H.E. António Guterres
Secretary-General of the United Nations
António Guterres, the ninth Secretary-General of the United Nations, took office on 1st January 2017.
Prior to his appointment as Secretary-General, Mr. Guterres served as United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees from June 2005 to December 2015, heading one of the world’s foremost humanitarian organizations during some of the most serious displacement crises in decades. The conflicts in Syria and Iraq, and the crises in South Sudan, the Central African Republic and Yemen, led to a huge rise in UNHCR’s activities as the number of people displaced by conflict and persecution rose from 38 million in 2005 to over 60 million in 2015.
Before joining UNHCR, Mr. Guterres spent more than 20 years in government and public service. He served as prime minister of Portugal from 1995 to 2002, during which time he was heavily involved in the international effort to resolve the crisis in East Timor.
As president of the European Council in early 2000, he led the adoption of the Lisbon Agenda for growth and jobs, and co-chaired the first European Union-Africa summit. He was a member of the Portuguese Council of State from 1991 to 2002.
Mr. Guterres was elected to the Portuguese Parliament in 1976 where he served as a member for 17 years. During that time, he chaired the Parliamentary Committee for Economy, Finance and Planning, and later the Parliamentary Committee for Territorial Administration, Municipalities and Environment. He was also leader of his party’s parliamentary group.
From 1981 to 1983, Mr. Guterres was a member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, where he chaired the Committee on Demography, Migration and Refugees.
For many years Mr. Guterres was active in the Socialist International, a worldwide organization of social democratic political parties. He was the group’s vice-president from 1992 to 1999, co-chairing the African Committee and later the Development Committee. He served as President from 1999 until mid-2005. In addition, he founded the Portuguese Refugee Council as well as the Portuguese Consumers Association DECO, and served as president of the Centro de Acção Social Universitário, an association carrying out social development projects in poor neighbourhoods of Lisbon, in the early 1970s.
Mr. Guterres is a member of the Club of Madrid, a leadership alliance of democratic former presidents and prime ministers from around the world.
Mr. Guterres was born in Lisbon in 1949 and graduated from the Instituto Superior Técnico with a degree in engineering. He is fluent in Portuguese, English, French and Spanish. He is married to Catarina de Almeida Vaz Pinto, Deputy Mayor for Culture of Lisbon, and has two children, a stepson and three grandchildren.
Mr. Paul Polman
Business leader, campaigner, former CEO, Unilever, and co-author of “Net Positive”
Paul Polman works to accelerate action by business to tackle climate change and inequality. He believes, above all, that humanity will only overcome our greatest shared challenges through far-reaching systems change and bold new partnerships to deliver the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which he helped develop.
As CEO of Unilever (2009-2019), Paul demonstrated that business can profit through purpose, marrying a long-term, multi-stakeholder model with excellent financial performance. During Paul’s tenure, shareholders saw their returns increase by 290% while the company consistently ranked 1st in the world for sustainability and as one of best places to work.
Today Paul works across a range of organisations and initiatives to help speed the global action needed to regenerate our planet, renew our economies and unite our societies. He helps business move further and faster on these ambitions, including through his work with Systemiq and through mobilizing private equity.
He helps drive bold new coalitions within industries such as fashion and food, as well as between the private sector, government and civil society, including through his work a Vice-Chair of the UN Global Compact and as an Ambassador for the Race to Zero and Race to Resilience.
Paul is also passionate about developing our next generation of leaders, which he does as chair of the Oxford University Saïd Business School, and through his work with INSEAD, IESE and the Boards of PRME and One Young World.
Last year Paul’s published his critically-acclaimed book with sustainability expert Andrew Winston, “Net Positive”, which sets out how to build companies which succeed by fixing the world’s problems, rather than creating them. He actively campaigns on a range of human rights issues, including promoting disability inclusion through the Valuable 500 and the Kilimanjaro Blind Trust, which he set up with his wife Kim. Follow him on twitter and LinkedIn and sign up to receive his newsletter here. More on www.paulpolman.com
Ms. Solange Maria Pinto Ribeiro
Deputy CEO, Neoenergia
Solange Ribeiro is Deputy CEO of Neoenergia. From 2012 to 2017, she was the CEO of Neoenergia, which she has joined in 2004 as the Executive Director for Regulatory and Environment. Mrs. Ribeiro is a member of the Board of Directors of several companies of the Neoenergia Group.
