Panel Members

Blake Ratner

Dr. Blake Ratner is Executive Director, Collaborating for Resilience—a cross-regional, non-profit initiative working to address environmental resource competition and strengthen governance and livelihood resilience in interconnected resource domains and landscapes. An environmental sociologist (Ph.D., Cornell University), he has published widely on rights, equity, accountability and institutional innovation in environmental decision-making, drawing on insights from action research to inform both policy and practice. Blake has led programs in South and Southeast Asia and East Africa to strengthen capacity to manage resource competition and is partnering to build a global community of practice on multi-stakeholder platforms for people-centered land governance. Blake is the immediate past Director General of WorldFish, part of CGIAR, the global partnership for a food secure future. As a member of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel of the Global Environment Facility, he has responsibility as adviser on international waters, comprising both marine and freshwater systems, and works across focal areas on integrated approaches to achieve transformational change and enhance environmental security at scale.



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Rosie Cooney

Dr. Rosie Cooney is an interdisciplinary conservation scientist working at the interface of conservation science, policy and practice. She has extensive experience working for leading global nature conservation NGOs, a research background in wildlife management and governance, and has held a number of leadership and advisory positions in UN bodies, including the United Nations Secretary-General's Science Advisory Board and the Collaborative Partnership on Wildlife. She was a lead author in the IPBES regional assessment for Asia-Pacific. She has particular experience in mobilising global transdisciplinary explorations of complex biodiversity conservation issues, and her specific areas of expertise include sustainable use of wild resources; community conservation and natural resource management; legal and illegal wildlife trade; integration of rights, livelihoods and knowledge of indigenous peoples and local communities; natural resource governance; conversation policy; uncertainty and the precautionary principle in conservation practice. The majority of her work has focused on issues in African, Central/Southeast Asian and Latin American countries and Australia, in close collaboration with in-country individuals and organisations (including from governments, private sector, NGOs, and indigenous peoples/local community organisations), bilateral agencies, and multilateral organisations.

You may review Dr. Cooney's full CV here.



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Jamidu Katima

Jamidu Katima is a Professor of Chemical Engineering and the Vice-Chancellor of Kampala International University. He has conducted research works on topics like reaction kinetics of chemicals, waste stabilization ponds, constructed wetlands, biofuels, and non-burn medical waste treatment technologies.

He has been involved in chemical management processes since the negotiations of the Stockholm Convention up to the Minamata Convention and was a member of the GEF Technical Advisory Group on Sound Chemicals Management that proposed that the GEF include chemicals management as a focal area.

He served as: Vice-President of the Intergovernmental Forum on Chemical Safety; Co-chair of the International Pollution Elimination Network; and the Africa Regional Focal Point for the Strategic Approach for International Chemicals Management.

Dr. Katima is part of the author team of the African Waste Management Outlook (2018) and was also involved in the preparation of the health care waste management strategy for the Southern African Development Community and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa countries. He is a citizen of Tanzania.

You may review Dr. Katima's full CV here.



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Mark Stafford Smith

Dr. Mark Stafford Smith is based in Canberra, Australia, and contributes to research on adaptation and sustainable development. He has recently retired from CSIRO, Australia's national research organisation, where he oversaw a highly interdisciplinary program of research on many aspects of adapting to climate change, as well as regularly interacting with national and international policy issues around sustainble development. He continues as a CSIRO Honorary Fellow, and in several international roles.

Mark has over 30 years' experience in drylands systems ecology, management and policy, including senior roles such as CEO of the Desert Knowledge Cooperative Research Centre in Alice Springs, and providing advice to various government boards on biodiversity, dryland catchments, drought policy, climate adaptation, regional development, and environmental monitoring, among others. He has integrated his systems ecology and modelling foundations with social and economic sciences, publishing on decision making under uncertainty, enterprise and regional economics, transdisciplinarity, and equity, generally contributing to the developmjent of sustainbility science. Mark has worked in drylands systems in Latin America, the U.S., and all parts of Africa and the Mediterranean, the Middle East, some parts of Asia and across the diversity of environments in Australia. His significant international roles include being past vice-chair of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme's Scientific Committee; co-chair of the Planet Under Pressure: New Knowledge Towards Solutions conference in 2012 on global environmental change in the lead up to Rio+20; inputs to the development of the UN's Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals; and, through 2013-17 Chair of the inaugural Science Committee for Future Earth, which helps to coordinate research towards global sustainability worldwide. He continues to publish, adding to over 200 peer-reviewed contributions to science, as well as many presentations and publications for less-specialized audiences.

You may review Dr. Stafford Smith's full CV here.



