Advisory Board

Here you can find the bios of our Advisory Board.

H.E. Mr. Sergio Diaz Granados Guida

Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, Colombia

Sergio Diaz Granados Guida began his political career in 1995, as Alderman of Santa Marta, Colombia. In 1997 he was elected Member of the Assembly of Magdalena, after which he served as Advisor to the Office of Regional Fiscal Affairs in the Ministry of Finance, under the current President of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos.

After being elected House Representative for Magdalena in 2002, Sergio Granados Guida served as Chairman of the Committee on Economic Affairs, coordinating the Development Plan, tax reforms and the promotion of laws such as those relating to environmental surcharges, incentives for biofuels, free-trade agreements and legal stability contracts.

In 2006 he was appointed Deputy Minister of Business Development in the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism. As Deputy Minister, he promoted the creation of the Banca de las Oportunidades programme and the programme for Productive Transformation, helping establish the axis of current industrial policy in Colombia.

In late 2008, Sergio Diaz Guida became President of the Colombian Association of Travel and Tourism, in which capacity he represented over 600 entrepreneurs. He was appointed by President Juan Manuel Santos as Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism on 7 August 2010.


H.E. Mr. Ramon J.P. Paje

Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources, Philippines

In over thirty years of continuous public service, Ramon J.P. Paje has served in the environment and natural resources sector in various capacities. His previous functions have included the Undersecretary for Forestry, Undersecretary for Field Operations, Undersecretary for Environment and Natural Resources Operations, Undersecretary for Policy and Technical Services, Assistant Secretary for Management Services, Assistant Secretary for International Environmental Affairs and Director for Human Resource Development Service, among others.

Ramon J.P. Paje assumed office as Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources on 30 June 2010.


H.E. Mr. Marcin Korolec

State Secretary for the Environment, Responsible for Climate Policy, Poland

Marcin Korolec has worked to balance the needs of ecology and economics in order to seamlessly unite environmental protection and economic growth. He sees environmental protection as an interdisciplinary field, having a direct influence on many other policy areas and strongly influenced by international arrangements and standards.

From 2001 to 2004, his professional career was devoted to the process of accession and membership of Poland to the European Union. During Poland’s membership negotiations, he was responsible for such topics as free movement of goods and persons, agriculture, competition policy, as well as consumer protection policy.

Marcin Korolec is involved in managing institutions connected with climate and environmental protection, both nationally and internationally. Since 2010, he has been a member of the Supervisory Board of the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management. He represents Poland on the Council of the International Renewable Resources Agency (IRENA). He is also a member of the EU-Russia Gas Advisory Council.

For the past two governmental terms of office, Marcin Korolec served as the Under-Secretary of State at the Ministry of Economy. Amongst other things, he was responsible for horizontal European issues such as energy, competitiveness and trade and climate policy. He was appointed Minister of Environment on 18 November 2011.


H.E. Mr. Ahmad Al-Qatarneh

Secretary General, Ministry of Environment, Jordan

Ahmad Al-Qatarneh began working at the Ministry of Environment in 1987, as Researcher in the Studies division. Through 2011, he held various capacities within the Ministry, including Researcher in the Waste Division, Head of Monitoring and Follow Up Division, Head of Trade and Environment Office, Head of Sustainable Development Office, Director of Environmental Impact Assessment Department and lastly as Assistant Secretary General.

Ahmad Al-Qatarneh is responsible for the Ministry’s management as well as for all technical and administrative affairs. He works as the Minister of Environment’s assistant and deputy in case of absence, and represents the Minister at high-level boards and steering committees. Amongst various other duties, he is responsible for setting the Ministry’s general policy and for auditing environmental policies for the Ministry, as well as utilizing strategic tools to integrate environmental concerns into various development plans to ensure sustainable development.

He is interested in developing Green Business Councils for major cities in Jordan, setting up an eco-labeling system and supporting and strengthening the private sector’s role in CDM projects, as well as supporting a shift towards a green economy.

Ahmad Al-Qatarneh is the Secretary General at the Ministry of Environment since 2011.


H.E. Mr. Macharia Kamau

Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Kenya

Macharia Kamau has vast experience at the United Nations where he has served for over twenty-five years. He has primarily held senior management positions at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Transition Assistance Group (UNTAG). During this period, he was deployed to various countries in Eastern and Southern Africa as well as to the Caribbean region.

In addition to his diplomatic assignments, Macharia Kamau has been an International Consultant to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).

Previous assignment have been as Ambassador Plenipotentiary and Extraordinary and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Office in Nairobi, Kenya.


Mr. Zhang Yue

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Broad Group

Zhang Yue was born in Changsha, China, in 1960 and graduated in 1980 with a college degree in Fine Arts, working as a teacher and librarian. He founded Broad with USD 3,000 in 1988.

