UNEP’s mandate and management of the organization as well as in catalysing UNEP’s political engagement with governments and relationship with UNEP's Governing Bodies. Before joining UNEP in 2007, Mr. Thiaw was IUCN Regional Director for West Africa and later Acting Director-General of IUCN. He has more than 30 years of experience in the fields of sustainable development, environmental governance and natural resource management at the national, regional and international levels. He holds an advanced degree in Forestry and Forest product techniques.                      

Liette Vasseur, UNESCO / Brock University / IUCN, Canada
Liette Vasseur is the UNESCO Chair on Community Sustainability and a full Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Brock University. She is a member of the Women and Gender Studies programme and the Environmental Sustainability Research Centre. She leads the thematic group on Climate Change Adaptation of the Commission for Ecosystem Management of the IUCN. Her research program links issues such as community-based ecosystem management, climate change adaptation and resilience. Her community-research work led her to receive in 2011 the Latornell Pioneers Award of Ontario. She has over hundred publications. She also works internationally such as in China, where she is a Scholar at Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University.

Jos Verhoeven, Utrecht University, the Netherlands 
Jos Verhoeven is Professor (emeritus) in Landscape Ecology at Utrecht University, the Netherlands. His expertise is the ecology of wetlands in a landscape context, with special attention for biogeochemical interactions among carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus. His research focused on the effects of nutrient enrichment on plant diversity and carbon storage, the nutrient attenuation of wetlands and consequences for water quality in stream catchments and the opportunities for climate adaptation in drained peat meadows. He published over 200 scientific articles and book chapters. He coordinated the hotspot Shallow waters and Peat meadow areas of the Knowledge for Climate programme (2007-2014).

Sebastian Vicuña, UC Global Change Center, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile 
Sebastian Vicuña is Executive Director of the UC Global Change Center, a research center at the Universidad Católica de Chile. His research interests are related to climate change, water resources, hydrologic modelling and integrated watershed management. Sebastian is Lead Author of the chapter Climate Change Impacts in Central and South America of IPCC’s 5th Report and Coordinating Lead Author of the chapter on Water and Sanitation Systems of the Second Assessment Report on Climate Change and Cities (ARC3-2). Sebastian is an Environmental Engineer from the Universidad Católica de Chile. In 2004 he earned a Masters in Public Policy and in Environmental Engineering and in 2007 he obtained a PhD in Environmental Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley.                             

Maarten van der Vlist, Wageningen UR, the Netherlands
Dr. Maarten J. van der Vlist holds a MA in land use planning and a PhD in planning sciences. Currently he is associate professor on adaptive water management and  land use planning at Wageningen University & Research Centre. This professorship is part of his job as principle
expert on adaptive water management and land use planning of the Dutch Rijkswaterstaat, the organisation responsible for operations, maintenance and (re-)development of the national waterways, the national water system and the national highways. His main field of research is adaptation planning for risk reduction of flooding with specific topics such as multi level safety and the task of replacement of hydraulic structures in light of climate change.



Christiaan Wallet, Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, the Netherlands
Christiaan is educated in Urban Geography and Planning and has been working for the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment since 2002. He is programme manager and policy coordinator in the broad area of urban development and the associated aspects such as design, planning, governance, financing,  climate change adaptation, local environmental quality, market preferences, regulations / procedures, knowledge development and dissemination. He is programme manager of the Adaptation Futures 2016 conference and co-chair of the international Steering Committee. He is responsible for all activities relating to the organisation of this conference. Christiaan is also member of the Steering Committee of the Making Cities Resilient Campaign of UNISDR.

Koko Warner, United Nations University, Germany
Koko is the Executive Director of the Munich Climate Insurance Initiative. She heads a research department on climate resilient society at the United Nations University’s Institute for Environment and Human Security in Bonn, Germany. She is a lead author for the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report, Working Group 2 on Adaptation. Warner researches risk management strategies used by low-income people and communities to adapt to changing environmental and climatic conditions. She is involved in various national and international climate policy discussions. She co-chairs and has founded networks on climate risk management, adaptation, and livelihood resilience. Warner has published in and serves on editorial board of many scientific journals.                 

Paul Watkiss, Paul Watkiss Associates / University of Oxford, United Kingdom
Paul Watkiss is an independent researcher (for Paul Watkiss Associates) and a Visiting Senior Researcher at the Environmental Change Institute at the Oxford University in the UK, specialising in adaptation policy.  He was the technical director of the EC FP7 ClimateCost research project on the economic costs of climate change in Europe, and has a major role on the FP7 ECONADAPT project on the economics of adaptation.  He has also led a number of studies in Africa that have developed country-level national adaptation plans.  Paul was a contributory author on four chapters of the IPCC 5th Assessment report, as well as the UNEP 2014 and 2015 Adaptation Gap Reports.

Mark Watts, Executive Director, C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group
Mark Watts has served as the Executive Director for C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group since December 2013. Prior to joining C40, Mark was the Director of consultancy firm, Arup’s, energy and climate change team. Earlier in his career, he was the climate change and sustainable transport adviser to the Mayor of London, in which role the London Evening Standard described him as 'the intellectual force behind Ken Livingstone’s drive to make London a leading light of the battle against global warming'. Mark is a Senior Associate of the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, a member of the Council of the Global Green Growth Institute, and a member of the Yale Climate Dialogue.

Yinlong Xu, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, PRC China
Professor Yinlong Xu is working since 1996 in Climate Change Lab, Institute of Environment and Sustainable Development in Agriculture (IEDA), Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS). He is the Chief Scientist of CAAS Innovative Research Team on climate change adaptation. Yinlong Xu got his PhD at the Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences in 1995. His research focused on constructing climate change scenarios for China and assessing China’s agricultural vulnerability to climate change. Currently his research focuses on investigating the theoretical mechanism of adaptation and developing adaptation technology systems. He has published over 100 scientific papers and more than 10 books about climate change.

Carolina Zambrano-Barragán, Avina Foundation, Ecuador
Carolina Zambrano-Barragán works at Avina Foundation as Latin American Director of the Sustainable Cities Program and Country Representative for Ecuador. She is also a Professor on Climate Change at the Universidad Andina Simon Bolivar. Prior to joining Avina, Carolina was Director of Environmental Policy and Planning for Quito and previously served as Undersecretary of Climate Change of Ecuador. She carried out several consulting and research initiatives on environmental policy and climate change around the world keeping a strong focus on the integration of climate change with human development, urban policy and biodiversity conservation. Carolina holds a Master’s degree on Environmental Management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

Chris Zevenbergen, UNESCO-IHE/TU Delft, the Netherlands
Chris Zevenbergen is Professor at the Water Engineering Department of UNESCO-IHE / TU Delft, strategic advisor at the Dura Vermeer Group NV and Member of the Board of the Public Private Innovation Platform Clean Tech Delta. He worked as a researcher on various environmental issues related to the building industry, such as environmental impact assessments and emission modeling. Chris has experiences in international research and consultancy in environmental engineering and water management of urban systems. His research interest are: innovative concepts to mitigate urban flood impacts, proofing building designs, decision support tool development in urban planning. He has published books in the field of environmental engineering and urban flood management. He participates in advisory boards of governmental and scientific institutions (e.g. IPCC, Rotterdam Climate Proof, Environmental Science Group Wageningen).


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