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WWF works to sustain the natural world for the benefit of people and wildlife, collaborating with partners from local to global levels in nearly 100 countries.
The Markets Institute’s Thought Leader Group (TLG) is comprised of diverse global leaders, thinkers, innovators and “extrapreneurs.” Their role is to help identify and prioritize issues, as well as provide insights, expertise and intelligence around our work. The TLG includes representatives of multinationals, trading companies, NGOs, academia, media, government, and global financial institutions.
Justin has spent 25 years championing innovation and sustainability in both the private and public sectors to address the climate challenge. For the last decade he has focused on accelerating Nature Based Solutions (NBS) to create rural jobs, reverse biodiversity loss and climate breakdown. He has previously supported and worked with a number of agri-tech companies in Europe and North America and was Chairman of Mendel Biotech from 2012-2016. Justin joined The World Economic Forum at the end of 2018 to lead the Tropical Forest Alliance which is the leading public private partnership focused on reducing commodity-driven deforestation. He launched the Trillion Trees Platform 1t.org at Davos 2020 to build a global movement for ecosystem restoration and is also now exploring how to unlock carbon finance to accelerate NBS deployment. Previously, Justin was a senior executive at BP for 10 years where he helped to build its $8 billion renewables division, Alternative Energy. As Vice President of Strategy and Innovation, he created and led BP’s corporate venture arm – BP Ventures – managing an investment portfolio of $150 million across 30 entrepreneurial companies. He also consolidated and led BP’s carbon-related activities (including carbon capture & storage and REDD) under the banner of Carbon Solutions. In his previous role as Director Long-Term Technology and Innovation, he helped establish a number of pioneering public-private technology and innovation initiatives and partnerships in China, India, the United States, and the United Kingdom.
Justin is a Fellow at the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment at the University of Oxford and is also completing a role as Chairman of Mendel Plant Sciences. He received a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Management from the University of Bath, in the United Kingdom.
Marike Komen Brady is Senior Public Affairs Officer at FMO- the Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank. In her role, Marike is responsible for relationships with the Dutch government and for broader stakeholder engagement on issues such as human rights, climate, etc.
Marike has over 15 years of experience in insurance, focusing on financial inclusion the past 7 years. Throughout her career she has motivated the insurance industry to implement responsible insurance solutions that reduce vulnerability for farmers, households and businesses in developing markets and emerging economies. She has also supported institutions and jurisdictions with the design and implementation of regulatory frameworks that enhance access to insurance products for the un- and underserved.
Until recently, Marike held the position of policy advisor at the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) housed within the Bank for International Settlement (BIS), where she focused on sustainable finance and fintech issues. Marike also worked in development finance, first as Executive Director of the Access to Insurance Initiative (A2ii), then as Technical Director Development Finance at Global Communities- a US- based NGO. She started her career at the Netherlands Central Bank (DNB) as a policy advisor for pensions and insurance, focusing on international and cross-sectoral topics.
Marike also served as Deputy Head of Public Diplomacy and Press at the Netherlands Embassy in Washington DC, where she was responsible for activities related to managing the reputation of the Netherlands in the United States. Marike is a lawyer by training, specializing in European public law and international human rights.
Cofounder and colead at Ciudades+B / Cities CAN B (international movement of citizens committed to the SDG's), board member of Sistema B Brasil (B Corps Movement), advisory board member of CEBDS (Brazilian Business Council for Sustainable Development), board member and chief sustainability officer at Estância do Chalé (Agribusiness located in the south of Brazil), cofounding curator of Rio de Janeiro and Porto Alegre’s Hubs of Global Shapers Community from the World Economic Forum. Responsible Leader at BMW Foundation global network, member of CE100 from Ellen MacArthur Foundation's Circular Economy network, member of Well Being Economy Alliance (WE All).
Specialist on collaborative, circular and sustainable economies, invited speaker and teacher at many universities and schools on the topic of sustainable development.
Researching through practice, new forms of organizations that accelerate the transition for a sustainable global economy, where people and planet matters.