Ever since Broad’s inception, Zhang Yue has had an innate passion for creative thinking related to technology. He has obtained over 200 patents for his inventions, such as for a pressure-free hot water boiler in 1989, non-electric air conditioning in 1992, a cooling, heating and power system in 1999, air purification technology with electrostatic cleaner in 2005, heat recovery fresh air unit technology in 2007 and for a factory made sustainable building in 2009. Each of his inventions have helped revolutionize their respective industry, making Broad a globally recognized technological leader.

Facing the imminent reality of climate change, Zhang Yue has envisioned his non-electric air conditioning systems to completely replace electric models, saving more than twice the energy normally used. Zhang Yue’s greater goal is to popularize Broad sustainable buildings worldwide, as they are proven to achieve more than five times the energy efficiency of conventional buildings. In 2011, Zhang Yue was presented with the Champions of the Earth Award by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) for his work.


Ms. Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu

Founder and Chief Executive Officer, soleRebels

Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of soleRebels footwear, the fastest-growing African footwear brand.

soleRebels was built by Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu to be the first and only World Fair Trade Organization fair trade footwear brand and the only globally branded retail chain to ever emerge from a developing country. She has opened branded stand-alone soleRebels retail stores around the globe including in Asia and Europe, and has put the soleRebels brand on track to open over 150 stores globally, generating over US$ 200 million by the year 2019.

In 2010, Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu was the first female African entrepreneur to address the Clinton Global Initiative as a speaker and panelist, and in 2011, was named a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader. That same year, she was selected as 2011′s Outstanding African Business Woman by the African Business Awards.

CNN recently placed Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu as #4 on their list of the 12 Women Entrepreneurs Who Changed The Way The World Does Business Over The Last Century. Forbes Magazine also named her “Woman to Watch” on their 2012 World’s 100 Most Powerful Women index and she has also been included on Africa’s Most Successful Women and the 20 Youngest Power Women in Africa indexes.


Mr. David Hasanat

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, ViyellaTex Group

Under the leadership of David Hasanat, ViyellaTex Group has become one of the largest growing business conglomerates in Bangladesh, expanding its market presence from the textile/apparel sector to other areas such as logistics, plantations and power.

Within a short time, he has received many prestigious awards such as the Business Person of the Year in 2007, and was also adjudged as a Commercially Important Person by the Government of Bangladesh. In addition, he has led ViyellaTex to numerous prominent awards and accolades such as the CSR Award in 2008, Climate Award in 2010, Export Excellence Award in 2009 and 2010, the Best Workers’ Friendly Knitwear Industry in 2010 and the Plan ‘A’ award by Marks & Spencer.

In recognition for his initiatives, he was invited to speak at numerous international engagements, including the United Nations Forum on Green Economy and also the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Private Sector Forum. David Hasanat was elected President of the United Nations Global Compact Bangladesh Network in 2012 and is also a member of the board of trustees of the CSR Center, specializing in activities that facilitate, encourage and create awareness on CSR issues in Bangladesh.


Mr. Rob Bernard

Chief Environmental Strategist, Microsoft Corporation

Rob Bernard is responsible for defining and implementing the global strategy for Microsoft Corporation’s environmental efforts. Under Rob Bernard’s leadership, Microsoft has set its first carbon reduction goal and rolled out a global campaign to engage with customers, partners and governments, on ways to use information technology to reduce environmental impacts.

He has spoken on sustainability topics at numerous events ranging from the Clinton Global Initiative to the United Nations COP15 Climate Change Conference to the Wall Street Journal’s ECO:Nomics event.

Rob Bernard has held various positions during his fourteen-year career at Microsoft. He has served in leadership roles in areas ranging from marketing to business and technical management. Prior to his career at Microsoft, Rob Bernard spent nearly ten years in the construction and building management industry where he built and managed industrial and office properties.


Mr. Thomas Videbæk

Executive Vice President, Business Development, Novozymes A/S

As Executive Vice President of Business Development, Thomas Videbæk is responsible for nurturing and realizing the potential of Novozymes A/S’ new platforms. A chemical engineer with an eye for the next big idea and great business solution, he comes to this role from the company’s former BioBusiness division, which he headed from 2007 to 2013 and which encompassed business ventures outside of Novozymes’ established areas.

Previously, he developed diverse key functions within the organization, spanning both the commercial and operational side of the business. He was Vice President of Sales & Customer Solutions from 2005 to 2007 and served as Vice President for Supply Chain Operations from 2003 to 2005, where he helped build a global organization for Novozymes’ supply chain. From 1998 to 2003, during the demerger of NovoNordisk A/S, Thomas Videbæk served as both Vice President for Cereal Food and Beverage Marketing and General Manager for Novozymes Switzerland.

