Board of Trustees
Find out about the representatives on our Board of Trustees below.
- Maureen O'Neil, Chair, Canada
- Ian Rushby, Vice Chair, UK
- Lisa Beauvilain, UK
- Filippa Bergin, Sweden
- Somsook Boonyabancha, Thailand
- Alastair Da Costa, UK
- Fatima Denton, The Gambia
- Teresa Fogelberg, The Netherlands
- Frank Kirwan, Treasurer, UK
- Tang Min, China
- Pancho Ndebele, South Africa
- Lorenzo J. de Rosenzweig Pasquel, Mexico
- Francisco Sagasti, Peru
Maureen O'Neil is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Health Services Research Foundation. Previous positions include President of the International Development Research Centre, Interim President of the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development, President of the North-South Institute, and Deputy Minister of Citizenship for the Government of Ontario.
Ms. O'Neil is a member of the International Board of Governors of the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) and chair of the Advisory Council on Corporate Social Responsibility of Canada's Export Development Corporation. She is also a Fellow of the School of Policy Studies of Queen's University. She has been a member and/or Chair of numerous Boards, including: the Board of Governors of Carleton University (Chair); the Board of Directors of the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA); the Policy Advisory Group of the UK Department for International Development; the Board of Trustees of the American University of Beirut; the Markle Foundation's Global Digital Opportunity Initiative; the World Economic Forum's Digital Divide Supervisory Committee (co-chair); the Advisory Board to the Minister of Foreign Affairs; the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development (Chair); the Canadian Foundation for the Americas (Chair); and the Institute for Women, Law and Development. She has also represented Canada on the UN Commission on the Status of Women and on OECD committees, and has been a member of the UN Committee for Development Planning and the Board of the UN Research Institute for Social Development.
Ms. O'Neil has a BA in Sociology from Carleton University and Honorary LLDs from Carleton University and Wilfrid Laurier University.
It was announced in February 2014 that Rebeca Grynspan, a UN Under-Secretary-General and Associate Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme, would become the new chair of the board of trustees when the term of Ms. O'Neil ends in June.
Lisa Beauvilain joined Impax Asset Management, an environmental investment firm, as an Investment Manager in 2010. Impax invests globally in companies and projects within renewable energy, energy efficiency, pollution control, waste management and water. Lisa is responsible for investment research of environmental policy and legislation, as well as the non-financial or Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) analysis at Impax. Prior to joining Impax, she worked in the environmental sector as an independent consultant focusing on environmental policy. Prior to that she worked for eight years at Goldman Sachs International as an Executive Director within the Investment Management Division managing assets of mainly Nordic foundations and small institutions. Lisa holds a M.Sc. in Environment and Development from the London School of Economics and Political Science, United Kingdom and a M.Sc. in Finance from the Hanken School of Economics, Helsinki, Finland. She is a Finnish national, fluent in Swedish, Finnish, English and French, domiciled in London.
Filippa Bergin founded the analysis and investment company Invest in Change in 2011 after more than 15 years of experience of practical sustainability work. Invest in Change analyses, invests in and provides investment advice to companies with a sustainable business model.
Filippa Bergin is a mentor within the accelerator programme at SHIFT-Stockholm Resilience Center mentoring social-ecological entrepreneurs in the Baltic Region. She is a jury member at Swedbank, nominating the most sustainble fast growing entreprise in Sweden yearly and a board member in the Swedish Chapter of the Toniic impact investment network.
Immediately prior to founding Invest in Change she was the sustainability manager in Axstores AB, a retail chain meeting 120 million customers yearly. Parallel to this she was an independent advisor and consultant regarding sustainability and human rights to large Swedish listed companies in diverse sectors, for example financial institutions and utilities companies, as well as to the Global Reporting Initiative.
Filippa Bergin has several years of experience in development and human rights organisations, such as with the World Health Organisation and Amnesty International, where she headed the Swedish Amnesty Business Group. She was also a member of the Global Reporting Initiative Stakeholder Council. She started off her career with a rights perspective to health at the the Division of Global Health in the Karolinska Institute,.
