Joaquim Alberto Chissano (Mozambique) served as the second President of Mozambique for 19 years from 6 November 1986 until 2 February 2005. He studied medicine in Portugal. In 1962, he joined the Mozambique Liberation Front (FRELIMO) as a founding Member. In 1974, he took office as Prime Minister of the Transition Government that led Mozambique to the proclamation of its National Independence. In 1975, Mr Chissano was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs. As Head of State, Mr Chissano successfully led the deep socio-economic reforms in the country, which culminated with the adoption of the 1990 Constitution that led Mozambique to the multi-party system and to an open market. Mr Chissano occupied high posts in several international organizations, including Chairperson of the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP); Chairperson of the Southern African Development Community (SADC); Chairperson of the SADC Organ for Cooperation in the fields of Politics, Defence and Security; and Chairperson of the African Union. After retiring from office, he was appointed by Kofi Annan in 2005 Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for the September 2005 Summit to Review the Implementation of the Millennium Declaration, as well as Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General to Guinea-Bissau. He is member of the Club of Madrid, The Hunger Project (Board of Directors) and the Nelson Mandela Institution (for Science and Technology). Currently, he is the Chairperson of the Joaquim Chissano Foundation and of the Africa Forum of Former African Heads of State and Government.
Jan Egeland (Norway) is Executive Director of the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs and Associate Professor at the University of Stavanger. Mr Egeland was the UN Under Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator from June 2003 to December 2006. During 30 years of humanitarian experience through the United Nations, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent, the Norwegian Governments and NGOs he has visited or worked in more than 100 countries, drawing international attention to humanitarian and environmental disasters. In 2005, he initiated the global humanitarian reforms that lead to the successful UN Central Emergency Response Fund with contributions from 115 UN member states. It also resulted in more predictable international response capacity as UN agencies, governments and NGOs now work through thematic clusters. Mr Egeland has been Special Adviser to the UN Secretary General for Conflict Prevention and Resolution (2006-2008) and for International Assistance to Colombia (1999-2001). He was Secretary-General of the Norwegian Red Cross (2002-2003). From 1990-1997, he was State Secretary in the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Mr Egeland holds a Magister in Political Science from the University of Oslo. He has published extensively and received a number of awards for his work on humanitarian and conflict resolution issues. In 2008 he published “A Billion Lives - An Eyewitness Report from the Frontlines of Humanity”.
Angus Friday (Grenada) was Permanent Representative of Grenada to the United Nations and Chairman of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) from 2007 to 2009. Mr Friday was Director and Managing Director of Glenelg Spring Water Inc., in Grenada, which he joined in 1997, as well as Chief Executive of Atlantean Inc. in Grenada, an economic development consultancy firm he founded in 2001. In 2006, Mr Friday developed a finance strategy for Grenada’s National Export Strategy. The same year, he was appointed Chairman of the Garden Group, Deputy Chairman of the Grenada Board of Tourism and Director of Petro Caribe Grenada Ltd. From 1997 to 2001, he was Chief Executive of IntegriSys Ltd., a medical informatics company employing internet-related technologies, which he founded. From 1995 to 1997, he was Managing Director of Health Systems Integrated Ltd., a medical technology company he co-founded, which established the first National Health Service intranet. From 1993 to 1995, Mr Friday was a healthcare relations physician for pharmaceutical firm Merck & Company in the United Kingdom, where he set up national “multi-fund” groups with leading United Kingdom general practitioners. Mr Friday holds a Doctor of Medicine degree from the St. George’s University School of Medicine in Grenada and a Master of Business Administration degree from the Strathclyde Graduate Business School in Scotland. Mr Friday is currently consultant with the World Bank.
Ricardo Froilán Lagos Escobar (Chile) is a lawyer, economist and social democrat politician, who served as president of Chile from 2000 to 2006. His presidency was characterized by improvements in the country’s infrastructure, the creation of unemployment insurance, a health programme guaranteeing coverage for a number of medical conditions, the ‘Chile Barrio’ housing programme, extending compulsory schooling to 12 years, the signing of a revamped constitution. After his presidency in 2006, Mr Lagos established a foundation in Santiago called Democracia y Desarrollo (Democracy and Development). From 2006 to 2008, Mr Lagos was President of the Club of Madrid, an organization of 66 former heads of state and government created to strengthen democracy across the world. He co-chaired the Inter-American Dialogue’s Board of Directors. Since May 2007, he has been a Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General on Climate Change. He also currently teaches political and economic development at Brown University in the United States of America.
