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2023 LOCAL
ADAPTATION
CHAMPIONS AWARDS

WATCH THE 2023 LOCAL ADAPTATION CHAMPIONS AWARD CEREMONY

MEET THE 2023 WINNERS

2023 JURY

Ban Ki-moon
Ban Ki-moon
8th Secretary-General of the United Nations and Chair of the Global Center on Adaptation Supervisory Board

Ban Ki-moon was the 8th Secretary-General of the United Nations. His priorities have been to mobilize world leaders around a set of new global challenges, from climate change and economic upheaval to pandemics and increasing pressures involving food, energy, and water.

Dan Jørgensen
Dan Jørgensen
Minister for Development Cooperation and Global Climate Policy, Denmark

Dan Jørgensen took office as Denmark’s Minister for Development Cooperation and Global Climate Policy on 15 December 2022. Prior to this, he was the Minister for Climate, Energy, and Utilities from 2019 to 2022, and Minister for Food, Agriculture, and Fisheries between 2013 and 2015. Mr. Jørgensen started his long parliamentary career as a Member of the Danish Parliament (Folketinget) for the Social Democratic Party in 2015, and he was a Member of the European Parliament from 2004 to 2013. 

Andrew Mitchell
Andrew Mitchell
UK Minister of State in the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office

Andrew Mitchell was appointed as a Minister of State in the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) on 25 October 2022. He was previously Secretary of State for International Development from May 2010 to September 2012. He was elected as the Conservative MP for Sutton Coldfield on 7 June 2001.

Hon Soipan Tuya
Hon Soipan Tuya
Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, and Forestry, Kenya

Before becoming Cabinet Secretary in Kenya’s Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, and Forestry in October 2022, Hon Soipan Tuya had an 18-year career as a lawyer focusing on community service, and she was MP for Narok County, where she focused on economic and social empowerment. Hon Tuya currently also serves as the First Chairperson of Committees in the National Assembly’s Speaker’s Panel.

Prof. Dr. Patrick V. Verkooijen
Prof. Dr. Patrick V. Verkooijen
Chief Executive Officer, Global Center on Adaptation

Prof. Dr. Patrick V. Verkooijen is CEO of the Global Center on Adaptation, and he also serves as the Distinguished Chair of the Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace and Environmental Studies at the University of Nairobi and as the Ban Ki-moon Chair on Climate Adaptation Governance at the University of Groningen. Prof. Verkooijen has also previously served as the World Bank Group Special Representative on Climate Change.

HE Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri
HE Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri
Minister of Climate Change and Environment, United Arab Emirates

In her role as Minister of Climate Change and Environment of the UAE, Her Excellency Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri spearheads the UAE’s drive to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change. Prior to this appointment, she was Minister of State for Food and Water Security and Minister of State for Food Security.

Prof. Dr. A. K. Abdul Momen
Prof. Dr. A. K. Abdul Momen
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bangladesh

Prior to his appointment as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Prof. Dr. A. K. Abdul Momen was the Bangladesh Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary & Permanent Representative to the UN from August 2009 to November 2015. He was also the Chair of the Department of Economics and Business at Framingham State University, Massachusetts, and on the faculty at the American International University of Bangladesh.

2023 TECHNICAL ADVISORY GROUP

Dr. Farhina Ahmed
Dr. Farhina Ahmed
Bangladesh Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change
Secretary

Dr. Farhina Ahmed has been Secretary of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change since May 22, 2022. In an illustrious 30-year career in government service, she has worked in the civil service in the capacities of Additional Secretary, Joint Secretary, and Deputy Secretary in the Finance Division. She has been entrusted with many vital posts in the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Housing and Public Works, Ministry of Women and Child Affairs, and Field Administration. Dr. Ahmed is an officer in the Bangladesh Civil Service.

Shuchi Vora
Shuchi Vora
Global Resilience Partnership
Resilience Knowledge Coalition Lead

Shuchi is a resilience and adaptation professional with about a decade of experience in designing community-led approaches for droughts, floods, urban and rural resilience. Currently, she leads the Resilience Evidence Coalition and Youth Leadership initiatives at the Global Resilience Partnership where she is weaving a community of practice on resilience evidence and measurement. She has previously worked at The Nature Conservancy and WWF, and has a Master’s degree from Oxford.

Arghya Sinha Roy
Arghya Sinha Roy
Asian Development Bank
Principal Climate Change Specialist (Climate Change Adaptation)

Arghya is involved in the implementation of the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) climate priorities and targets by supporting client governments in strengthening climate adaptation related policies, plans and investments and accessing climate finance. He has more than 19 years of international experience in the field of climate and disaster resilience, especially in the context of urban resilience, resilient infrastructure, community resilience and post-disaster recovery and reconstruction. Arghya has led the development of ADB’s Community Resilience Partnership Program, a financing partnership facility to scale up investments in climate adaptation at the local level.

Anna Ballance
Anna Ballance
British High Commission in Dhaka
Senior Climate Change; Environment Advisor

Anna is a Senior Climate Change and Environment Adviser for the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. She has been based in Dhaka since 2019 but has also worked on adaptation, mitigation and environment projects in Nigeria, Afghanistan, Kenya, South Africa, Brazil, and the Caribbean. She has also worked as a negotiator for several international environmental agreements. She has a Masters degree in Environmental Law.