Mrs. Ribeiro is the Vice President of the Board of the National System Operator; Vice President of the Board of the Brazilian Association of Infrastructure and Basic Industries; and a member of the board of the Brazilian Association of Electric Energy Distributors. She was a member of the Executive Board of the Wholesale Energy Market.
Mrs. Ribeiro is a member of the Board of Directors of the Brazilian Business Council for Sustainable Development; member of the Advisory Board of Institute E+ Energy Transition; and a member of the Governance of the Together for Sustainable Development Program. She was a member of the Brazilian Symphonic Orchestra's Board of Trustees and of the Economic and Social Development Council.
With 37 years of experience, Mrs. Ribeiro has deep knowledge of the electricity sector and diversified professional experiences that combine tactical-operational and strategic aspects. She has built a career in the sector having held high leadership positions in large companies such as AES Eletropaulo and Chesf. In addition, Mrs. Ribeiro has worked as a consultant for National Economic Research Associates – NERA, in Washington, DC.
She is engaged with different multisectoral coalitions acting actively towards a more sustainable and inclusive agenda, which includes accelerating the climate ambition through energy transition.
Mrs. Ribeiro holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from the Federal University of Pernambuco, and a Master’s Degree from the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro. She was also an academic researcher at the “Center of Environmental Technology” at the Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, London.
Ms. Clara Arpa Azofra
CEO, Arpa Equipos Móviles de Campaña
Clara Arpa, CEO and owner of ARPA Equipos Móviles de Campaña, has lead the Spanish company based in Zaragoza since 2010. ARPA is a family owned company, founded 50 years ago, with customers in more than 70 countries, specializing in the design and manufacture of mobile field integral solutions. Innovative and fast deployment solutions in health, WaSH systems and tech com solutions as well as field logistic equipment for relief disaster purposes, among others, to give support to any activity of any operator anywhere.
As CEO, her aim was to change the company to offer faster and better response solutions in the aftermath of catastrophes and natural disasters, such as SITEC, specializing in rescuing and taking care of survivors and their most immediate needs.
Ms. Arpa has been in the post disaster reconstruction field all around the world for over 23 years. This experience and the knowledge acquired through this long period of time has added value to every single project, taking the company to new heights of performance.
A Board Member of various regional and national professional and business associations, she is also currently the chairwoman of The Innovation Centre for Sustainable Development CIDS, the ARPA Group Foundation, a group for collecting innovative ideas and implementing projects to boost worldwide sustainable development.
Clara Arpa is married and has three children.
Mr. Patrick Chalhoub
CEO, Chalhoub Group
Patrick Chalhoub is the Joint Chief Executive Officer of the Chalhoub Group, the leading partner for luxury across the Middle East. Patrick began his career in 1979 when he decided to become involved in the realisation of his father’s vision to build a bridge between the East and West and be the ambassador of luxury lifestyle in the region.
He created a regional distribution platform in the Jebel Ali Free zone with Fendi, L’Oréal, Dior Parfums and Puig, to name a few. As the director of Christofle and of Bernardaud, Patrick Chalhoub was involved in the strategic planning for the restructuring and redeployment of these brands and, from 2000, developed the retail network of the Group from a few stores to over 600 stores with a workforce which increased from a few hundred to over 12,000 in the region, and with local implementation in 14 countries.
For nearly 30 years, Patrick has been fully involved in the strategic development of the business to guarantee its long-term success. As such, he continues to expand the Group’s distribution, retail business, marketing and communication activities and is also eager to strengthen the Group’s support services in terms of offering and skills and is very engaged in the digital transformation of the Group.
He has been instrumental in guiding the development of a sustainability strategy for the Group, with a focus on Education, Environmental and Humanitarian sustainability.