Mark is the current director of impact and reporting at the Scottish National Investment Bank, an institution that provides capital to Scotland’s businesses and projects to support the development of a fairer, more sustainable economy. Prior to this role Mark was the Director of Environmental and Social Responsibility for the CDC Group London and was responsible for oversight and management of Environmental and Social issues across CDC Funds and Debt Portfolios. As a development finance institution, CDC has a specific mandate to achieve international E&S performance wherever it invests and Mark’s team was responsible for the design and delivery of a range of innovative programs that promote sustainability in trade finance transactions, CDCs investments in banks, as well as its direct investments with agri-commodity traders and primary producers. Prior to CDC, Mark led the sustainable finance team at WW-US for seven years and was also part of the environment and social risk management group at the International Finance Corporation, where he focused on the agribusiness sector.
He has worked with Jason and others on the development of a range of international voluntary sustainability standards and good practice materials for agricultural companies and investors. Mark studied environmental science (BSc) and applied hydrobiology (MSc) at the University of Wales.
Caleb Harper currently leads a strategic initiative, within the national research and promotion group representing America’s dairy farmers, working to help US Dairies pilot and integrate new technology and management practices to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions and improve water quality while increasing farmer livelihoods through ecosystem services and renewable energy and product markets development. Previously Harper was a Principal Research Scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Director of the Open Agriculture Initiative at the MIT Media Lab where he led a diverse team of hardware and software engineers, plant scientists, dietitians and educators in the exploration and development of future food systems.
Harper is a National Geographic Explorer, a member of the World Economic Forum (WEF) New Vision for Agriculture working group, and a member of the Annenberg Foundation working group on food security and has been an invited lecturer on the topic of future food systems at the Nobel Foundation, The Royal Society, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, and the United Nations World Food Program among others.
Lucy Hurst is currently Director of Research for Vantage Research, a global thought leadership and research consultancy. She develops studies on global sustainability, agri-food, youth development, and related policy issues. Current project work includes food system resilience in the Middle East and developing new metrics to support sustainable agriculture.
Lucy was previously at the Economist Newspaper Group’s research division, the Economist Intelligence Unit, where she developed the global agrifood practice, and was the Director of Public Policy research for the Americas and then for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Lucy and her team at the EIU developed the Global Food Security Index with DuPont (now Corteva Agriscience) and the Food Sustainability Index with the Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition. These two indices, still being produced and recognized as key global benchmarks, introduced preliminary diagnostic frameworks for food security and sustainable agriculture and food production across a wide range of countries and food systems.
Lucy has consulted on smallholder farmer issues with the Gates Foundation and IFAD, and created partnerships to explore food loss and waste, ag innovation, the business case for women in ag, and financing innovations with a number of organizations including the IFC, IADB, private foundations and government ministries in the Asia and the Middle East.
She has presented global studies at number of international convenings, including the Aspen Institute dialogues in Rome and Aspen, and meetings held by IFPRI, the FAO, and the European Commission.
Angel Hsu, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Public Policy and the Environment, Ecology and Energy Program (E3P). She is also Founder and Director of the Data-Driven EnviroLab, an interdisciplinary research group that innovates and applies quantitative approaches to pressing environmental issues. Her research explores the intersection of science and policy and the use of data-driven approaches to understand environmental sustainability, particularly in the areas of climate change and energy, urbanization, and air quality. Her research projects apply large-scale datasets derived from satellite remote sensing and other spatially explicit sources to evaluate environmental policy performance.
Her work has been published in high-profile academic journals such as Nature and Nature Climate Change, as well as popular media including the NYTimes, The Economist, The Atlantic, and The Guardian. She has provided expert testimony for the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. She holds a PhD in Forestry and Environmental Studies from Yale University, an M Phil in Environmental Policy from the University of Cambridge, and a BS in Biology and BA in Political Science from Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC.
David Kaimowitz serves as CLUA’s Senior Advisor and Mexico and Central America Initiative Lead. David previously led the Ford Foundation’s Natural Resources and Climate Change program and served as a member on CLUA’s Board of Directors. David is responsible for global initiatives on “expanding community rights over natural resources” and “responses to climate change that strengthen rural communities”, His grant-making focuses on giving poor rural families greater access to and control over forests and other natural resources, with a particular emphasis on indigenous peoples.
Before the Ford foundation in 2006, David was director general of the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) in Bogor, Indonesia. CIFOR is one of the world's most prominent research centers concerned with tropical forests and is affiliated with the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). Prior to becoming director general, David worked at CIFOR as a researcher, specializing in issues relating to forestry policies and how non-forestry policies and trends affect forests and forest-dependent people.
