SPEAKERS

JAMIL ANDERLINI

Asia Editor, Financial Times 
Hong Kong

Jamil Anderlini was appointed Asia editor of the Financial Times in January 2016 to oversee editorial operations in the region of Hong Kong. He previously served as Beijing bureau chief for the Financial Times, Beijing business correspondent at the South China Morning Post and chief editor of the China Economic Review. Anderlini has won numerous awards, including a UK Foreign Press Association Award, several individual SOPA awards, and the inaugural Jones-Mauthner Award in 2012. In 2013, Anderlini was named a young global leader by the World Economic Forum and shortlisted for Foreign Reporter of the Year at The Press Awards in the UK. Anderlini received a BA in English from Victoria University of Wellington. Anderlini was named a Finance Leaders Fellow by the Aspen Institute in 2019.

 

Twitter: @JamilAnderlini

KOSTAS BAKOYANNIS

Mayor, Athens
Athens

Kostas Bakoyannis is mayor of Athens. He served as governor of Central Greece from 2014 to 2019 and as mayor of Karpenissi from 2011 to 2014. Born in 1978 in Athens, he graduated from Millfield School (UK) in 1996 before going to Brown University to study history and international relations. He continued with postgraduate studies in public policy, with a specialization in macroeconomics, at Harvard John F. Kennedy School of Government (USA). He holds a PhD in political science and international relations from the University of Oxford. He has worked at the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as executive manager in an investor relations and corporate communications company in Athens and has held positions in the European Parliament in Brussels and the World Bank in Kosovo. He is the vice president of the Hellenic Agency for Local Development and Local Government, a council member of the European Council on Foreign Relations, and a Greek leadership council member of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network. 

Twitter: @KBakoyannis

DR. VIVIAN BALAKRISHNAN

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister-in-Charge of the Smart Nation Initiative, Singapore
Singapore

Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan studied medicine at the National University of Singapore (NUS) after being awarded the President’s Scholarship in 1980. He was elected president of the NUS Students’ Union from 1981 to 1983 and chairman from 1984 to 1985. After graduation, Dr. Balakrishnan specialised in ophthalmology. He was appointed associate professor of NUS and deputy director of Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC) in 1997. In 1999, he became medical director of SNEC. He was appointed chief executive officer of Singapore General Hospital in 2000. Dr. Balakrishnan has been a member of parliament since 2001. Currently the minister for foreign affairs and the minister-in-charge of the Smart Nation initiative, Dr. Balakrishnan has previously held appointments as the minister for the environment and water resources, minister for community development, youth and sports, second minister for trade and industry, minister responsible for entrepreneurship, second minister for information, communications and the arts and minister of state for national development. 

Twitter: @VivianBala

SOREN BJORN

President, Driscoll’s of the Americas
San Francisco

Soren Bjorn is president of Driscoll’s of the Americas, the leading global brand for fresh berries. In his role, Bjorn leads the largest business unit for Driscoll’s and is responsible for all aspects of the business enterprise, from the strategic planning process to its financial success. Soren has been with Driscoll’s for more than eleven years. He previously served as first senior vice president of international business and was responsible for oversight of Driscoll’s Europe, Middle East and Africa business, an Australia-based joint venture and a new startup venture in China. Soren also led Driscoll’s global research and breeding programs which focus on developing proprietary seedlings in order to deliver great tasting berries to consumers. As a seasoned executive in the food industry, Soren spent six years with Del Monte Foods in San Francisco. There, his responsibilities included outsourcing of manufacturing operations globally, and the management of the company’s sales and operations planning department. Soren has also held the role of president and CEO at UniMark Foods, Inc. Soren received an MBA from Texas Christian University and a BBA from Baylor University in Texas.