Patrick has also been very actively involved in a few associations, such as the French Business Council, which he lead for some years, the Capital Club and, more recently, he established the local chapter of Endeavor, helping start-ups to scale up. He is also regularly consulted by local Governments on economic development, governance and social responsibilities.
At the age of 42, he was awarded the medal of Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite by the French Government. Patrick is also Chevalier de l’Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur since January 2016.
Mr. John W.H. Denton
Secretary General, International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)
John W.H. Denton AO is the Secretary General of the International Chamber of Commerce. John was previously a Partner and CEO of Corrs Chambers Westgarth, Australia’s leading independent law firm. John is a Board member of IFM Global investors - one of the world’s major infrastructure investors. John is a founding member of the B20, of the Australia-China CEO Roundtable and of Australia for UNHCR.John co-led the Australian Government’s White Paper on Australia in the Asian Century and previously Chaired the APEC Finance and Economics Work Group. John is Chair of the Global Engagement Taskforce of the Business Council of Australia.
He is a former diplomat and an Alumnus of Harvard Business School and the University of Melbourne. He is a Board member of the Australian Ballet and a founder of Human Rights Watch (Australia) and Teach for Australia. In 2015 John was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Australia for his services to the business community, the arts and the rights of refugees
Dr. Musimbi Kanyoro
Chair, United World Colleges
Dr. Musimbi Kanyoro is the Chair of the United World Colleges. She is a social activist and theologian who is globally recognized for her leadership of organizations and initiatives that advance human rights, and philanthropy for women and girls. She was President and CEO of Global Fund for Women from 2011 to 2019, one of the world’s leading publicly-supported foundations for gender equality.
Musimbi received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Nairobi, Kenya, a Ph.D. from the University of Texas, Austin, and a Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary. She was a visiting scholar at Harvard Divinity School studying Hebrew and Old Testament.
Musimbi has received several recognition awards and honorary degrees over many years. In 2015, Forbes magazine named her one of 10 women “power brands” working for gender equality. In 2016 she was recognized on a list of “Forty over 40 – women who are reinventing, and disrupting and making an impact”. More recently, she was named among the 100 people making a difference in gender policy and alongside Bill Gates as one of the 9 powerful people changing the planet. Musimbi’s Ted Talk on equal generosity, released for International Women’s Day 2018, is available at the Global Fund for Women website.
Ms. Sanda Ojiambo
CEO & Executive Director, UN Global Compact
Sanda Ojiambo is the Executive Director of the United Nations Global Compact. Launched in July 2000, the United Nations Global Compact is the Secretary‑General’s strategic policy and advocacy initiative calling for the alignment of business operations and strategies with 10 universal principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. It also motivates companies to integrate the SDGs into their core business strategies and operations.
With more than 10,000 corporate participants and other stakeholders from over 160 countries engaged through 68 country networks, the Compact is the largest voluntary corporate sustainability initiative in the world. Endorsed by chief executive officers, it is a practical framework for the development, implementation and disclosure of sustainability policies and practices, committing businesses to sustainability and shared responsibility for achieving a better world.
Ms. Ojiambo, brings 20 years of experience to lead the UN Global Compact. She has served as Head of Sustainable Business and Social Impact, Safaricom Plc, Kenya since 2010. Ms. Ojiambo was also the Senior Manager of Safaricom and MPESA Foundations, Kenya from 2008 to 2010, during which she led the implementation of several public-private partnership initiatives between Safaricom and UN organizations.
Throughout her career, she has cultivated and managed relationships with key business entities and civil society organizations, including her capacity development work in Somalia with UNDP and CARE International.
Ms. Ojiambo holds a Master of Arts in Public Policy from the University of Minnesota, USA, and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and International Development from McGill University, Canada.
