JUDGING PANEL

Judges review the pool of finalists culled by the Analyst Team and Advisory Council and select the winners by a voting system.

Dr. Achala Abeysinghe currently works with the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) as Head of Global Climate Law, Policy and Governance team. She also leads the climate diplomacy programme of IIED and the Training and Support Programme of the European Capacity Building Initiative.    Dr. Abeysinghe is also the chief legal, technical and strategy adviser to the Chair of the Least Developed Countries (LDC) group for the United Nations Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC). She has been in this role for last eight consecutive years, advising six Chairpersonships of the LDC Group, advising the Gambia, Nepal, Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia and currently Bhutan. In this role, she has led the design and implementation of the LDC Group strategy for UNFCCC negotiations and played a key role in the Paris Agreement negotiations.    Dr. Abeysinghe was also a lead author for the 5th Assessment report of the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Dr. Abeysinghe advises various climate related bodies including the Mission2020 led by Former UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figures. In 2015, Dr. Abeysinghe was recognised as one of the top 15 female climate champions in the world by University of Massachusetts.

Dr. Achala Abeysinghe currently works with the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) as Head of Global Climate Law, Policy and Governance team. She also leads the climate diplomacy programme of IIED and the Training and Support Programme of the European Capacity Building Initiative.

Dr. Abeysinghe is also the chief legal, technical and strategy adviser to the Chair of the Least Developed Countries (LDC) group for the United Nations Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC). She has been in this role for last eight consecutive years, advising six Chairpersonships of the LDC Group, advising the Gambia, Nepal, Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia and currently Bhutan. In this role, she has led the design and implementation of the LDC Group strategy for UNFCCC negotiations and played a key role in the Paris Agreement negotiations.

Dr. Abeysinghe was also a lead author for the 5th Assessment report of the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Dr. Abeysinghe advises various climate related bodies including the Mission2020 led by Former UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figures. In 2015, Dr. Abeysinghe was recognised as one of the top 15 female climate champions in the world by University of Massachusetts.

Dr. Achala Abeysinghe, Head of Global Climate Law, Policy and Governance team, International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED)

As a delegate of the Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Mr. Endalew has been involved in negotiations under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change since 2008. Having been a core team member of the Ethiopian Negotiating team, he was elected Chair of the Least Developed Countries Group in the climate change negotiations process for a two-year term, beginning in January 2017.  Trained as a meteorologist, Gebru Jember Endalew holds a BSc in Physics and Mathematics from Addis Ababa University, an MSc in Meterology and Air Quality from Wageningen University, and a Post Graduate Diploma in Meteorology from the University of Nairobi. He is a member of both the Association of Ethiopian Meteorologists and the Association of Ethiopian Physicists.  Mr. Endalew now serves as Institutions Development and Strategic Partnerships Advisor with the Global Green Growth Institute on the Ethiopia Country Programme, providing strategic support to the government in the regional capacity building programme, the national capacity development programme, the GHG inventory framework, and in climate diplomacy.  Previously, Mr. Endalew was Programme Coordinator for the establishment of the Ethiopian Panel on Climate Change (2013 to 2014), Programme Coordinator for the Climate Change Forum-Ethiopia (2010 to 2013), Head to the Meteorological Research and Studies Department in Ethiopia (2009 to 2010), and a meteorologist with Ethiopia’s National Meteorological Agency , in the Department of Development, the Department of Weather and Early Warning and finally in the Climate Change and Air Pollution Studies Team (2000 to 2008).  Mr. Endalew was an author for Working Group I-Science of Climate change of the First Assessment Report of The Ethiopian Panel on Climate Change in 2015.

As a delegate of the Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Mr. Endalew has been involved in negotiations under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change since 2008. Having been a core team member of the Ethiopian Negotiating team, he was elected Chair of the Least Developed Countries Group in the climate change negotiations process for a two-year term, beginning in January 2017.

Trained as a meteorologist, Gebru Jember Endalew holds a BSc in Physics and Mathematics from Addis Ababa University, an MSc in Meterology and Air Quality from Wageningen University, and a Post Graduate Diploma in Meteorology from the University of Nairobi. He is a member of both the Association of Ethiopian Meteorologists and the Association of Ethiopian Physicists.

Mr. Endalew now serves as Institutions Development and Strategic Partnerships Advisor with the Global Green Growth Institute on the Ethiopia Country Programme, providing strategic support to the government in the regional capacity building programme, the national capacity development programme, the GHG inventory framework, and in climate diplomacy.

Previously, Mr. Endalew was Programme Coordinator for the establishment of the Ethiopian Panel on Climate Change (2013 to 2014), Programme Coordinator for the Climate Change Forum-Ethiopia (2010 to 2013), Head to the Meteorological Research and Studies Department in Ethiopia (2009 to 2010), and a meteorologist with Ethiopia’s National Meteorological Agency , in the Department of Development, the Department of Weather and Early Warning and finally in the Climate Change and Air Pollution Studies Team (2000 to 2008).

