Board of trustees

IIED's board of trustees is legally responsible for all the activities that we undertake. The trustees are all unpaid volunteers who are responsible for ensuring that IIED abides by its charitable aims, works within the law and delivers its mission effectively by overseeing our overall policies and objectives and ensuring our work is monitored and evaluated effectively. Chaired by Rebeca Grynspan, UN Under-Secretary-General and associate administrator of the United Nations Development Programme, the IIED board of trustees is presently made up of 13 representatives from 11 countries around the world who serve for a three-year term, which can be renewed for a further three years.

Previous years

Find out about the representatives on our board of trustees below:

Rebeca Grynspan (Chair), Costa Rica

Rebeca Grynspan is a UN Under-Secretary-General and associate administrator of the United Nations Development Programme. She was Vice-President of Costa Rica between 1994 and 1998. Rebeca was recently elected to serve as the new secretary-general of the Ibero-American Secretariat.

Previously, she was director of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean Sub-regional Headquarters in Mexico, where she also served as co-chair of the International Food Policy Research Institute's Executive Board, and assistant-secretary-general and Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean at the United Nations Development Programme (2006-2010).

Lisa Beauvilain, UK

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, Sweden

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 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 organisations 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.

Fatima Denton, The Gambia

Fatima Denton is currently the coordinator of the African Climate Policy Centre of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. Prior to this, she 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 more than 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 she 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.

She is a coordinating 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, the University of Besancon, the University of Paris – la Sorbonne Paris IV and the Ecole des Hautes Etudes Internationales, where she studied respectively humanities, applied linguistics and interpreting, humanities and international relations.

Ahmed Galal, Eygpt

Ahmed Galal is currently managing director of the Economic Research Forum (ERF) and the president and chairman of the Board of Forum Euroméditerranéen des Instituts de Sciences Économiques (FEMISE). He is a member of the Board of the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) and the MENA Health Policy Forum.

Ahmed was Egypt's finance minister between July 2013 and February 2014. Previously, he worked for 18 years for the World Bank, where he conducted research and provided policy advice to governments in several regions. While on leave from the bank (2000-06), he was the executive director and director of research of the Egyptian Center for Economic Studies (ECES). 

He authored or co-authored more than dozen books, including Welfare Consequences of Selling Public Enterprises and The Road Not Traveled: Education Reform in the Middle East and North Africa.  He also authored several journal articles and book chapters.

In 2004, he was awarded the prestigious regional prize for Economic and Social Sciences by the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences. Ahmed holds a PhD in economics from Boston University.

Frank Kirwan, UK (Treasurer)

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 28 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 executive director of the Mexican Fund for the Conservation of Nature (a $110 million USD 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 three 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, China

Dr Tang Min is currently the counsellor of the Counsellors 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. Tang's research focuses on macroeconomic analysis, regional economic cooperation, economic development strategies, and international finance.

He 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 Centre 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 the 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 Centre 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 the Chambers of Commerce of Overseas Returnees of China. He has also published numerous academic papers on Asian economies and China's financial and educational reforms.

Michael Odhiambo

Michael Odhiambo is from Kenya and has a background in human rights development and legal anthropology. He holds an LLB degree from the University of East London, an LLM degree from the Utrecht University School of Law, a Master of Science degree in Economics from London Metropolitan University and a PhD degree (cum laude) from the department of Cultural and Social Anthropology at the University of Cologne (Universität zu Köln) , Germany. Michael has extensive research experience in Sub-Saharan Africa where he has lived and worked among the Herero of Namibia and the Il Chamus of Kenya. He is currently a post-doctoral research fellow at the Netherlands School of Human Rights Research, where he coordinates the African States Reporting Project on the Receptor Approach to human rights, focusing on Senegal, Liberia, Cameroon, Lesotho and Swaziland.

Ian Rushby

Following his retirement as group vice-president and group general auditor of BP plc in 2008, Ian Rushby currently holds 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 that was founded in 2008 providing recruitment, training and human resourcing consultancy services to the energy sector in Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

He is also trustee and honorary treasurer of the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust, which aims  to advance the education of the public, in particular by the preservation and protection of Antarctic heritage. He also works with English Heritage as a volunteer at Down House in Kent, the home of Charles Darwin. Ian was appointed trustee of IIED and the Foundation for International Environmental Law and Development in November 2010.

Francisco Sagasti, Peru

Dr 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 organisations, foundations and public sector agencies. He also is director emeritus of FORO Nacional/Internacional, a civil society independent organisation created to promote democratic governance and to foster dialogue and consensus on critical development issues.

Francisco has 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.

He 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, he 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 organisations.

Tara Shine, Ireland

Tara Shine currently works as head of research and development at the Mary Robinson Foundation Climate Justice (CMRC). She previously worked for CMRC from October 2009 when she was awarded EPA research fellowship as part of the Climate Change Research Programme. This research looked at policy related to adapting to climate change in Ireland and internationally with a focus on informing emerging policy in this field and ensuring policy coherence.

She has worked as a technical adviser on environment, development and climate change issues for more than 14 years. She holds a BSc in Environmental Science and a PhD in Geography from the University of Ulster. Much of her work has been carried out in developing countries resulting in an acute understanding of the issues and challenges faced by governments, research organisations and the non-governmental sectors in combating poverty, environmental degradation and climate change.

Tara has been actively involved in the climate change negotiations since 2003 as a member of the Irish, Dutch and Luxembourg delegations and as an EU negotiator on issues including capacity building, adaptation and finance. She is also a former member of the UNFCCC Consultative Group of Experts, the EU Expert Group on Adaptation and the Irish Impacts and Adaptation Steering Group.