Mr. Roberto Marques
Executive Chairman & Group CEO, Natura & Co
After joining Natura in 2015, Roberto Marques became Group CEO of Natura & Co in January 2020. A Business Administration graduate from the Getulio Vargas Foundation in São Paulo, Mr. Marques majored in Marketing and Strategic Planning. Marques also holds post-graduate degrees from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Marques was Executive Vice President and President for North America at Mondelez International. Prior to that Marques worked for many years for Johnson & Johnson, where he held among other positions, Company Group Chairman of Consumer Business North America, Worldwide President of Medical Devices and many senior positions in the Latam and EMEA regions. Marques is also a Board Member of the USTA Foundation and was previously a Director at GMA, Grocery Manufacturer Association, the Consumer Health Care Products Association (CHPA), the ENACTUS and Brazil-U.S. Business Council in U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Mr. Anand Mahindra
Chairman, Mahindra Group
Mr. Anand Mahindra is the Chairman of the Mahindra Group and the Executive Chairman of Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. His tenure has seen the Group expand domestically and internationally into a range of major industrial sectors from automobiles and agriculture to IT and aerospace. The Group has also grown inorganically through acquisitions such as Ssangyong Motors, Reva Electric Car Company, Satyam Computer Services, Peugeot Motorcycles, Gippsland Aeronautics, Aerostaff Australia, Holiday Club Resorts, and Pininfarina S.p.A.
He has served on several influential bodies globally, including the Global Board of Advisors of the Council on Foreign Relations, New York, and the International Advisory Council of Singapore’s Economic Development Board. He is currently on the board of Invest India, the National Investment Promotion and Facilitation Agency. Mr. Mahindra has been named in Barron's List of Top 30 CEOs worldwide (2016) and Fortune Magazine’s list of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders (2014). He was appointed ‘Knight in the National Order of the Legion of Honour’ by the President of the French Republic (2016).
Mr. Mahindra is an incisive business commentator and humanitarian with over 6 million followers on Twitter. Among his many social change initiatives is the Nanhi Kali programme, which, for the last two decades, has provided over 330,000 under-privileged girls access to high quality education.
Chairman, Foundation for the Global Compact
Jim Kearney was a senior litigation partner at the global law firm, Latham & Watkins, where he also headed up the firm’s award-winning global pro bono practice for five years. He represented US domestic and non-domestic pro bono clients. In 2006, he was a co-founder of the Foundation for the Global Compact and has since served as a Director and Chair of its Audit Committee. Throughout his commercial legal practice, Jim specialized in jury research, communication arts and litigation strategy. For more than thirty years he taught litigation tactics to practicing lawyers in the US and abroad. Jim was a philosophy major at Manhattan College in New York and obtained his law degree, cum laude, from New York University Law School.
Dr. Delia Ferreira Rubio
Chair, Transparency International
Dr. Delia Ferreira Rubio is the Chair of Transparency International (elected in October 2017). She is a Lawyer graduated from Córdoba National University (Argentina) and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Ph.D. degree in Law from Madrid’s Complutense University (Spain). She is Member of the Steering Committee of OGP - Open Government Partnership (elected 2018) and of the PACI Vanguard Steering Committee, the Partnering Against Corruption Initiative of the World Economic Forum. She is Co-Chair of the WEF Global Future Council on Transparency and Anti-corruption.
Dr. Ferreira Rubio served as Chief Advisor for several Representatives and Senators at the Argentinian National Congress from 1990 to 2005, advising the Constitutional Committee of both the House of Representatives and the Senate, and also served as Advisor to the National Accounting Office for two years. She has done consultancies on Political Finance, Anti-Corruption and Transparency related issues with various international organizations (IFES, UNDP, OAS, IADB, IDEA, NEEDS, ERIS, CAPEL, DEMOCRACY INTERNATIONAL, COUNTERPART, UNWomen among others) and NGOs around the world. She was President of Poder Ciudadano, the Argentinian Chapter of Transparency International (2008-2010).
Dr. Ferreira Rubio has authored numerous publications on Transparency and Anti-Corruption, Political Corruption, Public and Parliamentary Ethics and Comparative Politics, among other subjects.
Ms. Flora Mutahi
Founder & CEO, Melvin Marsh International Limited
Founder and CEO of Melvin Marsh International Ltd Kenya’s, largest flavored tea company. Flora has extensive local and international experience in strategic leadership, business development, market penetration and marketing. She also has interests in real estate.
She is the current Chairperson Kenya Association of Manufactures, and the first female Chairperson since its inception 57 years ago. She has also been appointed to sit on several boards both in the private and public sector.