In NovoNordisk A/S, Thomas Videbæk’s roles included Director for Strategic Marketing, Food and Feed enzymes, where he set strategy for the food and feed industries. He also worked in a leadership position within the starch and textile businesses, the latter in the company’s U.S. operations.


Mr. Janez Potočnik

European Commissioner for the Environment

Janez Potočnik graduated from the Faculty of Economics at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia with a PhD degree 1993. After a successful career starting in 1989 in Slovenia as a researcher at the Institute of Economic Research, he eventually became Director of the Institute of Macroeconomic Analysis and Development in 1994.

He was appointed Head of the Negotiating Team for Accession of Slovenia to the European Union in 1998. He was also Director of the Government Office for European Affairs in 2000, Minister Councillor at the Office of the Prime Minister in 2001 and Minister responsible for European Affairs in 2002.

In 2004, he joined the European Commission, first as Shadow Commissioner for Enlargement, and then as Commissioner responsible for Science and Research. In 2010, Janez Potočnik became Commissioner for the Environment.


Ms. Naoko Ishii

Chief Executive Officer and Chairperson, Global Environment Facility

Prior to becoming the CEO and Chairperson of the GEF, Naoko Ishii – as Deputy Vice Minister of Finance – was responsible for Japan’s international financial and development policies, and for its global policies on environmental issues. She was Japan’s Director of Bilateral Development Finance from 2004 to 2006 and for coordination with Multilateral Development Banks from 2002 to 2004.

At the World Bank, Naoko Ishii was the Country Director for Sri Lanka and the Maldives from 2006 to 2010. She also served as the country program coordinator for Viet Nam at the World Bank from 1997 to 2001, project manager at the Harvard Institute for International Development from 1996 to 1997, economist at the International Monetary Fund from 1992 to 1995 working for Africa and Asia, as well as visiting fellow at Center for International Affairs at Harvard University from 1984 to 1985.

Naoko Ishii also taught Sustainable Development and Environment at Keio University. She has published numerous papers and several books, two of which were awarded by Suntory Prize in 1990 and Okita Memorial Prize for International Development Research in 2004.


Mr. Lars Rasmussen

Chair of the Board of Directors, Global Green Growth Institute

Lars Rasmussen is currently the Chairman of the Liberal Party in the Parliament of the Kingdom of Denmark and serves the North Zealand greater constituency.

He was the Prime Minister from 2009 to 2011. Prior to his position as Prime Minister, Lars Rasmussen served as Minister of Finance from 2007 to 2009 and Minister for the Interior and Health from 2001 to 2007 in Anders Fogh Rasmussen’s government. In total, Lars Rasmussen has been a Member of Parliament since 1994.

A long time supporter of environmental causes, Lars Rasmussen was President of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Copenhagen in 2009 (COP 15).


Mr. İbrahim Çağlar

President, Turkish Association of Energy Efficiency

İbrahim Çağlar established his first company in 1977, aged 18, and currently continues his business life with domestic and foreign investments in several sectors ranging from textile, energy, construction to telecommunications.

He has been a Board Member of several foundations in the social realm, such as the Education and Culture Foundation of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey, the Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey, the Academic Council at Marmara Group Strategic and Social Research Foundation and the Institution for the Nursing of the Elderly and Homeless.

İbrahim Çağlar is known as the founder of the Justice and Development Party and the Independent Industralists’ and Businessmen’s Association. From 2004 to 2010, he was an Executive Board Member of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey, as well as of the Turkish Standards Institution.

From 2003 to 2006, he was an Executive Board member of the Istanbul Textile and Raw Materials Exporters’ Union as well as of the Foreign Economic Relations Board, from 2006 to 2012. İbrahim Çağlar has been the president of the Association for Energy Efficiency Association since 2012 and is the President of the Executive Board of the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce since May 2013.


Ms. Louise Kantrow

Permanent Representative to the United Nations, International Chamber of Commerce

Louise Kantrow was appointed the International Chamber of Commerce’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in March 2007. Her career has included posts within the United Nations and senior positions at nonprofit, governmental and intergovernmental organizations closely associated with UN activities.

Most recently, Louise Kantrow served as Executive Director of the International League for Human Rights, one of the oldest human rights organizations in the United States. Prior to that, she was Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer with the UN Association of the USA (UNA-USA), where she supervised a major expansion of programs at the Business Council to the United Nations.

Louise Kantrow has also served as senior advisor to the United Nations Population Fund and as Director of Operations at the Population Council. She worked for fourteen years as Economic Affairs Officer in the UN Department of Economic and Social Development, following service as a Senior Economist with the U.S. Agency for International Development and as a Population Affairs Officer with the UN.