David has also held professional positions at the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation in Agriculture (IICA) in Costa Rica, the International Service for National Agricultural Research (ISNAR) in the Netherlands, and the Nicaraguan Ministry of Agricultural Development and Agrarian Reform (MIDINRA).
He has a Ph.D. in agricultural economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has written or co-written seven books and published more than 100 scientific publications.
Avrim Lazar is a globally recognized policy and communications coach who assists diverse groups in identifying and pursuing common interests. He guides the successful navigation of the government, civil society and business interface and helps make whole cloth of social, economic, and environmental interests.
His current projects are concentrated on energy, forestry, and fish farming in Europe, North America, and South America. He is the founder and convener of the Global Salmon Initiative. He was CEO of the Forest Products Association of Canada during a transformative decade and has held senior policy positions in the government of Canada in the Ministries of Justice, Agriculture, Environment and Human Resource Development. During this period, he was responsible for national policy in areas as diverse as climate change, biodiversity, child poverty, employment insurance and labor force training. He holds a Bachelor of Science from McGill University and a PhD from the University of Ottawa.
Daudi is semi-retired after 30 years in commodities and development investment on the board of several African food businesses and the investment committees of several impact and development funds originating in Africa.
Daudi’s last position was 6 years as Founding Director and Fund Manager of a $500 million impact fund at CDC (the UK’s sovereign DFI – Development Finance Institution). The fund invested in the hardest businesses in the hardest places across Africa and Southeast Asia supporting economically sustainable opportunities where the risk reward was too high to attacked institutional capital but where if successful the developmental impact would be significant.
Prior to CDC Daudi was the first Vice President of Sustainability for Barry Callebaut the world’s largest cocoa company and Managing Director of Biolands a sustainable cocoa supply chain company operating in 3 countries across West and East Africa.
Before his position with Barry Callebaut, Daudi worked with Cargill for 20 years in various roles in the commodities sectors including commodity broking in his early years and 7 years with the Sugar Division as their asset portfolio manager. This resulted in the build-up of 13 joint venture partnerships across 4 continents where Daudi served on the board as their representative and, in some cases, project managed the building of some joint venture assets, namely a one million-ton $100 million sugar refinery in Homs, Syria and another of similar size in Kakinada, India.
It was during his tenure in sugar that Daudi served as the Chairman for what was then BSI (Better Sugar lnitiative) - now Bonsucro, and it was during this period that Daudi helped navigate and drive the multi-stakeholder round table through delivering the first fully metric certified cane sugars.
Daudi has extensive Africa experience including 10 years working on the continent before finding Cargill (in Malawi) and in the last 10 year with CDC and his consultancy.
Daudi Lelijveld holds a Joint Honours Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology and Geology from Keele University in the UK and he also undertook master’s studies in Finance at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.
Marcia Marsh is a farmer and independent consultant, who formerly served as the Chief Operating Officer at WWF. During her time with WWF, Marcia oversaw the execution of WWF’s strategy. She led the organization’s government affairs and policy, private sector engagement, development, and marketing and communications efforts along with our critical operating systems—including human resources, finance, and IT, which support the work of more than 900 employees in the US and abroad. Marsh joined WWF in 2004 as the senior vice president for operations and led the design and implementation of key business processes. She later served as the organization’s lead change manager, helping to align people, processes, and technology with an ambitious strategy to bring conservation to scale. In addition, Marsh leads the CARE/WWF Alliance, an innovative partnership that is creating new models of addressing poverty alleviation, food security and conservation in one holistic approach.
Prior to joining WWF, Marsh served in a number of leadership roles, including vice president of government transformation at the Partnership for Public Service, practice leader for integrated solutions and international consulting with Watson Wyatt Worldwide, and partner with Price Waterhouse.
Serge Mayaka is the Founder and Managing Principal at Akipeo (originally known as Impact Capitalyst). Prior to Impact Capitalyst, Serge spent over 15 years in a number of investment banking and corporate development roles, focused primarily on emerging markets. Most recently, Serge was a senior banker at BMO Capital Markets’ Global Agriculture investment banking team where he executed acquisitions and raised capital for commodity production companies, traders, pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, and private equity firms.