Mr. Endalew was an author for Working Group I-Science of Climate change of the First Assessment Report of The Ethiopian Panel on Climate Change in 2015.

Gebru Jember Endalew, Chair, Least-Developed Countries Group, INFCCC

Dr. Lucas Joppa serves as Microsoft’s first Chief Environmental Officer, where he manages the company’s overall environmental sustainability efforts – from ensuring core operational excellence and policy advances to deploying advanced technology solutions to environmental challenges. Dr. Joppa’s career blends together environmental science research with technology innovation, people and project management, strategy formulation and implementation, and marketing and communications. He is motivated by the urgent need to transform the way society monitors, models, and ultimately manages Earth’s natural resources. Listed as one of Microsoft’s AI Thought Leaders, Dr. Joppaalso founded and leads Microsoft’s 5-year $50m AI for Earth program, a cross-company effort dedicated to delivering scalable AI technologies in the four key areas of climate change, agriculture, water, and biodiversity conservation.  Prior to serving in his current role, Lucas was the Chief Environmental Scientist for Microsoft and led research programs at the intersection of environmental and computer sciences in Microsoft Research, Microsoft’s blue-sky research division. Lucas remains an active scientist, frequently publishing in leading academic journals such as  Science  and  Nature  while also serving as a spokesperson for Microsoft on issues related to AI, environmental science, and sustainability in popular TV, print, and digital media outlets. Lucas also serves on numerous institutional boards and committees, advising a broad array of public and private organizations on environmental issues. A former Peace Corps Volunteer, Lucas has a BS in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Wisconsin and a PhD in Ecology from Duke University.

Dr. Lucas Joppa serves as Microsoft’s first Chief Environmental Officer, where he manages the company’s overall environmental sustainability efforts – from ensuring core operational excellence and policy advances to deploying advanced technology solutions to environmental challenges. Dr. Joppa’s career blends together environmental science research with technology innovation, people and project management, strategy formulation and implementation, and marketing and communications. He is motivated by the urgent need to transform the way society monitors, models, and ultimately manages Earth’s natural resources. Listed as one of Microsoft’s AI Thought Leaders, Dr. Joppaalso founded and leads Microsoft’s 5-year $50m AI for Earth program, a cross-company effort dedicated to delivering scalable AI technologies in the four key areas of climate change, agriculture, water, and biodiversity conservation.

Prior to serving in his current role, Lucas was the Chief Environmental Scientist for Microsoft and led research programs at the intersection of environmental and computer sciences in Microsoft Research, Microsoft’s blue-sky research division. Lucas remains an active scientist, frequently publishing in leading academic journals such as Science and Nature while also serving as a spokesperson for Microsoft on issues related to AI, environmental science, and sustainability in popular TV, print, and digital media outlets. Lucas also serves on numerous institutional boards and committees, advising a broad array of public and private organizations on environmental issues. A former Peace Corps Volunteer, Lucas has a BS in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Wisconsin and a PhD in Ecology from Duke University.

Dr. Lucas Joppa, Microsoft’s first Chief Environmental Officer

 
Robin L. Newmark brings over 30 years experience across the energy and environment innovation ecosystem, most recently working at the intersection of technology and policy. Currently Executive Director for Strategic Initiatives at the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), she has led or contributed to programs involving energy, climate and water issues, including the interdependence of water and energy systems. Prior to joining NREL, Dr. Newmark was at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, where she conducted research focused on energy, environment and national security. Newmark is a Fellow of research institutes in Colorado and California and was a lead author for the U.S. Climate Assessment. Among her awards are the U.S. EPAs Outstanding Remediation Technology Innovation Award and the Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer Recognition Award. Dr. Newmark received a B.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Phi Beta Kappa), a M.S. from the University of California at Santa Cruz, an M.Phil and a Ph.D from Columbia University.

Robin L. Newmark brings over 30 years experience across the energy and environment innovation ecosystem, most recently working at the intersection of technology and policy. Currently Executive Director for Strategic Initiatives at the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), she has led or contributed to programs involving energy, climate and water issues, including the interdependence of water and energy systems. Prior to joining NREL, Dr. Newmark was at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, where she conducted research focused on energy, environment and national security. Newmark is a Fellow of research institutes in Colorado and California and was a lead author for the U.S. Climate Assessment. Among her awards are the U.S. EPAs Outstanding Remediation Technology Innovation Award and the Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer Recognition Award. Dr. Newmark received a B.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Phi Beta Kappa), a M.S. from the University of California at Santa Cruz, an M.Phil and a Ph.D from Columbia University.