Twitter: @driscollsberry

 

ALICE CHARLES

Lead, Cities, Urban Development & Services, World Economic Forum
Geneva

Alice Charles leads the cities work at the World Economic Forum. She oversees the Global Future Council on Cities and Urbanization, the production of all cities, real estate and urban services-related content, and events like Davos. She previously worked for the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government in Ireland, the Irish Parliament, Jacobs Engineering, and Avison Young in London. She is an external board member of the National Asset Management Agency in Ireland and is a member of the UN Habitat Stakeholder Advisory Group, the Urban Leadership Council for the Coalition for Urban Transitions, the Global Network on Disability Inclusive and Accessible Urban Development, and the Visiting Committee of the MIT Senseable City Lab. She’s also a jury member of the WWF One Planet City Challenge. She has an MA in global leadership through the World Economic Forum and an MBA from University College Dublin Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School. She earned a postgraduate diploma in town and country planning and a first-class honours degree in environmental planning from Queens University Belfast. She is a chartered member of the Royal Town Planning Institute and a member of the Irish Planning Institute. In 2017, she was awarded the Irish Echo 40 under 40 Award.  


Twitter: @alicecharles

PHILIPPE CLOSE

Mayor, Brussels
Brussels

Philippe Close became mayor of Brussels in 2017 and was reelected for a six-year term in October 2018. Prior to his appointment as mayor, Close was chosen to be the leader of the socialist party group in the Brussels Parliament. In 2009, Close was elected as a member of the Brussels Parliament where he focused on the health sector and institutional issues. He started his career working at the study center of the Socialist Party and became the spokesman for the president of the Socialist Party. Soon after, he became chief of staff of the mayor of Brussels, and in 2006 became alderman for tourism and city staff. He attaches great importance to the development of tourism as an economic engine for the city and the region of Brussels. Close studied law at the Université Libre de Bruxelles.

 

Twitter: @PhilippeClose

CORINA CREȚU

Member of the European Parliament and Former European Commissioner for Regional Policy
Bucharest

Corina Crețu is a member of the European Parliament and former European commissioner for regional policy. Crețu is a strong supporter of The Urban Agenda and believes that cities are key players in delivering priorities of the European Union. As commissioner for regional policy, Corina Crețu worked to ensure proper budgets for city exchanges, including ensuring regional-level migration realities, are reflected in the post-2020 programming period. Prior to becoming an EU commissioner, Crețu was a member of the European Parliament where she chaired the Committee on Development and served as a vice president of the Parliament. Corina Crețu graduated from the Academy of Economic Studies of Romania, Faculty of Cybernetics in 1989. She has worked as a journalist and political commentator for various Romanian newspapers before joining the Spokesperson's Office in the Cabinet of President of Romania, later becoming presidential advisor, presidential spokesperson and head of the Public Communication Department.

Twitter: @CorinaCretuEU

IVO DAALDER

President, Chicago Council on Global Affairs
Chicago

Ivo H. Daalder is president of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. He served as the US ambassador to NATO from 2009-2013. Prior to his appointment as ambassador to NATO by President Obama, Daalder was a senior fellow in foreign policy studies at the Brookings Institution, specializing in American foreign policy, European security and transatlantic relations, and national security affairs. Before joining Brookings in 1998, he was an associate professor at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy and director of research at its Center for International and Security Studies. He also served as director for European affairs on President Bill Clinton’s National Security Council staff from 1995-97. Daalder is the author and editor of 10 books, including The Empty Throne: How America Abdicated Its Global Leadership (with James M. Lindsay) (2018). Daalder was educated at the universities of Kent, Oxford, and Georgetown, and received his PhD in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Twitter: @IvoHDaalder