Serge joined BMO Capital Markets from Macquarie Capital Markets, where he focused on M&A and capital markets transactions across agriculture globally and infrastructure in North America. Serge began his finance career at Standard Chartered Bank, based in Kenya and South Africa managing Africa region retail banking and wealth management divisions, and subsequently in Singapore executing banking sector acquisitions and joint ventures in key global emerging markets. Serge has a M.B.A. with Distinction from the University of Oxford.
Mike McCloskey is Co-Founder and CEO of Select Milk Producers, the sixth largest milk cooperative in the country. He is also Chairman of the Board for Fair Oaks Farms, a highly rated and visited agritourism destination in Northwest Indiana which also brands and processes its own bottled milk, gourmet cheese and ice cream. Dr. McCloskey’s home dairy is Prairie’s Edge Dairy Farms, also in Northwest Indiana, which milks 15,000 cows living in free-stall barns and is recognized as being the leading dairy in the U.S. from many perspectives. Prairie’s Edge Dairy Farms harvest their cow manure and through digesters create more than enough electricity to power all of their farms as well as creating biobased CNG to fuel 42 milk trucks and thus displacing 2 million gallons of diesel use annually.
Dr. McCloskey founded and serves as the acting Chairman of Southwest Cheese Company, a joint venture between Glanbia Foods, Dairy Farmers of America and Select Milk Producers. In 2005, Southwest Cheese Company opened as $230 million cheese plant located in Clovis, New Mexico. It employs 260 people, receives 10 million pounds of milk per day and annually produces 250 million pounds of cheese. It is the largest cheddar cheese plant in the world.
Another strategic initiative Dr. McCloskey leads is to create proprietary value-added dairy products. In this regard, Dr. McCloskey had been instrumental in the invention of patented milk processing & dispensing systems owned by Select and its affiliate, Fairlife a dairy-based health and wellness company. Fairlife’s products range from Fairlife milk, a higher protein, lower sugar, lactose free milk targeted to families to Core Power, a specially formulated athletic drink to Greek yogurt to many food service products.
Dr. McCloskey was awarded his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 1976 from the National University of Mexico, after which he completed a two-year post-doctoral study in Dairy Production Medicine at the University of California, School of Veterinary Medicine, in Davis, California. Dr. McCloskey is a Board Member and Officer of the National Milk Producers Federation, Chairman of the Sustainability Initiative of the Innovation Center of US Dairy and is the recipient of the Alumni Achievement Award from the University of California-Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine.
Sabine leads the conservation and markets team, overseeing the foundation’s work on decoupling food production from ecosystem degradation by aligning market incentives with conservation outcomes.
Sabine’s career as a finance professional has spanned the public and private sectors with a focus on sustainability/climate change and developing countries. Most recently, she was the group sustainability officer of Germany-based Deutsche Bank AG and worked with senior management on the stepwise integration of sustainability and financial goals.
Previously, Sabine was a director at the Institute of International Finance (IIF), leading the work to improve conditions for private investment in developing countries. She started her career as an economist at the International Monetary Fund working in Africa, Eastern Europe, and the Caribbean.
Sabine earned a PhD in economics from Harvard University and a M.A. in economics (Diplom Volkswirt) from the University of Mannheim, Germany.
Lucian Peppelenbos works with Robeco as Climate Strategist. In this role, he oversees Robeco’s work on decarbonizing the investment portfolios and integrating climate-related risks and opportunities in the investment processes. Thought leadership and publications are also part of his role, in collaboration with peer investors, academics and policy institutions.
Prior to joining Robeco, Lucian was Senior Responsible Investment Specialist at APG Asset Management, where he led their climate strategy. Before that, he helped to set up IDH The Sustainable Trade Initiative, a public-private partnership that co-invests with corporates to enhance the sustainability performance of commodity supply chains.
Socio-economist by training, Lucian’s professional career focused on corporate sustainability. He worked as a supply chain consultant for companies operating in emerging markets, and as a policy advisor in the Dutch Parliament. He earned a PhD in social-economic sciences at Wageningen University and has published various books and articles. Lucian worked and lived for many years in Latin America and worked across various countries in Africa and Asia.