She holds an an LLM from Uppsala University (University of Leiden and Vietnam) and has studied at the Johns Hopkins University, the Paul H Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Bologna Campus. She is a Swedish national fluent in Swedish, English and French.
Somsook Boonyabancha, Thailand
Somsook Boonyabancha is secretary-general of the Asian Coalition for Housing Rights, a coalition of organizations working on urban poor housing development in Asia. She was previously the Director of Community Organizations Development Institute (CODI) in Thailand. She was born in 1951 in Thailand and graduated from the Faculty of Architecture at Chulalongkorn University in Thailand and from the Housing and Urbanization Course in Copenhagen, Denmark during 1977-1978.
She has been working extensively on urban poor housing development and slum upgrading in Thailand and other Asia countries for the past 30 years. Her particular expertise is in orienting the development of community driven, community-led development to improve urban community housing, community welfare and rural community land and housing development. During her years at CODI, she carried out a national city-wide community upgrading process – this process has now been replicated in 300 cities across Thailand. Apart from her involvement with the urban community, she has extensive experience in community-led development processes on various rural development activities, linking rural and urban areas, and community-led disaster rehabilitation.
Currently, she is working on the Asian Centre for Human Right's new regional programme on the Asian Coalition for Community Action, which supports city-wide community-led upgrading and development in Asian cities. The programme is bringing about city-wide development changes in 200 Asian cities in 15 countries.
Alastair Da Costa is a corporate lawyer with DLA Piper, the largest law firm in the world with over 70 offices across 35 countries. Alastair has been with DLA Piper for over 20 years as partner, global board and executive committee member and most recently (2007-12) was based in Asia as Managing Director for Asia Pacific, Middle East and Emerging Markets. In that time he led and completed the largest law firm merger in Asia Pacific to create a business with over 2,500 people. Alastair was previously international head of the corporate group at DLA Piper and he has advised public and private companies on a range of corporate and governance matters throughout his career.
Alastair serves on the board of Leeds & Partners, the destination marketing and inward investment company for the city of Leeds and is chair of the remuneration committee. He is a governing board member of City & Islington Further Education College in London (and chair of the finance committee), and is an Independent Council member of the University of Sussex.
Alastair is currently undertaking a part time Master's degree in Development Management at The London School of Economics to further develop his keen interest in international development policy.
Fatima Denton is currently the Co-ordinator of the African Climate Policy Centre of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. Prior to this, Fatima led one of the largest adaptation research programmes as part of a joint initiative of Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and Britain's Department for International Development (DFID), managing a portfolio of over 45 projects across thirty three countries in Africa on a range of adaptation strategies that will help Africa’s poor cope with climate change impacts.
Fatima joined IDRC in 2006 after working as a senior energy scientist with the United Nations Environment Program UNEP Risoe in Denmark where she worked on energy poverty, climate adaptation and policy matters relating to energy SMEs and institutional and governance. Prior to this Fatima worked with the energy programme of Enda Tiers Monde in Senegal on issues such as sustainable development and climate change vulnerability and adaptation, as well as food security, local governance, water, and energy poverty in the Sahel. She has written articles on energy poverty, gender and energy, and climate change adaptation.
Fatima is a Co-ordinating Lead Author for the Working Group II Fifth Assessment of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and was Lead Author for the IPCC Special Report on Renewable Energy and Climate Change Mitigation (SREEN). Having held several roles on scientific committees she is currently a member of the Independent Science Panel (ISP) of the CGIAR Climate Change and Food Security Programme (CCAFs). Fatima holds a PhD in political science and development studies from the University of Birmingham (UK), and completed undergraduate studies at the University of Cheikh Anta Diop, University of Besancon, University of Paris – la Sorbonne Paris IV and Ecole des Hautes Etudes Internationales where she studied respectively Humanities, Applied linguistics and Interpreting, Humanities and International relations.