Ivo Menzinger
Ivo Menzinger
Swiss Re
Managing Director, MENA Public Sector Solutions

Ivo is Swiss Re's Managing Director for public sector business across Europe, Middle East, and Africa and is based in Zurich.

Jana El-Horr
Jana El-Horr
The World Bank
Global Lead for Social Dimensions of Climate Change

Jana is the Global Lead for Social Dimensions of Climate Change at the World Bank. Jana has extensive experience working in South Asia, Pacific Islands, Africa, and the Middle East designing and implementing locally-led development projects that focus on the nexus of climate, inclusion, and resilience. Her technical expertise covers women’s economic empowerment, working in fragile and conflict affected contexts, and inclusive local economic development. Prior to the World Bank, Jana worked in Iraq and Lebanon on programs related to women’s empowerment, forced displacement, and reintegration of ex-combatants. Jana is a Lebanese national and holds a Ph.D. in conflict analysis from George Mason University and a bachelor’s in economics from the American University of Beirut.

Dr. Aditya Bahadur
Dr. Aditya Bahadur
The International Institute for Environment and Development, UK
Chair of the Research Strategy team and Principal Researcher

Aditya is Chair of the Research Strategy team and Principal Researcher at the International Institute for Environment and Development, UK . He has 18 years of experience in research, evaluation and practice of climate change and development. He has published extensively on these issues and his work has been cited widely, including by the IPCC. Previously he worked with the UK funded Action on Climate Today Programme based at Oxford Policy Management and with the Overseas Development Institute, UK as Research Fellow. He has an MA and a PhD in Development Studies from the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, UK. He completed his Postdoctoral Research at the Earth Institute, Columbia University, New York City and is the author of ‘Resilience Reset: Creating Resilient Cities in the Global South’ (Routledge, 2022).

Anju Sharma
Anju Sharma
The Global Center on Adaptation
Global Lead on Locally Led Adaptation

Anju is the Global Lead on Locally Led Adaptation at the Global Center on Adaptation. She has been Deputy Director of Oxford Climate Policy, and Head of the Policy and Publications Unit of the European Capacity Building Initiative. She is an Associate with the Stockholm Environment Institute and has been a Consultant with the International Institute for Sustainable Development and Visiting Fellow at the International Institute for Environment and Development. Anju has previously worked with the UN Environment Programme in Kenya, Oxfam GB in the UK, and the Centre for Science and Environment in India. She has also worked as a Consultant for a number of international organizations, including the Secretariat of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the UN Development Program.

Saliha Dobardzic
Saliha Dobardzic
The Adaptation Fund
Programming and Innovation Unit Lead and Senior Climate Change Specialist

Saliha is the Programming and Innovation Unit Lead and Senior Climate Change Specialist at the Adaptation Fund, where she oversees the programming of over half a billion dollars in funding annually and leads the policy work related to the administration of climate finance for adaptation, including innovation and locally led action. Previously, she worked on adaptation, environmental, international waters, and integrated coastal zone management issues with the Global Environment Facility and The World Bank for over a decade. 

She has also supported the World Bank’s MENA climate change beam in devising and implementing the first corporate climate change strategy for the region, and the Global Facility for Disaster Risk Reduction in support of mainstreaming climate change considerations in ex-ante disaster risk management. She is a co-author of a number of books, studies, and reports on climate change adaptation and other environmental issues, including “Time to Adapt: Insights from the Global Environment Facility’s Experience on Adaptation to Climate Change.” She is a recipient of several awards and distinctions and was recognized as one of “100 Women Leaders in Energy and Climate Change” by the White House in 2013.

Una May Gordon
Una May Gordon
Experienced Climate Change Specialist

Una is an experienced Climate Change professional who believes strongly that development is about people. Her public advocacy and promotion of women’s leadership in all spheres of life are unmatched. After years of working in the field of international development and with the private and public sectors across the Caribbean Region, she now spends her time as a consultant and senior climate change and resilience advisor to institutions and companies at global, regional, and national levels.

Nilu Puri Basnyat
Nilu Puri Basnyat
DAI
Country Representative, Nepal

Nilu is DAI’s country representative in Nepal, where she strengthens DAI’s positioning in and support for the development sector, facilitates project delivery, and works to mitigate risk. An experienced program manager and technical specialist in the governance, environment, and water sectors, she has 25 years of experience. As a technical expert she has strengthened Nepal’s ability to manage water resources for multiple uses and users, through climate change adaptation and the conservation of freshwater biodiversity; supported the Election Commission of Nepal to enhance its legal framework, organizational capacity, planning and conduct of elections, and delivery of voter education; supported peace and democracy in Nepal’s conflict-prone areas; and worked to create an enabling environment for private sector investment in hydropower development.

Habib Abubakar
Habib Abubakar
Islamic Development Bank
Senior Climate Change Specialist

Habib is a Senior Climate Change Specialist at the Islamic Development Bank Global Practices and Partnerships. In this role, he supports the bank in implementing its climate change action plan for 2020-2025 in its 57 member countries across the global south. He also co-leads the bank's engagement with the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and leads a technical assistance grant from the GCF Readiness window for Western Asia to unlock private finance for climate actions in some selected countries.

WHAT WINNERS SAY