Kent H. Redford is Principal at Archipelago Consulting established in 2012 and based in Portland, Maine, USA. Archipelago Consulting was designed to help individuals and organizations improve their practice of conservation and has worked with the Global Environment Facility, U.S. National Park Service, Moore Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, Packard Foundation and the American Zoo and Aquarium Association amongst others. Prior to Archipelago Consulting Kent spent 14 years at the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) in New York. Previously he spent five years as head of Science and Stewardship in The Nature Conservancy’s Latin American Division. He started his career with a decade on the faculty at University of Florida where he co-founded the Program for Studies in Tropical Conservation and the Tropical Conservation and Development Programs. He received his Ph.D. in Biology from Harvard University and has written numerous articles and books on synthetic biology and conservation, national parks, local peoples, conservation, and wildlife. In 2013 and 2015 he co-convened meetings bringing together conservation biologists and synthetic biologists to discuss the future of nature in an increasingly synthetic world.
Howard is the former Chief Agricultural Officer at Mars Incorporated and was responsible for the plant science of their primary agricultural products, investigation of potential new plant-based solutions for use in their brands, and review and oversight of their existing and future plant-based research. He is a Senior Fellow in the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, at the University of California, Davis; and has lectured in the Department of Plant Sciences and the Department of Nutrition at UC Davis. He served as the Co-Chairman for the Second World Congress of Agroforestry, held in Nairobi in 2009.
In 2011, Shapiro founded the African Orphan Crops Consortium (AOCC) and the African Plant Breeding Academy (AfPBA) with the goal to sequence, assemble and annotate 101 key food cultivars, which are the backbone of African nutrition. He has twice been a university professor, twice a Fulbright Scholar, twice a Ford Foundation Fellow and winner of the prestigious National Endowment for the Humanities Award. He has worked with indigenous communities, non-governmental organizations, governmental agencies and private institutions throughout the world and many national and regional agricultural institutions as an advisor and policy maker.
Previous to his current position, Jeff was Chief Sustainability Officer at Unilever where he was responsible for leading Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan and directed the Global Advocacy, Partnerships and Social Impact teams. Prior to Unilever, he was chief environmental officer at the Coca-Cola Company, where he was responsible for environmental governance and leadership across global operations of the Coca-Cola system including water stewardship, sustainable packaging, climate protection practices, and sustainable agriculture.
Jeff has held several positions in government and business, including as Foreign Service Officer in the State Department, legislative assistant in the U.S. Senate, director of environment and energy at the U.S. Agency for International Development, and head of the White House Task Force on Climate Change under President Clinton. Before joining the Coca-Cola Co., he served as vice president for policy planning at Texaco.
Jeff is Chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Forests and Co-Chair of the Consumer Goods Forum Sustainability Steering Committee. He also serves on the Boards of The Global Water Challenge, The World Environment Center, and the National Council for Science and the Environment.
Jorgen Thomsen is the Director of Climate Solutions at the MacArthur Foundation. Prior to joining the foundation in 2009, Thomsen spent 14 years with Conservation International as Senior Vice President of the organization’s Conservation Funding Division and as Executive Director of the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund, which included leading a $260 million grant making and partnership development facility for civil society organizations in the most biodiversity rich areas of the world. Before this he was the chief executive of TRAFFIC, an organization that monitors trade in natural resources, and he held positions at WWF and IUCN, and in the Danish ministry of environment. Thomsen has a MSc in zoology and also attended law school at the University of Copenhagen in his native Denmark.
Marcelo is currently Vice-President of Sociedade Rural Brasileira, coordinating its Sustainability area and a member of the Board of União da Indústria de Cana-de-Açúcar (“UNICA”). He has managed agricultural and agribusiness companies for over 40 years, including Usina Monte Alegre, Alfenas Agricola and Alfenas Café.
From 2005 to 2014 Marcelo was the Director of Ethanol, Sugar & Energy operations at Adecoagro, a leading agro industrial company producing grain, oilseeds and dairy products in Argentina and sugar, ethanol, and energy from biomass in Brazil and from 2015 to 2019 a Board member.