MINAL PATEL DAVIS

Special Advisor to the Mayor on Human Trafficking
Houston

Minal Patel Davis serves as Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner’s special advisor on human trafficking, the first municipal-level position of its kind in the US. Appointed in July 2015, Davis is charged with making a local impact on human trafficking in the 4th largest city in the US from a policy-level perspective and by advancing systems change. She developed and is currently implementing Mayor Turner’s Anti-Human Trafficking Strategic Plan, which is the first comprehensive municipal response to human trafficking by a US city. Davis is passionate about helping other cities in their own anti-human trafficking efforts and designed and delivers the city’s Ten/Ten Human Trafficking Response Municipal Fellowship, a 2-day immersion program for mayors and their executive staff to develop their own municipal approaches. Davis has spoken on several local, national, and international panels to present the City of Houston’s approach. She is a past speaker at the United Nations World Humanitarian Summit, the US Conference of Mayors, and recently traveled to India and Canada at the request of the State Department to discuss municipal leadership in trafficking with government officials. In 2018, Davis was awarded the Presidential Award for Extraordinary Efforts to Combat Trafficking. Her work has been covered on NPR, in Washington Post, New York Times, and other national and international media outlets. Davis received her JD and MBA from the University of Connecticut, and a BA from New York University.

Twitter: @HouAntiTraffick

ANDREW EDGECLIFFE-JOHNSON

US Business Editor, Financial Times
New York

Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson is the US business editor of the Financial Times, leading its reporting and analysis of US business in an age of populism, policy upheavals and shifting expectations of corporate America. He manages a team of reporters while writing news, analysis and commentary and helping develop new offerings for FT’s core audience such as Moral Money, its ESG newsletter. Until 2018, Andrew was FT’s US news editor and an FT assistant editor, directing its US coverage and helping steer its strategic evolution from a print focus to a digital-first newsroom. From 2005 to 2013, he was FT’s media editor, leading its coverage of sectors from the music business to digital media. In 22 years with FT in New York and London, Andrew has been deputy news editor, edited its management features section, covered M&A and consumer industries, and written for the influential Lex column.

Twitter: @Edgecliffe

FEMKE HALSEMA

Mayor, Amsterdam
Amsterdam

Femke Halsema became mayor of Amsterdam in July 2018. Halsema was born and raised in the city of Enschede. Educated as a criminologist, she held several positions in public administration, including as chairperson in the Dutch House of Representatives and political leader of GroenLinks. In 2011, after twelve years of service, she left national politics aspiring to contribute to solving social problems on a more practical level. Since her departure from political life, she has worked as a director in corporate, semi-public, cultural sectors. Halsema published her political memoir Pluche (Ambo, 2016), and wrote the essay Power and Imagination for the National Philosophy Month. She studied criminology and sociology of law, and graduated from Utrecht University in 1993.

EKREM İMAMOĞLU 

Mayor, Istanbul
Istanbul

Ekrem İmamoğlu is the mayor of Istanbul. He joined the Republican People's Party (CHP) in 2009 and became a member of the CHP Beylikdüzü District Organization. Following the local elections that year, he was elected chairperson of the CHP Beylikdüzü District. In 2014, İmamoğlu became the district mayor of Beylikdüzü. As mayor, he implemented various initiatives to improve the living standards of people in his district, and soon was in the spotlight of Beylikdüzü residents, media, academic community and senior management of CHP. In 2019, İmamoğlu was nominated as the mayoral candidate for the Nation Alliance in Istanbul. Carrying out an effective campaign in a short period of three months, İmamoğlu was elected as the mayor of Istanbul. However, as a result of the objections made by the ruling party, the Supreme Electoral Board annulled the results of the mayoral election in Istanbul. He ran again a month later, and received 54.2 percent of the total valid votes, which is the highest rate a mayoral candidate of Istanbul has achieved in the last 35 years. İmamoğlu holds a bachelor's degree in business administration and a master's degree in human resources management from Istanbul University. 

