Commissioners - Our Common Air Commissioners | Our Common Air Humane ClubMade in Humane Club
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Dr Adriana Abdenur

Special Adviser to the President of the Republic of Brazil

Dr Adriana Abdenur is a Brazilian policymaker and scholar, and co-founder of Plataforma CIPÓ, a think tank headquartered in Rio de Janeiro and focused on international affairs and climate change. She has a Ph.D. in sociology of development from Princeton University and has published widely on global governance and emerging powers. She is currently serving in the federal government in Brasília as Special Advisor in the Presidency.

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Dr Arunabha Ghosh

Founder-CEO, Council on Energy, Environment and Water

Dr Arunabha Ghosh is an internationally recognised public policy expert, author, columnist, and institution builder. He is the founder-CEO, since 2010, of the Council on Energy, Environment and Water, and has led CEEW to the top ranks as one of Asia’s leading policy research institutions and among the world’s 20 best climate think-tanks. With experience in 48 countries, he previously worked at Princeton, Oxford, UNDP (New York), and WTO (Geneva). He was honoured with the 2022 Asia Game Changer Award by The Asia Society, for his and CEEW’s “incredible work, which is making a real difference for India and for the planet”.

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Dr Christa Hasenkopf

Director, Energy Policy Institute, University of Chicago (EPIC)

Dr Christa Hasenkopf is the Director of the Clean Air Program at EPIC. Her career focuses on efforts that open up information, resources, and networks so that more people in more places can help make the air they breathe healthier. Previously, she co-founded and was the CEO of OpenAQ, an environmental tech non-profit, which fosters a global community around the world’s largest open database of air quality information. She has also served as the Chief Air Pollution Advisor to the Office of Medical Services at the US Department of State and in multiple positions at the US Agency for International Development.

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Ms Gina McCarthy

Senior Fellow, The Fletcher School

Ms Gina McCarthy was the first-ever White House National Climate Advisor and former Administrator of the U.S. Environment Protection Agency. McCarthy is one of the nation’s most respected voices on climate change, environment, and public health. As head of the Climate Policy Office under President Biden, McCarthy’s leadership led to the most aggressive action on climate in U.S. history, creating new jobs and unprecedented clean energy innovation and investments across the country.

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Rt Hon. Helen Clark

Board Chair, Partnership for Maternal Newborn and Child Health; Former Prime Minister of New Zealand and UNDP Administrator

Rt Hon. Helen Clark is a Board Chair of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health (PMNCH). She chairs other boards and commissions and is a member of The Elders. A well-respected global leader and public figure, Clark champions women’s leadership and is a strong voice on sustainable development, climate action, gender equality, peace and justice, and action on non-communicable diseases and HIV.

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Dr Izabella Teixeira

Co-Chair, International Resource Panel

Dr Izabella Teixeira is a specialist in Environmental Management, Environmental Impact Assessment and Environmental Licensing. She was Brazil´s Minister of the Environment (2010-16). From 2008 to 2010, she was the Deputy Minister of the Environment. A career public servant, Dr Teixeira has held a position at the Brazilian Institute for the Environment and Natural Resources since 1984. She had also held several high-level management and advisory positions as Head of the Institute’s Environmental Quality Department, Task Leader of the National Environmental Program (with the World Bank), of the National Program on Chemicals, and the Pantanal Wetlands Program (with the Inter-American Development Bank).

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Ms Jane Burston

CEO and Founder, Clean Air Fund

Ms Jane Burston founded and leads the organisation Clean Air Fund.

Before setting up the organisation Jane worked as Head of Climate and Energy Science in the UK Government, where she was responsible for the UK greenhouse gas inventory and a £45m science programme. Previously, as Head of Energy and Environment at the National Physical Laboratory she managed a team of 150 scientists working in air quality, greenhouse gas measurement and renewable energy.

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Mr Junaid Kamal Ahmad

Vice President (Operations), Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) of the World Bank Group

Mr Junaid Kamal Ahmad is Vice President of Operations at the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), the Political Risk Insurance and Credit Enhancement arm of the World Bank Group (WBG). He is responsible for advancing and enhancing MIGA’s brand partnerships across WBG and with financial institutions, private investors, and development actors to originate and pursue meaningful, impact-driven projects. Mr. Ahmad also leads the Operations team of the Agency to deliver on MIGA’s mandate of mobilising private finance for development projects in emerging markets and developing economies (EMDEs).

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H. E. María Espinosa

Executive Director, GWL Voices for Change and Inclusion

H. E. María Espinosa was the President of the seventy-third session of the General Assembly, has more than 20 years of multilateral experience in international negotiations, peace, security, defence, disarmament, human rights, indigenous peoples, gender equality, sustainable development, environment, biodiversity, climate change and multilateral cooperation. She has served Ecuador as Minister of Foreign Affairs (twice), Minister of National Defence, and Coordinating Minister of Natural and Cultural Heritage.

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Dr Maria Neira

Director, Public Health, Environment and Social Determinants of Health Department, World Health Organization

Dr Maria Neira is the Director of the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Health at the World Health Organization. Prior to that she served as Under-Secretary of Health and President of the Spanish Food Safety Agency. Dr Neira began her career as a medical coordinator working for Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders). She then spent several years working in different African countries during armed conflicts. 