Julia Marton-Lefèvre (Hungary/France/USA) is Director General of the World Conservation Union (IUCN), which brings together governments, NGOs and scientists in a unique world partnership of over 1 000 members across the globe. Prior positions have included Rector of the UN-mandated University for Peace, Executive Director of LEAD International and Executive Director of the International Council for Science (ICSU). She is a member of the Board of Directors of the International Institute for Environment and Development, the Board of Trustees of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, the Council of UPEACE and of the Earth Charter. Prior board memberships have included the World Resources Institute, International Research Institute for Climate and Society, the International Advisory Board to the Lemelson Foundation, environmental advisory boards to the Dow Chemical Company and to The Coca-Cola Company and to the China Council for International Cooperation in Environment and Development. She has also served on ICSU's Committee on Science and Technology in Developing Countries (COSTED); the InterAcademy Council's Panel on Promoting Worldwide Science and Technology Capacities for the 21st Century. Ms Marton-Lefèvre was a member of the International Organizing Committee for the Second World Climate Conference. She was active contributor to the process of the establishment of the WCRP and GCOS.
Khotso Mokhele (South Africa) is non-executive Chairman of the Board of Directors of Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd (Implats) since 2004. In addition, he is non-executive Chairman of the Board of Directors of Adcock Ingram Holdings Ltd., African Oxygen Ltd., Zimbabwe Platinum Holdings Ltd., and Tiger Brands Ltd. Mr Mokhele obtained his B.Sc. in agriculture at the University of Fort Hare, South Africa, and his M.Sc in food science and PhD in microbiology at the University of California in the United States. He also completed the Stanford Executive Programme at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. Mr Mokhele was Vice-President for Scientific Planning and Review at ICSU (2005-2008) and Chairperson of ICSU Committee for Scientific Planning and Review (2005-2009). He was Founder President and CEO of the National Research Foundation (1999-2006), Vice-President and then President and CEO of the Foundation for Research Development (1992-1999), Founder President of the Academy of Science of South Africa (1996-1998). Mr Mokhele was South Africa’s Representative on the Executive Board of UNESCO (1997-2001) and served as Chairperson of Special Committee of the UNESCO Executive Board (1999-2001). He also served as Chairperson of National Skills Authority advising the Minister of Labour, South Africa (2005-2007).
Chiaki Mukai (Japan) is a Japanese medical doctor (PhD degree from Keio University) and surgeon. In 1983, she was appointed Chief Resident in Cardiovascular Surgery and later promoted to Assistant Professor in Keio University. In 1985 she was selected by the National Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA) as one of the three Japanese candidates for a US Space Shuttle mission and in 1994, she flew on the second international microgravity laboratory mission. As a NASDA science astronaut, she became a visiting scientist at the NASA Johnson Space Center from 1987 to 1988. She has been a visiting professor of the Department of surgery at Keio University school of medicine since 1992. In 1998, she flew again as a payload specialist with US Senator J Glenn, the firs American to orbit the earth. From 2004 to 2007, Ms Mukai was a visiting professor at the International Space University where she taught health management for the ISS mission and space medicine research. Ms Mukai has been Head of Space Biomedical Research Office at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) since October 2007.
Cristina Narbona Ruiz (Spain) holds a doctorate in Economics from the University of Rome. From 2004 to April 2008, she was Minister of Environment in the Spanish government. Under her ministerial tenure, Spain became the 3rd largest producer of wind energy in the world. From 1985 to 1991, she was the Director General of the Mortgage Bank of Spain. In 1991 she was appointed Director General of housing and architecture at the Ministry of Public Works, Transport and Environment. Then in 1993, she was named Secretary of State for Environment. She also held the position of Deputy Spokesperson of the Socialist Group at the Parliament Environmental Commission. In March 2004, she was elected to Congress as Deputy for Madrid. In May 2008, Ms Narbona Ruiz was nominated as Permanent Representative of Spain to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). She chaired the WMO Conference on Social and Economic Applications and Benefits of Weather, Climate, and Water Services (Madrid, March 2007). Ms Narbona Ruiz is a professor of international economics at the University of Seville.
