Technical Expert Committee

Here you can find the bios of our Technical Expert Committee members.

H.E. Mr. Saúl Weisleder

Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of Costa Rica to the United Nations

Prior to his current appointment as Deputy Permanent Representative of Costa Rice to the United Nations, Saúl Weisleder was the Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the National University of Costa Rica and Professor of Development. He has worked as a consultant for several national and international organizations.

Saúl Weisleder was elected Member of the Parliament of Costa Rica in 1994 and became its President from 1997 to 1998. He worked with the Minister of Export and Investment Promotion, from 1983 to 1985, and was the Director of the first Structural Adjustment Program in Costa Rica.

Saúl Weisleder graduated in Economics and in Sociology from the University of Costa Rica and holds a Master of Philosophy in Development Studies from the Institute of Development Studies, Sussex University, in the United Kingdom.


Mr. Mohammed Tawfic Ahmed

Professor, Suez Canal University

Mohamed Tawfic Ahmed is an environmental toxicologist, with wide experience in environmental issues, with special reference to environmental pollution, environmental management systems, monitoring persistent organic pollutants, and ecosystem assessment. He is an active member of a number of international bodies including: Life Cycle Initiative, Strategic Approach to International Chemical Management, Mainstreaming Environmental Sustainability in Africa, African Life Cycle Network, African Roundtable for Sustainable Consumption and Production and Mediterranean Green Chemistry Network.

He has contributed to several international initiatives and research projects including the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, Climate change, hydro conflicts and human security, Environmental Outlook of the Arab Region, and many others. He has held research fellowships in United Kingdom and the Netherlands and has been a guest professor at United Nations University in Tokyo, Japan. He has about 95 publications to his credit and served as an editorial board member for Environmental Science and Pollution Research, Journal of Aquatic Ecosystem Health and Management, and reviewer for several other international journals.

Mohamed Tawfic Ahmed holds a PhD degree from Imperial College of Science and Technology, London University.


Ms. Vered Blass

Lecturer, Faculty of Management, The Leon Recanati Graduate School of Business Administration, Tel Aviv University

Vered Blass is a lecturer at the Faculty of Management in Tel Aviv University and involved in collaborative research with scholars from multiple universities in the United States of America and Europe. Her academic research has focused on the interface of the industrial ecology and management science disciplines.

Vered Blass is also a partner at Brown & Wilmanns Environmental, LLC, and serves as an environmental research mentor at the Koret-Milken Institute Fellows Program in Israel. She serves on a voluntary basis as the Secretary of the International Board of Engineers Without Borders International and also serves as the Head of the Board of Directors of Engineers Without Borders, Israel.

Vered Blass holds Ph.D. and M.A. degrees in Environmental Science and Management from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering and Management from The Technion – Israel Institute of Technology.


Ms. Chunhong Chen

Chairwoman and Chief Executive Officer, Yiyuan (Shanghai) Environmental Group Co., Ltd.

Chunhong Chen is the Chairwoman and Chief Executive Officer of the Shanghai-based, Yiyuan Environmental Group, which manufactures and markets toilets designed to avoid cross-contamination and whose patented technology can produce significant water usage savings compared with conventional models. Yiyuan Environmental Group has more than ten patented technologies on water resource savings and water efficiency.

Chunhong Chen is committed to the research, development and implementation of technologies in the fields of energy savings, emissions reduction and water efficiency. She is a member of the China National Technical Committee on Standardization of Water-Saving Products for Buildings. To help mitigate desertification in Northern China, Chunhong Chen is actively involved in running the public charity: “One Glass of Water for One Tree” together with other entrepreneurs China.

Chunhong Chen was included in the Chinese version of Fortune Magazine’s May 2012 list of top business leaders in China under the age of 40. She was awarded the Cartier Women’s Initiative Award in 2011 for her work.


Mr. Anthony Shun Fung Chiu

Professor of Industrial Systems Engineering, De La Salle University

Anthony S. F. Chiu is the EEI Chair Professor of Industrial System Engineering at De La Salle University. From 1998 to present, he has served as an international expert and consultant to international agencies in the field of industrial ecology (IndEco), sustainable consumption and production (SCP) and resource efficient and cleaner production (RECP), covering studies of most country-economies in Asia-Pacific, Europe, America, and Africa.

Anthony S. F. Chiu led the writing of several resource management reports, including: the AP Industry Paper as an input to the World Summit Rio+10 and Rio+20 conferences; the AP SCP Paper for CSD18/19, and the RECP regional review. In his home country, Anthony S. F. Chiu serves the Philippine government at the National Pollution Adjudication Board, an entity equivalent to the Regional Trial Court for air, water, and pollution cases nationwide. He also serves several international organizations as President (APRSCP, APBITMS, ISBITM, APIEMS), Board Member (ISIE, IFPR), or editor (PIIE, CIIE, JCLP, PIE); which publish international SCI/ISI journals in cooperation with MIT Press, Elsevier and Taylor.


Mr. Ralf Frank

Secretary General, Society of Investment Professionals in Germany

Ralf Frank is the Secretary General of the Society of Investment Professionals in Germany and Managing Director of the DVFA Institute. Prior to his current positions, Ralf held several senior management positons at an industrial machinery manufacturer in the United States and was a senior staff members at a pan-European management consulting firm.

As a representative of professional associations of investment professionals and as a member of a global network of investment experts, Ralf Frank has been a proponent for an expansion of the current investment decision paradigm to include sustainability aspects. He is currently writing his Ph.D on the application of Experimental Economics on sustainability investment decision-making.