Robin L. Newmark, Executive Director, Strategic Initiatives, US Dept. of Energy's National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL)

Mr. Silver is one of the country's leading clean energy investors and advisors. He is the Managing Partner of Tax Equity Advisors, LLC, a Registered Investment Advisor with $400 million AUM, investing in solar projects on behalf of large US companies and also serves as an advisor to several of the country's largest renewables investors, bankers and owners.  During the Obama Administration, Mr. Silver led the federal government's $40 billion clean energy investment fund, leading investments in some of the world's largest wind, solar, geothermal, biofuel and nuclear projects. He also headed the $20 billion fund focused on electric vehicles, which included the initial investment in Tesla. Collectively, those investments helped jump-start the clean energy revolution.  Named one of the country's top-ten "influencers" in green-tech, Mr. Silver is, or has been, on the boards of numerous companies and non-profit organizations, including the American Federation of Scientists, American Forests and, the Solar Electric Light Fund and the Wind Energy Foundation.  Mr. Silver co-founded venture firm, Core Capital Partners, a top-decile investor in software and advanced technology and was COO of Tiger Management, one of the country's largest and most successful hedge funds. He has held senior operating roles in several media companies and began his career at McKinsey & Company, the global management consulting firm.  Mr. Silver has served as senior policy advisor to four U.S. Cabinet Secretaries: Energy, Commerce, Interior and Treasury and served on numerous corporate and non-profit boards. He is a former Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University, where he taught the 2nd year MBA course on entrepreneurship  Mr. Silver has written for, and been quoted in, nearly all the leading newspapers in the United States and has testified before Congress on energy, finance and tax matters on numerous occasions.  Mr. Silver is a graduate of Harvard University and the Institute for Political Studies (Sciences PO) in Paris and has received both Rotary and Fulbright Fellowships. Mr. Silver lives with his wife and two children in Washington, DC.

Mr. Silver is one of the country's leading clean energy investors and advisors. He is the Managing Partner of Tax Equity Advisors, LLC, a Registered Investment Advisor with $400 million AUM, investing in solar projects on behalf of large US companies and also serves as an advisor to several of the country's largest renewables investors, bankers and owners.

During the Obama Administration, Mr. Silver led the federal government's $40 billion clean energy investment fund, leading investments in some of the world's largest wind, solar, geothermal, biofuel and nuclear projects. He also headed the $20 billion fund focused on electric vehicles, which included the initial investment in Tesla. Collectively, those investments helped jump-start the clean energy revolution.

Named one of the country's top-ten "influencers" in green-tech, Mr. Silver is, or has been, on the boards of numerous companies and non-profit organizations, including the American Federation of Scientists, American Forests and, the Solar Electric Light Fund and the Wind Energy Foundation.

Mr. Silver co-founded venture firm, Core Capital Partners, a top-decile investor in software and advanced technology and was COO of Tiger Management, one of the country's largest and most successful hedge funds. He has held senior operating roles in several media companies and began his career at McKinsey & Company, the global management consulting firm.

Mr. Silver has served as senior policy advisor to four U.S. Cabinet Secretaries: Energy, Commerce, Interior and Treasury and served on numerous corporate and non-profit boards. He is a former Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University, where he taught the 2nd year MBA course on entrepreneurship

Mr. Silver has written for, and been quoted in, nearly all the leading newspapers in the United States and has testified before Congress on energy, finance and tax matters on numerous occasions.

Mr. Silver is a graduate of Harvard University and the Institute for Political Studies (Sciences PO) in Paris and has received both Rotary and Fulbright Fellowships. Mr. Silver lives with his wife and two children in Washington, DC.

Johnathan Silver, Tax Equity Investors, LLC

Qi Ye, a leading expert on China"s environmental policy, is a senior fellow and director of the Brookings-Tsinghua Center for Public Policy (BTC) in Beijing. His research focuses on China"s policies on climate change, environment, energy, natural resources, and urbanization. His recent work examines low carbon development in China, including an annual report analyzing how China is balancing its economic growth and environmental challenges. Qi also headed up the design of China's first low carbon development plan for the city of Baoding in Hebei Province. Along with his duties as BTC director, Qi serves as the Cheung Kong Professor of Environmental Policy and Management at Tsinghua University's School of Public Policy and Management. He is principal investigator and chief editor of the Annual Review of Low Carbon Development in China which has been published in both English and Chinese since 2010.

Qi Ye, a leading expert on China"s environmental policy, is a senior fellow and director of the Brookings-Tsinghua Center for Public Policy (BTC) in Beijing. His research focuses on China"s policies on climate change, environment, energy, natural resources, and urbanization. His recent work examines low carbon development in China, including an annual report analyzing how China is balancing its economic growth and environmental challenges. Qi also headed up the design of China's first low carbon development plan for the city of Baoding in Hebei Province. Along with his duties as BTC director, Qi serves as the Cheung Kong Professor of Environmental Policy and Management at Tsinghua University's School of Public Policy and Management. He is principal investigator and chief editor of the Annual Review of Low Carbon Development in China which has been published in both English and Chinese since 2010.

Qi Ye

Brookings-Tsinghua Center for Public Policy (BTC)