Flora is passionate about business, and mentors entrepreneurs — particularly women. Late last year, she started a program in Kenya called Women in Manufacturing (WIM) — a program aimed at encouraging more women to join the industry.
She holds an MBA from University of Cape Town 2008 2010 and B.Sc Finance and accounts (UK) 1988-1991. She has won several awards for her business and on a personal level during her entrepreneurial journey
Flora is married with three children.
Co-Chair, Global Network Council
Executive Director, UN Global Compact Network Georgia
Salome Zurabishvili founded and has been heading the UN Global Compact Network Georgia since February 2016. She has been Chairing the UN Global Compact Regional Network Council for Eastern Europe and Central Asia since March 2021. Salome is a Human Rights Lawyer and Corporate Sustainability professional. Her experience counts ten+ years in the NGO, INGO, Public, Media and Academic Sectors. Salome is a winner of Forbes Georgia 30 under 30, Class of 2020. She is a Swedish Institute Visby Programme Alumnus and holds Master’s Degree from Lund University, Sweden in International Human Rights Law and Labour Rights. She is also the European Parliament’s Sakharov Fellow.
Mr. David Atkin
CEO, Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI)
David Atkin was appointed CEO of the Principles for Responsible Investment in December 2021. The PRI is a UN-supported organisation, with more than 4,500 signatories who collectively represent over US $121 trillion in AUM. He is responsible for the PRI’s global operations.
Most recently, David served as the Deputy CEO for AMP Capital and prior to that spent almost 13 years as the CEO for Cbus Superannuation Fund where he saw membership grow from 500,000 to over 750,000 and AUM rise to AUD $55 billion.
David currently serves on the board of the Climate Council. He has received the Distinguished Alumni Award from La Trobe University for his work in the sustainable finance field, was awarded the FEAL Fund Executive of the Year in 2017 and was presented with a ASFA Life Membership in 2020.
Mr. Roberto Suarez-Santos
Secretary-General, International Organisation of Employers (IOE)
Appointed Acting Secretary-General in March 2018, Roberto Suárez Santos joined the IOE as Deputy Secretary-General in December 2012. He is a trained lawyer with experience in European and international labour law, as well as in international relations. Within the IOE, he is mainly in charge of managing, coordinating and supporting the business presence at the ILO.
Prior to his appointment, Roberto was based in Tunisia, working as the ILO Programme Director for the promotion of youth employment in the Maghreb region. Before that, he worked at the Spanish Confederation of Employer’s Organisations (CEOE) in various capacities ranging from comparative labour policies and labour relations to youth unemployment and social and employment policy. His most recent position at the CEOE was as Head of European and International Social Policy, where he managed, implemented and evaluated social and youth employment projects.
Roberto has also been involved in academia. He has taught European Social Law as an associate professor at both the Universidad Complutense de Madrid and the Universidad Pontificia de Comillas in Spain.
Roberto was a member of the European Social Dialogue Committee and has also worked as President of the CSR group for the European employer’s organisation, BUSINESSEUROPE. He was BUSINESSEUROPE’s Vice-President for Labour Affairs for several years and has been the spokesperson for European employers at Euromed meetings such as Marrakech (2009) Barcelona (2010) and Brussels (2011). Roberto was Vice-President of BIAC’s Employment and Labour Affairs Committee, and has also been a member of various follow up committees for the European Social Fund and the EU Economic and Social committee.
Mr. Jean-Pascal Tricoire
Chairman & CEO, Schneider Electric
Jean-Pascal Tricoire is the Chairman of Schneider Electric. He previously served as COO of Schneider from 2003, CEO from 2006 to 2011, and Chairman and CEO from 2011 to 2023. Under Jean-Pascal’s leadership, Schneider has transformed and become a technology company leading in software, sustainability, digitization, and electrification. As CEO, he redefined the company’s purpose and technology portfolio, growing the company to four times its size, with revenues and footprint balanced across the globe.