Ralf Frank has access to a large global network of investment professionals from both sell- and buy-side firms. He is the author of several articles and publications on the usability of financial communication, sustainability, and corporate reporting, as well as an appreciated speaker and panelist in Europe and abroad.

Ralf Frank studied in Brussels, Essen, Manchester and Sheffield and holds an M.A. in Sociology and Communications from Essen University in Germany and an MBA from Sheffield Hallam University in the United Kingdom.


Mr. Stefan Giljum

Head of Research Group, “Sustainable Resource Use”, Institute for the Environment and Regional Development, Vienna University of Economics and Business

Since 1999, Stefan Giljum has worked as a researcher at the Sustainable Europe Research Institute, and since 2007 he is the head of the research group “Sustainable Resource Use”. He works and publishes in the areas of physical accounting (in particular, material flow analysis), economic-environment modelling, international trade, environment and development.

He has been a visiting scholar at the Universidad de Chile in Santiago and at the University of Keele, in the United Kingdom.
Stefan Giljum received an interdisciplinary Masters degree in Human Ecology and Environmental Economics and a Doctoral degree in Social Ecology in Vienna.


Mr. Michikazu Kojima

Director, Environment and Natural Resources Studies, Institute for Developing Economies

Michikazu Kojima is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Developing Economies (IDE), Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO).

He has studied environmental issues in Indonesia, recycling in the Asian region and energy effciency labeling prgrammes in Asia.

He is the editor of International Trade of Recyclable Resources in Asia (Chiba, Institute of Developing Economies, 2005) and Promoting 3Rs in Developing Countries: Lessons from the Japanese Experience (Chiba, Institute of Developing Economies, 2008).

Michikazu Kojima received an M.Sc. from the University of California, Berkeley, in Agricultural and Resource Economics.


Mr. Jigar V. Shah

Executive Director, Institute for Industrial Productivity

As the Executive Director of the Institute for Industrial Productivity (IIP), a Best Practice Network of the ClimateWorks Foundation, Jigar Shah is responsible for facilitating the goal of energy efficiency and GHG reductions in industry.

Jigar Shah has over 25 years of experience in Energy Efficiency and Cleaner Production in the manufacturing sector. Prior to joining IIP he was at the International Finance Corporation (the World Bank Group) and was responsible for developing a worldwide program for Cleaner Production in IFC’s Climate Change Practice to assist clients in undertaking climate friendly investments in energy efficiency, water management, and resource conservation.

Jigar Shah has a PhD in Chemical Engineering and has taught graduate courses in Sustainable Energy as an Adjunct Professor at McMaster University, Canada, and George Washington University, Washington DC.


Mr. Ralph Thurm

Founder and Managing Director, A|HEAD|ahead

Ralph Thurm is a leading professional in sustainability strategies, operational sustainability, sustainability reporting and assurance as well as behavioral change for sustainability. With more than 20 years experience working for major corporations, industry federations, governments and NGOs all over the world, Ralph Thurm has developed expertise on a wide variety of sustainability topics.

Prior to joining Deloitte Netherlands, Ralph Thurm has been the Head of Siemens “Sustainability Strategy Council”; a consultant for the German Federation of Industries (BDI) for the World Summit for Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa; Chief Operating Officer at the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI).


Mr. George C. Varughese

President, Development Alternatives

George C. Varughese has been responsible for building up a trans-disciplinary group of professionals at Development Alternatives capable of addressing various facets of environment and sustainable development. He conceptualised and spearheaded several major initiatives including the Community Led Environment Action Network (CLEAN-India), Corporate Environment and Social Responsibility, Development Alternatives Information Network (DAINET), and the Poorest Areas Civil Society (PACS) Programmes.

He is a member of several international and national governing bodies, advisory panels and working groups on environment and development issues, including the Green Economy Coalition, Climate Action Network – South Asia, World Bank Community Development Carbon Fund, the Global Water Partnership, UNEP Global Environment Outlook, IUCN, the Planning Commission and various Ministries of the Government of India. He also led several NGO initiatives such as the national Credibility Alliance, and the Regional and International Networking Group.

George C. Varughese holds a Masters degree, with distinction, in Urban and Regional Planning from the School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi and a Bachelors degree in Civil Engineering from the Regional Engineering College, Rourkela.


Mr. Chettiyappan Visvanathan

Professor, Asian Institute of Technology

Chettiyappan Visvanathan is a Professor of the Environmental Engineering and Management Program, School of Environment, Resources and Development, Asian Institute of Technology. He has a Ph.D (Chemical/Environmental Engineering) from Institut National Polytechnique in Toulouse, France. His main areas of research interests include: cleaner roduction and industrial environmental management, membrane technologies for water and wastewater treatment and solid waste disposal and management.

In the field of solid waste, his main research interests focus around waste recycling and reuse, landfill pre-treatment technologies, plus methane oxidation and green house gas emission related to landfill design. He has published more than 100 international journal papers. He has more than 20 years of experience teaching environmental engineering and management-related courses at graduate level at AIT. His professional experiences include: Project Engineer, Asia Division, International Training Center for Water Resources Management, Sophia Antipolis, France, and short-term consultant to UNEP’s Industry and Environment Office, Paris, France. Currently he is coordinating the ADB-AIT-UNEP joint project on the 3R-Knowledge Hub from the AIT side.