Twitter: @imamoglu_int and @ekrem_imamoglu

LAMIA KAMAL-CHAOUI

Director, OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities
Paris

Lamia Kamal-Chaoui has been the director of the OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities since 2016. She leads the Organisation’s work in the fields of SME and entrepreneurship policy, regional, urban and rural development, regional and metropolitan area statistics, multi-level governance, and tourism. The Centre manages the network of OECD Champion Mayors. Kamal-Chaoui has held several senior positions at the OECD since 1993. From 2012 to 2016, she served as senior advisor to the OECD Secretary General, supporting the overall OECD agenda and leading initiatives like the OECD Inclusive Growth Initiative. She was head of the OECD Urban Programme from 2003 to 2012, where she advised national policymakers and city leaders. Earlier in her career at the OECD, she worked in several other directorates. She has been a member of numerous international committees and advisory boards as well as a lecturer at Sciences Po Paris.

Twitter: @lamia_k_c

KHALID KOSER

Executive Director, Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund
Geneva

Khalid Koser is the founding executive director of the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund, a public-private partnership dedicated to preventing violent extremism. In its first three years, GCERF’s grants have reached over two million people in communities at risk. An academic by training, Khalid is professor of conflict, peace and security at the University of Maastricht, as well as nonresident fellow at the Lowy Institute. A global advocate for migrants and refugees, Khalid chaired the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Migration for a decade, edits the Journal of Refugee Studies, and was appointed MBE for services to asylum seekers and refugees. He chairs the Board of Trustees for the UK youth empowerment charity Raleigh International.

Twitter: @theGCERF

CHARLES ALLAN KWENIN

Regional Director for Southern Africa, International Organization for Migration
Pretoria

Charles A. Kwenin is the regional director for Southern Africa of the International Organization for Migration (IOM). Kwenin began his current position at the IOM South Africa in August 2017, and provides overall administrative support and supervision for IOM country missions in Southern Africa. Kwenin has been instrumental in launching the IGAD Regional Consultative Process, the Migration Dialogue for Central Africa (MIDCAS), and the Migration Dialogue for COMESA (MIDCOM). In coordination with the African Union and the RECs, Kwenin has been one of the key architects of the Pan African Forum on Migration (PAFoM), a platform that promotes inter-state dialogue and intra-regional cooperation on migration. From 2009-2017, Kwenin served as senior regional advisor for Africa in the Office of the Director General of IOM, Geneva. Kwenin served in Addis Ababa from 2004-2009 as the IOM chief of mission to Ethiopia and the IOM representative to the African Union, UNECA, and IGAD where he was instrumental in drafting various continental and regional migration policies including the AU Migration Policy Framework for Africa and the African Common Position on Migration and Development. From 2001-2004, Kwenin served as IOM regional head of programmes for East and Central Africa at the IOM Regional Office in Kenya. He was IOM chief of mission in Uganda from 1996-2001 and programme officer in Brussels from 1992–1996. Prior to joining the IOM in 1992, Kwenin worked as an economic planning officer in the Ministry of Finance & Economic Planning in Ghana and as a teaching assistant at the University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana.

 

Twitter: @CharlesKwenin

ROHEY MALICK LOWE

Lord Mayor, Banjul
Banjul

The Lord Mayor of Banjul was born and raised in Banjul, The Gambia. Mayor Lowe is a proactive and hardworking individual with significant years of experience as an entrepreneur who has successfully established herself within the tourism industry. She studied international relations at the University of Falun in Sweden and her academic experience has provided her with a strong theoretical knowledge of public administration. She was also very active in the political arena and subsequently became a member of a party called ‘Social Democrats’ through which she had the opportunity to serve as a key member of the Child Welfare Committee of Nyköping Municipality where she was mandated with overseeing the schools within her jurisdiction. She was elected as the mayor of Banjul in May, 2018 and she has since demonstrated professionalism through her leadership style by  ensuring a total inclusion of all the inhabitants of the city of Banjul in policy processes and giving them a voice to engage in all decisions regarding their city.  Furthermore, part of her governance also includes engaging all relevant stakeholders in Banjul, especially civil society organisations, for the betterment and development of the city. She also strengthened capacities of her municipality by restructuring various departments and hiring qualified technocrats to assist in this process.  She has also been a key participant in several international forums advocating for the localization of SDGs. Lord Mayor Lowe was invited by the Canadian government to present the SDGs that she has particularly advocated for and implemented in the city of Banjul. 