As GRI's Deputy Chief Executive Teresa engages in strategic external relationships with business, governments, civil society and other stakeholders. Teresa started her career as an anthropologist at Leiden University in the Netherlands. She has spent many years in development organizations, such as ILO, USAID, and Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and in several countries in West Africa, where she specialized in gender issues and famine-early warning systems. She has thirteen years' experience across various managerial positions at the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, including Head of the Department for Women and Development, and the Research and Higher Education Department. In those positions Teresa contributed to the development of socio-economic impact assessment tools, and chaired the OECD Working Party on Women and Development and sat on the Oversight Committee of the (multi stakeholder) Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). Immediately prior to joining GRI, she worked for the Netherlands Ministry of Environment, where she was Head of the Climate Change and Industry department, and Special Advisor on International Environmental Affairs. She was also Head of the Netherlands Delegation to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) , in the period that the Netherlands had the Presidency of the UNFCCC and managed to successfully close the deal on the Kyoto Protocol. In that position she worked closely with the corporate sector. In 2002, Teresa acted as Executive Assistant to the Special Envoy of the U.N. Secretary General for the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, and was in charge of private sector involvement in the Summit. Teresa sits on the board of several sustainable development organizations. She is a Dutch National of Scandinavian origin, and is fluent in English, Swedish and French.
Frank Kirwan's background is in strategy development and change management. He has worked at board level in the private and public sectors in the UK and US and spent several years in academia. He was successively Director of Strategy for the Royal Bank of Scotland Group and Director, UK Retail Banking. He is active as a non-executive director, primarily in the finance and technology sectors. He teaches part-time at the University of Edinburgh Management School. He was the founding vice-chair of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR); and is a former Treasurer and Chair of the Audit Committee of Oxfam (GB), and of the Accounts Commission for Scotland.
Lorenzo J. de Rosenzweig Pasquel, Mexico
Lorenzo J. de Rosenzweig Pasquel has twenty-eight years of experience in the environmental field. He has a B.S. degree in Biochemistry and Engineering from the Monterrey Technological Institute (ITESM) and a Master in Science degree in Marine Biology and Seafood Technology from Oregon State University.
As President of the Mexican Fund for the Conservation of Nature (a (US) $110 million endowment Conservation Trust Fund), he has acquired extensive experience in fundraising and the execution of capital campaigns, and the operation and funding of biodiversity conservation, environmental research and capacity building projects. He has also contributed to the design and incorporation of learning and practice networks for the National Environmental Funds of Latin America and the Caribbean (RedLAC) and 3 additional communities of practice in fire management and prevention, protected areas and marine conservation.
He is a member of several boards and advisory councils, including New Ventures México, the Conservation Finance Alliance Executive Committee, The Mexican Institute for Competitiveness (IMCO), The Mesoamerican Reef Fund, The Healthy Reefs Initiative, The Fund for Communication and Environmental Education and the Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic Conservation and Exploration Fund.
He has contributed to more than 20 books and capacity building tools. He has also participated in more than a dozen technical guides, as an illustrator and wildlife photographer.
Tang Min is currently the Counselor of the Counselors Office at the State Council of the Chinese Government, Deputy Chairperson of the China Social Entrepreneur Foundation and the Vice Chairman of Graduate School of the People’s Bank of China. Dr. Tang's research focuses on macroeconomic analysis, regional economic cooperation, economic development strategies, and international finance. Dr. Tang Min graduated from Wuhan University in 1982, and went to do his PhD in economics at the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign, in 1984. After being awarded his PhD degree in 1989, he joined the Development Research Center at the Asian Development Bank to take charge of East Asian Economic Affairs, Regional Economic Cooperation, Asian Debts and Asian Financial Markets. In 2000, he was appointed the Chief Economist in the Resident Mission of Asian Development Bank in China. In 2007, he was appointed as the Deputy Secretary General of the China Development Research Foundation, a part of the Development Research Center at the State Council. Among other positions he holds, he is an Adjunct Professor at Peking University, Wuhan University and Jinan University; the Financial Advisor to the Beijing Municipal Government and Guanzhou Municipal Government; a member of Chinese Economists 50; and the Director of Chambers of Commerce of Overseas Returnees of China. Dr. Tang has also published numerous academic papers on Asian economies and China's financial and educational reforms.