Dr Neira is a Medical Doctor by training, specialized in Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases in Paris, France, Master of Public Health and a University Diploma in Human Nutrition, Epidemic Preparedness and Crisis Management. Among many distinctions, she has been awarded the Médaille de “L’Ordre National du Mérite” by the Government of France and received an “Extraordinary Woman” award by HM Queen Letizia of Spain. In early 2019, she was nominated among the top 100 policy influencers in health and climate change.

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Ms Martina Otto

Head of Secretariat, Climate and Clean Air Coalition

Ms Martina Otto heads the Secretariat of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, partnership of over 170 countries and non-state partners working at the nexus of climate and clean air. She has served in the UN Environment Programme in different functions out of Paris and Nairobi over the past 25 years, drawing on her leadership and extensive experience experience in partnership building and addressing key environmental issues including energy, buildings, transport and sustainable cities.

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Dr Naoko Ishii

Special Presidential Envoy for Global Commons, University of Tokyo; Professor at the Institute for Future Initiatives; Director, Center for Global Commons

Dr Naoko Ishii’s career is marked by her commitment to driving systemic changes for sustainable development within the planetary boundaries. As the CEO of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) for eight years, she established a groundbreaking multi-stakeholder platform, paving the way for the Global Commons Alliance’s inception. In 2020, she furthered her mission at the University of Tokyo as Vice President, founding the Center for Global Commons (CGC). CGC is dedicated to fostering a multi-stakeholder coalition in Japan and building international partnerships for systemic change.

Her journey began in 1981 at Japan’s Ministry of Finance, concentrating on international finance and development. She also held positions at the IMF and the World Bank. Prior to her GEF leadership, she was the deputy vice minister at the Ministry of Finance.

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Dr Olusoji Adeyi

President, Resilient Health Systems, LLC

Dr Olusoji Adeyi, MD, MBA, DrPH, is the President of Resilient Health Systems and a Senior Associate at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He is the author of “Global Health in Practice: Investing Amidst Pandemics, Denial of Evidence, and Neo-dependency.” Previously at the World Bank, Dr. Adeyi served as Director of the Health, Nutrition, and Population Global Practice, and Senior Advisor for Human Development. He was the founding Director of the Affordable Medicines Facility for malaria (AMFm) at the Global Fund.

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Ambassador Paul Simons

Senior Fellow, Jackson School of Global Affairs, Yale University

Ambassador Paul Simons has been actively engaged in global energy and climate change policymaking for more than two decades. Since 2020, he has served as a Senior Fellow at Yale’s Jackson School of Global Affairs, teaching and mentoring students in the clean energy transition. He is also the founding director of the Yale Emerging Climate Leaders Fellowship, a new program to develop a network of leading clean energy and climate change practitioners from the Global South.

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Dr Puji Lestari

Professor, Bandung Institute of Technology

Dr Puji Lestari is a Professor in Air Quality Management and Atmospheric Chemistry at the Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering (FCEE), Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB). Since 2018, Dr Lestari was appointed as the head of Air and Waste Management Research Group. Her main research is on the characterisation of ambient and emission aerosols from various sources including urban activities, transport, residential cooking, biomass and peatland burning. Her current research includes composition and source apportionment of PM2.5 in urban area Jakarta and in residential areas, emission inventory, and assessment of the impact of forest fire on air quality and health in Palangkaraya.

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Ms Shirley Rodrigues

Deputy Mayor, Environment and Energy, Greater London Authority

Ms Shirley Rodrigues was appointed as London Deputy Mayor for Environment and Energy in October 2016. Previously she oversaw a global climate change grants portfolio at the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) developing their cities and climate strategy, and in other senior environmental roles has devised and delivered a range of environmental policies and programmes in London, nationally and internationally.

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Dr Soumya Swaminathan

Chairperson, M S Swaminathan Research Foundation; Former Chief Scientist,
World Health Organization

Dr Soumya Swaminathan is the Chairperson, Board of Trustees, for the MS Swaminathan Research Foundation, Chennai. She is the former Chief Scientist at the World Health Organization, after serving as the Deputy Director-General of Programmes. A paediatrician from India and a globally recognized researcher on tuberculosis and HIV, she brings with her 30 years of experience in clinical care and research and has worked throughout her career to translate research into impactful programmes. Dr. Swaminathan was Secretary to the Government of India for Health Research and Director General of the Indian Council of Medical Research from 2015 to 2017. In that position, she focused on bringing science and evidence into health policy making, building research capacity in Indian medical schools and forging south-south partnerships in health sciences.

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Ms Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr

Mayor, Freetown, Sierra Leone

Ms Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr OBE was sworn in as Mayor of Freetown in May 2018 with a commitment to transform Freetown using an inclusive, data-driven approach to address challenges in the city. Launched in January 2019, the three-year Transform Freetown plan details 19 concrete targets across 11 sectors and covers issues ranging from waste management and housing, to improving urban planning, tackling environmental degradation and facilitating the creation of jobs in the tourism sector.

(All commissioners are part of Our Common Air in their personal capacities.)

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