Twitter: @LoweMayor

VICTOR JOHN MALLET

Paris Bureau Chief, Financial Times
Paris

Victor Mallet is a journalist, editor, commentator and author with more than three decades of experience in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. He is currently Paris bureau chief of Financial Times. His previous posts include South Asia bureau chief in New Delhi, bureau chief in Madrid, Asia editor in Hong Kong, and Paris correspondent. He twice won the Society of Publishers in Asia award for opinion writing. In India, he was twice awarded the Ramnath Goenka Award for Excellence in Journalism as a foreign correspondent, first for a 2012 feature about the rise of Narendra Modi and later for a weekend magazine cover story on the Ganges. His latest book is River of Life, River of Death: The Ganges and India’s Future (OUP, 2017), and his highly praised analysis of the south-east Asian industrial revolution and the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis, The Trouble with Tigers (HarperCollins) was first published in 1999.

 

Twitter: @VJMallet

ALI NOORANI

Executive Director, National Immigration Forum
Washington D.C.

Ali Noorani is the executive director of the National Immigration Forum, a non-partisan advocacy organization working with faith, law enforcement and business leaders to promote the value of immigrants and immigration. Growing up in California as the son of Pakistani immigrants, Ali quickly learned how to forge alliances among people of wide-ranging backgrounds, a skill that has served him extraordinarily well as one of the nation’s most innovative coalition builders. Before joining the Forum in 2008, Ali was executive director of the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, and he has served in leadership roles within public health and environmental organizations. Ali is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, holds a master’s degree in public health from Boston University and is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley. Ali is a regular contributor to Boston Public Radio, the author of There Goes the Neighborhood: How Communities Overcome Prejudice and Meet the Challenge of American Immigration (Prometheus, 2017) and host of Only in America podcast. He lives in Washington, DC.

Twitter: @anoorani

WILLIAM PEDUTO

Mayor, Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh

William Peduto was elected mayor of the City of Pittsburgh in November, 2013 and took office in January, 2014. Previously, he had worked nineteen years in the Pittsburgh City Council; seven years as a staffer, then twelve years as a member of council. The Peduto administration is committed to modernizing city government by providing taxpayers with an efficient, effective, transparent, and more accountable government. Prioritizing strengthening Pittsburgh's ninety communities, Peduto established the Bureau of Neighborhood Empowerment; led the development of the city's land bank; and championed the creation of a neighborhood-strengthening rental registration program. Mayor Peduto has led a collaborative effort to make Pittsburgh a leading twenty-first century city. The Peduto administration has partnered with the White House on several initiatives, resulting in direct access to federal support related to affordable housing, education, economic development, energy efficiency, immigration, manufacturing, community policing, workforce development, technology, and transportation. In 2015, Mayor Peduto signed a unique agreement with the US Department of Energy to make the city a world leader in district energy production as Pittsburgh joined the UN Compact of Mayors. Recently, Mayor Peduto joined with mayors across the world to reaffirm Pittsburgh's commitment to the Paris Agreement and efforts to combat climate change. Mayor Peduto is a founding member of the MetroLab Network, a national alliance of cities and universities committed to providing analytically based solutions to improve urban infrastructure, services, and other public sector priorities.