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Rosina Bierbaum

Dr. Rosina Bierbaum is Dean Emerita of the University of Michigan's School of Natural Resources and Environment, and the Weston Chair in Natural Economics at the University of Maryland. Dr. Bierbaum's experience extends from climate science into foreign relations and international development. Rosina served for two decades in both the legislative and executive branches of the U.S. Government, and ran the first Environment Division of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. She chairs the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel of the Global Environment Facility, and serves as an Adviser to the Global Adaptation Commission. Dr. Bierbaum is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Ecological Society of America, and Sigma Xi. Dr. Bierbaum received the American Geophysical Union's Waldo Smith award for 'extraordinary service to Geoscience' and the Environmental Protection Agency's Climate Protection Award. She has authored key reports on climate change - particularly highlighting the importance of adaptation - for the World Bank, the Congress, the White House, and the United Nations. She has lectured on every continent.

You may review Dr. Bierbaum's full CV here.



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Saleem Ali

Saleem H. Ali is the Blue and Gold Distinguished Professorship in Energy and the Environment at the University of Delaware, and is also a Senior Fellow at Columbia University's Center on Sustainable Investment. His research focuses on environmental security, climate diplomacy and industrial ecology, particularly involving extractive industries.

Professor Ali's fieldwork experience has spanned over 100 countries on six continents for which he has also been named a National Geographic Explorer and a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. His books include Treasures of the Earth: Need, Greed and a Sustainable Future, (Yale Univ. Press) and Environmental Diplomacy (with Lawrence Susskind, Oxford Univ. Press), as well as over 120 peer reviewed journal articles.

Professor Ali received his doctorate in Environmental Planning from MIT, a Master's degree in Environmental Studies from Yale University, and Bachelor's degree in Chemistry from Tufts University (summa cum laude). He is a citizen of Australia, Pakistan and the United States.

You may review Dr. Ali's full bio here.



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Graciela Metternicht

Professor Graciela Metternicht is an environmental geographer who works at the interface of science and policy for sustainable development. With over two decades of experience in applied research, training and as an adviser on environmental management, her skills range from development of tools and approaches to map and monitor land degradation processes and for land use change, to operationalisation of socioecological frameworks for sustainable land management.

Graciela has been instrumental in the development of the Conceptual Framework for Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN), implemented in 122 countries and central to the UN Sustainable Development Goal of Life on Land. She is the panel member on land degradation for the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel of the Global Environment Facility. Her working experience spans over five continents, in countries of Latin America and the Caribbean (Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Uruguay, Peru, Brazil, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Ecuador, Belize, Guyana, Mexico, Honduras), South Africa, Indonesia, Malaysia, China, Japan, and Australia.

Born in Argentina, Graciela is a graduate from Universidad Nacional del Litoral (Sante Fe), and holds a PhD (Geography) from the University of Ghent (Belgium).

You may review Dr. Metternicht's shortened CV here.



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Thomas E. Lovejoy

Dr. Thomas Lovejoy is an ecologist and conservation biologist who has worked in the Amazon on science and conservation since 1965. Dr. Lovejoy was the first to use the term biological diversity and to project global extinctions (both 1980). He has worked on biodiversity and climate change and co-edited three books on the subject (1992, 2005 and 2019). Dr. Lovejoy originated the concept of debt-for-nature swaps (1984). He previously served as Chair of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel of the Global Environment Facilityand now serves as a Senior Adviser to the Chair. He currently is University Professor of Environmental Science and Policy at George Mason University, Senior Fellow at the United Nations Foundation, and Explorer at Large at the National Geographic. Dr. Lovejoy previously led the program for the World Wildlife Fund-United States, occupied senior positions at the Smithsonian Institution, the World Bank, and the Heinz Center for Science, Economics and the Environment.

You can review Dr. Lovejoy's full CV here.



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Edward Carr

Edward R. Carr is Professor and Director of International Development, Community, and Environment (IDCE) at Clark University. A geographer and anthropologist, Dr. Carr has more than twenty years of experience working at the interface of climate change adaptation and global development as an academic, through policy and technical positions with bilateral and multilateral development donors, and through various roles on global environmental assessments, including serving as a lead author for the ongoing IPCC AR6. His work contributes to fields including livelihoods studies; socio-ecological resilience; climate change adaptation; critical development studies; weather and climate services; gender, identity, and development; environmental migration; food security; and climate-smart agriculture. Drawing upon his academic and professional experience, he builds innovative academic units that advance development and adaptation goals by connecting research, teaching, policy, and implementation in novel ways, producing more impactful research and students.

Dr. Carr holds a Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Kentucky, a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Syracuse University, a MA in Anthropology from Syracuse University, and a BA in American Studies and Archaeology (with high distinction) from the University of Virginia.

You may review Dr. Carr's full CV here



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