Jean-Pascal joined Schneider Electric in 1986 and held various positions across France, Italy, China, South Africa, the United States and Hong Kong. In 2001, he first joined the company’s Executive Committee to take charge of Schneider’s international division. Jean-Pascal also serves as an independent director on the board of Qualcomm. He is a director of the worldwide board of the United Nations Global Compact, a United Nations #HeForShe Corporate IMPACT champion and a member of the International Business Council of the World Economic Forum as well as the Asia Business Council. He is also a member of the board of trustees of Northeastern University.
Jean-Pascal is a member of the International Advisory Council of the Singapore Economic Development Board and a member of the advisory councils of Shanghai, Beijing, and Hong Kong. He led the France-China Business Council from 2009 to 2019. He is a Knight of the Legion of Honor and an Officer of the National Order of Merit in France.
Jean-Pascal is committed to leverage technology to create a net zero and inclusive future for all. He is passionate about technology and software, access to energy, sustainable development and diversity, equity and inclusion.
Ms. Sandra Wu, Wen Hsiu
Chairperson and CEO, Kokusai Kogyo Co., Ltd.
Sandra Wu is the Chairperson and CEO of Kokusai Kogyo Co., Ltd. since 2013. She also co-founded Japan Asia Group and was its Director until 2021.
Sandra is currently serving as board member of Global Compact Network Japan, member of the Advisory Committee on National Resilience (Disaster Reduction and Mitigation) to the Cabinet Secretariat, and Chair of the Board of Councilors at Shizenkan Graduate School of Leadership and Innovation, and Visiting Professor at IRIDeS, Tohoku University.
She was Chair of UN Office of Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR)'s private sector stakeholder group from 2013 to 2015, and board member of its private sector initiative, ARISE, from 2015 to 2020. With the World Economic Forum, she was Co-Chair of the Infrastructure and Urban Development (I&U) Industry Group in 2017.
Sandra is a graduate from the Department of Chinese Literature, National Taiwan University and the Advanced Management Program, Harvard Business School.
Mr. Stephen Cotton
General Secretary of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF)
Stephen Cotton is General Secretary of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), a global union federation of 670 trade unions representing nearly 18 million transport workers in 154 countries in the maritime, port, aviation, road, rail and urban transport sectors. He was elected at the 43rd ITF Congress in Sofia, Bulgaria in 2014, and re-elected at the 44th ITF Congress in Singapore, 2018.
Under his leadership, the ITF has transformed into a proactive campaigning organisation, allowing the ITF and its affiliates to secure industry-leading contracts and protocols with key multinational companies in the transport sector.
He is Chair of the Council of Global Unions (CGU), a Trustee of the ITF Seafarers’ Trust and serves on the United Seaman’s Service (USS) governing body.
In 2021, Cotton has been appointed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations to serve as a Member of the Board of the UN Global Compact, an initiative that mobilises industry leaders globally to do business responsibly and improve the state of society.
In 2014, Cotton received the USS Admiral of the Ocean Sea (AOTOS) Award, in recognition of his work defending the well-being and fair treatment of seafarers.
Ambassador Thomas Zahneisen
Deputy Permanent Representative at the Permanent Mission of the Federal Republic of Germany to the United Nations in New York.
Ambassador Thomas Zahneisen currently holds the position of the Deputy Permanent Representative at the Permanent Mission of the Federal Republic of Germany to the United Nations in New York.
Until 2022 he served as Director for Humanitarian Assistance in Berlin, before as Head of the Division S03 for Crisis Prevention, Stabilization, Peacebuilding, Mediation. He was Head of the Task Force Afghanistan – Pakistan in 2014 and 2015 and held the position of the Deputy Director of Policy Planning 2012-2014 in the German Federal Foreign Office.
His long-standing Afghanistan-experience from his position as Civilian Commander of the German Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Feyzabad, in the above-mentioned Task Force and as Deputy Ambassador in Kabul.
He also served at the German Embassy in Rwanda and completed a secondment to the Quai d’Orsay, where he was Deputy Head of the Security Council Affairs Desk in and to the EU as Diplomatic Advisor to the EUFOR-Mission in Kinshasa.
He holds academic degrees from the Philipps University Marburg, the École Normale Supérieurein Paris and the Harvard University.