 

Twitter: @billpeduto

TOM PRITZKER

Executive Chairman, Hyatt Hotels Corporation
Chicago

Tom Pritzker is executive chairman of Hyatt Hotels Corporation (NYSE: H). He is also chairman and CEO of The Pritzker Organization, the family's historical merchant bank, and on the board of directors of Royal Caribbean Cruises LTD (NYSE: RCL). Over his career he has been involved in acquiring and building companies in a number of different industries and a founder of significant companies in the fields of container leasing (Triton), biotech (Bay City Capital) and health care (Reliant Pharmaceuticals and First Health). Outside of business, Pritzker is chairman of Center for Strategic & International Studies in Washington, DC, and a member of the Aspen Strategy Group. He is also chairman of the Hyatt Foundation, which sponsors the Pritzker Architecture Prize, and a member of the board of trustees at the University of Chicago and the Art Institute of Chicago. Pritzker is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Pritzker is also an honorary professor of history at Sichuan University in China, and for the past 30 years has been leading archeological expeditions and publishing original research in the field of Western Himalayan history. He was born and raised in Chicago. He holds a BA from Claremont Men's College, and an MBA and JD from the University of Chicago.

MATTHEW A. REYNOLDS

Regional Representative for the United States and the Caribbean, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency
Washington, DC

Matthew A. Reynolds joined UNHCR in 2017 as the regional representative for the United States of America and the Caribbean. Previously, he was the North America representative for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). He also served as US assistant secretary of state for legislative affairs and was the Bureau’s principal deputy assistant secretary and acting assistant secretary, the Department of State’s director of house affairs and deputy assistant secretary for senate affairs. Before joining the State Department, Reynolds spent 17 years in numerous senior positions in the House of Representatives and the Senate, including as staff director of the House Rules Committee, as well as on the Senate Foreign Relations and House Foreign Affairs Committees. Reynolds also served as chief of staff to US Representative Jay Kim and as legislative director to US Representative Robert Lagomarsino, both of California. He is a senior congressional fellow with the Stennis Center for Public Service at Mississippi State University, and a trustee of International College in Beirut, Lebanon. He is a graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.

Twitter: @MattReynoldsDC

AROMAR REVI

Director, Indian Institute for Human Settlements
Bengaluru

Aromar Revi is the founding director of the Indian Institute for Human Settlements He is an international practice and thought leader, an educator in public policy, sustainable development, human settlements, and environmental and technological change. Revi is a co-chair of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network and helped lead a campaign for sustainable development goal 11. He is a member of the Ubuntu Advisory Board of the UCLG, the global voice of local and regional governments, representing 0.24 million towns, cities, metropolises and regions. Revi has been a senior advisor to multiple ministries of the Government of India since late 1980s and consulted with a wide range of international development institutions, as well as firms on economic, environmental, and social change. He recently led the design of the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure, a global partnership to promote the resilience of infrastructure systems to climate and disaster risks launched at the New York Climate Action Summit in 2019. He is one of the world’s leading experts on climate change and a coordinating lead author of the 2018 IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 °C that defined pathways to implement the Paris Climate Agreement. He has published over hundred peer-reviewed publications and books. Revi received a BTech from IIT, Delhi, and an MBA and LLB from the University of Delhi.

 

Twitter: @AromarRevi

VITTORIA ZANUSO

Executive Director, Mayors Migration Council
New York City

Vittoria Zanuso is the inaugural executive director of the Mayors Migration Council (MMC), a city-led global initiative supported by Open Society Foundations and the Government of Switzerland, in partnership with C40 Cities. As the MMC’s executive director, Vittoria oversees the organization’s efforts to help cities access and influence international and national policy and financing on migration, refugee protection, and inclusion. As chief executive of the MMC, Vittoria also sits in the Steering Committee of the UN Start-Up Fund for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration or Migration MPTF. Vittoria comes to the MMC from The Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities initiative (100RC). As a founding staff member of 100RC, she established a network of 100 cities from the ground up and spearheaded successful advocacy campaigns and strategic partnerships to empower global mayors to address migration and climate challenges. Originally from Milan, Italy, Vittoria holds an MPA in international policy and management from New York University Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and a BA in politics from Queen Mary University of London.

Twitter: @ToriVzanuso

 

 
 
 
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