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Future Earth names inaugural members to its Advisory Committee

This news release originally appeared on the Future Earth main website on 29 March 2018.

Future Earth has named 12 leading sustainability innovators to its recently-formed Advisory Committee, which will guide the next phase of Future Earth’s research and engagement. The new members of this committee come from the worlds of research, business and politics; they include a former member of Mongolia’s parliament, as well as a technology CEO named one of Time magazine’s most influential people. This group of inspiring innovators join co-Chairs Johan Rockstr√∂m and Leena Srivastava, who were appointed to the Committee late last year.

“Future Earth is thrilled to welcome these 12 talented people to our Advisory Committee,” said Jakob Rhyner and Gordon McBean, co-chairs of the Future Earth Governing Council. “They are truly remarkable individuals who have pioneered new ways of thinking about and advancing solutions for the state of our planet, and the role that humans play in it.”

The Future Earth Advisory Committee will provide guidance to the organisation on crafting sustainability research that is of the highest quality. The Committee will also aid Future Earth in forming the links between science and society that are critical for transforming research into action.

The incoming members were selected after a global search and with nominations and selections made by the Governing Council. They represent diverse backgrounds, hailing from nations from China to Brazil to Gambia, and have spearheaded research on biodiversity conservation, public health, poverty alleviation, energy,  technology and more. Showcasing Future Earth’s commitment to strengthening collaboration between the research community and policy, business and civil society, the new committee also includes prominent innovators from outside academia.

“Future Earth has entered into an exciting new period in our evolution,” said Amy Luers, Executive Director of Future Earth. “We are striving to take our foundational principles – bringing together research disciplines and innovators from across society and borders – and scale them up to create real change that improves the lives of people everywhere. These creative individuals will play a critical role in leading us into that future.”

The Advisory Committee succeeds the Future Earth Science and Engagement Committees, which helped to shape the organisation during its initial start-up phase between 2014 and 2017. The Governing Council expressed their gratitude to all the members for their  commitment and tremendous support for Future Earth.

See a full list of incoming members to the Future Earth Advisory Committee below. You can read their full biographies and learn more about the committee’s work here.

Jim Balsillie is the founder of the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), the Balsillie School of International Affairs and the Arctic Research Foundation and is Chair of the Council of Canadian Innovators. As Chairman of Research In Motion, he was named to Barron’s list of “World’s Top CEOs” three times.

Anny Cazenave works for the Centre national d'études spatiales (CNES), a French space agency. Through her work as a leading scientist on several joint French and American satellite missions, she has contributed to a greater understanding of how climate change causes global sea-level rise.

Fatima Denton is the coordinator of the African Climate Policy Centre of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa based in Ethiopia. Her work has explored a range of adaptation strategies that will help Africa’s poor cope with climate change impacts. She has also published on gender and energy.

Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias is Associate Professor at the University of Brasilia’s Department of Ecology and served as the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) from 2012 to 2017. He has championed protected areas, threatened species conservation, ecosystem and biodiversity monitoring and more.

Peng Gong is Professor and Chair of the Department of Earth System Science, Dean of the School of Sciences and Vice Chair of the Academic Committee at Tsinghua University in Beijing. His major research interests include mapping, monitoring and modeling global environmental change and the modelling of environmentally-related infectious diseases.

Naoko Ishii is the CEO and Chairperson of the Global Environment Facility (GEF). She previously served as the Deputy Vice Minister of Finance of Japan and was responsible for the nation’s international financial and development policies, and for its global policies on environmental issues.

Pamela Matson (beginning February 2019) is Dean Emerita of the School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences, Goldman Professor of Environmental Studies and Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for Environment at Stanford University. She is an elected member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has received a MacArthur Fellowship.

Tolu Oni is an Associate Professor in Public Health at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. She is a public health physician and leads the Research Initiative for Cities Health and Equity (RICHE), a research collaborative that provides evidence to support the implementation of healthy public policies.

Oyun Sanjaasuren is Chair of the Global Water Partnership, an intergovernmental organisation dedicated to building a water-secure world. She was elected to five terms as a Member of Parliament of Mongolia from 1998 to 2016 and during that time, served as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Environment and Green Development, and Vice-Speaker of the Parliament.

Joy Shumake-Guillemot leads the World Health Organization (WHO)/World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Climate and Health Joint Office in Switzerland. She is an environmental health scientist with extensive field experience in Africa, Asia and Latin America supporting public health and humanitarian assistance programs.

Asuncion Lera St. Clair serves as Deputy Director of the Climate Change Programme at the quality assurance and risk management company DNV GL. Her work focuses on decarbonisation pathways, negative emissions technologies, hybrid and private governance and on exploring the contributions of business to sustainable development.

Tetsuzo Yasunari is Director General of Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (RIHN) in Kyoto, Japan, and is Chairman of Future Earth’s Japan National Committee. His main fields of study are climate dynamics and global environmental change.



March 30, 2018


Future Earth Staff Member



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