Rajendra Singh Paroda (India) is an internationally renowned Indian agricultural scientist who held several important portfolios and assignments at the national and international levels. In particular, he has been the Chairman of the Governing Board of the International Crops research Institute for the Semi Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) (1997-98). He is a former Director General of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) (1994-2001). He is a member of the Policy Advisory Council of the Australian Center for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) and a member of the Governing Board of the Commonwealth Agricultural Bureau International (CABI). Mr Paroda is the President of the Indian National Academy of Agricultural Sciences (NAAS) and a fellow of the Indian Science Academy and the Third World Academy of Sciences (TWAS). He has also been the Chairman of the Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR) and Executive Secretary of the Asia-Pacific Association of Agricultural Research Institutions (APAARI). Mr Paroda is the recipient of several prestigious awards and honors, including the Norman Borlaug Award (2006) and the Padma Bhushan award (1998).
Qin Dahe (China) is a glaciologist and the first Chinese ever to cross the South Pole as a member of the 1989 International Cross South Pole Expedition. Mr Qin is an Academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and of the Third World Academy of Sciences. He has been praised as one of China's most outstanding scientists. He served as Administrator of the China Meteorological Administration and former Permanent Representative of China with the WMO from 2003 to 2007. He is a member of the Joint Committee for the International Polar Year 2007-2008. Mr Qin was awarded the fifty-third International Meteorological Organization Prize in 2008 for his achievements in cryosphere and climate research, his leading role in the preparation of IPCC Scientific Assessments Reports and his contribution to meteorological services at the national and international levels. Mr Qin co-chaired the Nobel Peace Price winning IPCC Working Group I during the Fourth Assessment period.
Emil Salim (Indonesia) is an economist. He has doctorates in economics from the University of Indonesia and the University of California at Berkeley in the United States. He served as State Minister for Population and Environment of Indonesia for almost 15 years and has been entrusted to a number of governmental positions, including Minister of State for administrative reform and Vice Chair of the National Planning Board (1970-1973), Minister of Transport, Communication and Tourism (1973-1978), Minister of State for Development Supervision and the Environment (1978-1983), Minister of State for Population and the Environment (1983-1993). Internationally, Mr Salim has had a distinguished role in a number of environment related bodies and initiatives. He was vice-chair of the UN High Level Advisory Board on Sustainable Development (1992) and a member of the WHO Commission on Health and Environment. He was a member of the UN World Commission on Environment and Development (from 1984 to 1987), chair of the 10th UN Commission on Sustainable Development (2001-2002), chair of the Preparatory Committee of the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002. He was co-chair of the World Commission on Forests and Sustainable Development and chair of the Third AEAN Environment Ministerial Conference. Mr Salim has also been strongly supportive of the work of many NGOs on environment issues.
Mahmoud Abu-Zeid (Egypt) is a Water Management expert who has held the position of Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation in government of Egypt from 1997-2009. Earlier he served as the President of the National Water Research Centre, Egypt. With doctorate in groundwater engineering from University of California, USA, he has long international experience in teaching and research. He is presently the president of the Arab Water Council, having spearheaded the World Water Council, an International multi-stakeholder platform from its inception in 1996 till 2003 and continues to be its Honorary President. Fellow of Economic Development Institute, the World Bank, He is also on the UN Secretary Generals’ Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation (UNSGAB). He was the chairman of Governing Council of the African Water Facility from 2005-2009. Mr Abu-Zeid has been awarded many prestigious national and international prizes including Medal of the Republic of First Order, the King Hassan II Great World Water Prize (2003) and American Society for Irrigation and Drainage Award, 1996.
Fiame Naomi Mata'afa is a Samoan high chief and a senior member of Cabinet in Samoa. She is one of the longest standing Members of Parliament for the electoral constituency of Lotofaga in the political district of Atua. For over 30 years, Fiame Mataafa has worked on, and been a role model for, promoting and advocating socio-economic and political equality for women and girls in Samoa, through her NGO involvement and her role as politician and Minister of Education. She was Minister of Education for 15 years (three terms). She is the current Minister of Women, Community & Social Development in Samoa. She is the Pro Chancellor of the University of the South Pacific and is a former Executive Board Member of UNESCO and the Commonwealth of Learning. She studied political science at Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand. She was a former President of the Samoa Young Women’s Christian Association YWCA and an Executive Board Member of the World YWCA. She is currently the President of the Samoa National Council of Women and Chairperson of the Inailau Women’s Leadership Network.