Pancho Ndebele has recently tendered his resignation from SAB Miller South Africa to move into carbon trading in South Africa. He was Head of Sustainable Development at SAB Miller, South Africa one of the world's largest brewing companies with assets around the globe and particularly in developing countries. Pancho hold MBA, Master of Laws (LLM) in Environmental Law, MSc in Water and Wastewater Engineering. In 2002 he served on the Business-coordinating Forum, for the WSSD and developed the water neutral concept for the WSSD. He has worked on water and effluent treatment projects, energy and emission reduction projects. He has experience in developing technical environmental solutions with a corporate social responsibility spin, project management and implementation of strategies for sustainable development. He was instrumental in driving the first carbon credit emission reduction project by a major corporate in south Africa to be registered by the United Nations CDM Executive Board, He serves on the National Environmental Advisory Forum that advises the South African National Business Initiative Sustainability Advisory Forum. He has worked for 3M and Hosiend in the UK.
Following his retirement as Group Vice President and Group General Auditor of BP plc in 2008 Ian Rushby currently hold a number of board positions in the public, private and charity sectors; Non Executive Board member of the Defence Board, the highest-level non-Ministerial committee at the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and Chairman of the Defence Audit Committee; Chairman of Global Energy Talent, a privately owned Indian based company which was founded in 2008 providing recruitment, training and human resourcing consultancy services to the energy sector in Asia, the Middle East and Africa; Trustee and Hon Treasurer of the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust whose aim is to advance the education of the public in particular by the preservation and protection of their Antarctic heritage. He also work with English Heritage as a volunteer at Down House in Kent, the home of Charles Darwin. Ian was appointed Trustee of the International Institute for Environment and Development and the Foundation for International Environmental Law and Development November 2010.
Francisco Sagasti chairs the Board of the Science and Technology Program (FINCyT) at the Office of the Prime Minister in Peru, is a member of the Board of Governors of the Canadian International Development Research Centre (IDRC), a member of the international advisory board of the Lemelson Foundation, and advisor to private corporations, international organizations, foundations and public sector agencies. He also is Director Emeritus of FORO Nacional/Internacional, a civil society independent organization created to promote democratic governance and to foster dialogue and consensus on critical development issues.
Dr. Sagasti been Director of the Agenda: PERÚ program at FORO Nacional/Internacional; Chief of the Strategic Planning Division and Senior Advisor at the World Bank; chairman of the United Nations Advisory Committee on Science and Technology for Development; Silberberg visiting professor at the Wharton School of Finance, University of Pennsylvania, visiting professor at the University for Peace in Costa Rica, and visiting professor at the Instituto de Empresa in Madrid; and associate researcher at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex.
Francisco Sagasti was born and educated in Lima, Peru. He holds engineering degrees from the National Engineering University in Lima, Peru, an MSc in industrial engineering from Penn State University, and a Ph.D. in operations research and social systems sciences from the University of Pennsylvania. He has been visiting lecturer at several universities in the United States, Europe and developing regions.
In Peru Dr. Sagasti has been founder and executive director of GRADE, a policy-oriented think tank; advisor to the ministers of Foreign Affairs, Education, Industry and the Prime Minister; advisor to the Chief of the National Planning Institute and member of the board of the National Council for Science and Technology; vice-Chairman of the Board of the Industrial Technology Institute; has taught at the Universidad del Pacífico and the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú; and has been consultant to numerous private, public and civil society organizations.