Dr. Catherine Woteki is a member of the Council of Advisors on Science and Technology under the Biden administration. She is also currently President of the Charles Valentine Riley Memorial Foundation and holds positions as Professor of Food Science and Human Nutrition at Iowa State University and Visiting Distinguished Institute Professor in the Biocomplexity Institute of the University of Virginia. She served as Chief Scientist and Under Secretary for USDA's Research, Education, and Economics (REE) mission area from 2010 to 2016. In that role, she developed the Office of the Chief Scientist, established the USDA Science Council, instituted the Department’s first scientific integrity and open data policies, and was a founding member of the Meeting of Agricultural Chief Scientists held under the auspices of the G-20. Dr. Woteki is an advocate for building the platforms needed to enhance domestic and international food and agricultural research.
Prior to joining USDA, Dr. Woteki served as Global Director of Scientific and Regulatory Affairs for Mars, Incorporated, where she managed the company's scientific policy on matters of health, nutrition, and food safety. From 2002 to 2005, she was Dean of Agriculture and head of the Agricultural Experiment Station. Dr. Woteki served as the first Under Secretary for Food Safety at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) from 1997 to 2001, where she oversaw the safety of meat, poultry, and egg products.
Scott is a consultant for Council Fire LLC, a global management consultancy that helps organizations create lasting economic, social, and environmental value. In his role, Scott’s focus is sustainability program design, coalition building, and supply chain-oriented conservations. His career in conservation spans more than 30 years and covers a broad array of sectors. Prior to joining Council Fire, Scott served as the Director of the Walton Family Foundation’s Conservation Program, where he led a half-billion-dollar grant-making effort focused on healthy oceans and river systems, and Director of the Global Oceans Program with World Wildlife Fund. He has helped lead many important international, national, and regional conservation policy initiatives and has been a major contributor to the development of key private sector fisheries conservation partnerships, including the Marine Stewardship Council.
As a journalist for the past 24 years, Jo has worked on regional and national newspapers and websites. He was Wall Street correspondent for the Daily Telegraph and subsequently finance and business news editor for the Guardian.
As well as producing an award-winning annual sustainability audit for GNM, the first one in the sector to be independently verified, he launched one of the world's first interactive sustainability reporting websites. He managed a unique multi-stakeholder development project in the village of Katine and supports the new Guardian global development website.
Jo has completed an MSc in Responsibility and Business Practice at the University of Bath and is also an executive coach. He is on the management board of environmental justice NGO Capacity Global and is also a trustee of the charity Theatre for a Change.
Rachel serves as Dean of the Fletcher School at Tufts University and is the first woman to lead the oldest graduate-only school of international affairs in the United States. Her work has focused on affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy as the key to combating both poverty and climate change. Prior to joining Tufts, Rachel served as Chief Executive Officer of the Sustainable Energy for All Initiative at the United Nations, leading the effort to promote and finance clean, affordable energy and low-carbon growth. She was previously the World Bank Group vice president and special envoy for climate change, leading the Bank Group’s efforts to shift its operations and campaign for the Paris Agreement.
Rachel grew up in eastern England and earned her undergraduate degree in history and politics from the University of London and master’s degree in international relations from the Fletcher School.
Vaclav Smil does interdisciplinary research in the fields of energy, environmental and population change, food production and nutrition, technical innovation, risk assessment, and public policy. He has published 35 books and more than 400 papers on these topics. He is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Manitoba, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (Science Academy), and the Member of the Order of Canada; in 2010 he was listed by Foreign Policy among the top 100 global thinkers.
He has worked as a consultant for many US, EU, and international institutions, has been an invited speaker in nearly 400 conferences and workshops in the USA, Canada, Europe, Asia, and Africa, and has lectured at many universities in North America, Europe, and East Asia.
Jessica Droste Yagan serves as the CEO and managing partner of Impact Engine, an impact investing firm that manages venture capital and private equity funds. She is also extensively engaged personally in impact investing and evangelizing on behalf of the impact investing field. Prior to Impact Engine, Jessica led the creation of McDonald’s Corporation’s global and US sustainable sourcing strategies and worked in the field of urban economic development at the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City. She is currently on the boards of Metropolitan Planning Council, OneGoal Chicago, The Honeycomb Project, the Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation at Chicago Booth, and Fixer. Crain’s Chicago Business named her to its list of 40-Under-40 in 2013 and she served as a 2014 Leadership Greater Chicago Fellow. Jessica holds a BA from Haverford College, an MBA from Stanford University, and an MPA from Harvard University. She lives in Chicago with her husband and three children.