International Advisory Council

Meet the team
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Michael Cheng

Managing Director, Shanghai

Mr. Michael Cheng has over 17 year experience in venture capital, leading early stage investments and working with private companies in China. Prior to Recipco, he was a private investor and served as Director on the Board of a number of companies, mostly in China. Most notably of these was Red Octane, the inventor of the Guitar Hero game, where he was a first round investor. Red Octane was sold to Activision Blizzard for over 30 times return. Recently, Mr. Cheng was a partner at Fidelity Ventures, a proprietary fund of the Fidelity Investments Group. He worked at Fidelity from 1996 to 2005 and was primarily responsible for looking at early stage companies in China in the communications, Internet, IT software, media and healthcare sectors. Investments made by Mr. Cheng at this time were almost all first round fundraisings in which Fidelity led the round. In 2003, he was sent to Shanghai to open an office for Fidelity Ventures, where he has been ever since. Mr. Cheng was one of the earliest venture capitalists looking at ventures in China and was fortunate to have worked on one of the first venture success stories in China, AsiaInfo. During his time there, the fund also invested in leading entrepreneurial companies in China such as Hurray! and Wuxi Pharmatech that had successful IPOs. One investment, Alibaba Group, completed its initial public offering on the NYSE on September 1, 2014 and is the largest US listing in history. Mr. Cheng earned a BA and MBA from the University of California, Berkeley in 1993 and 2001, respectively.

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Stan Fung

Managing Director, Beijing

Mr. Stan Fung has more than 22 years of experience in venture capital investing and 30 years of experience with emerging and established technology companies in China and the United States. Prior to Recipco, Mr. Fung was a private investor and strategic advisor, and serves as a Director on the Board of a number of companies in China and the US, which included Board experience with three NASDAQ-listed companies. Mr. Fung spent 2010 as an Asia Programs Fellow at the Ash Center at Harvard Kennedy School, where he researched and worked with fellows from China. His research focused on using technology cooperation to promote economic development, to develop trade policies, and to improve country relations. His research topic was “Science, Technology and Innovation Policy – with focus on U.S.-China Relations”. Mr. Fung was recently a Managing Director at Zero Stage Capital where he worked between 1992 and 2004. At ZSC, he led investments in technology, media, software and energy-related companies. Mr. Fung’s investment results included seven successful initial public offerings (IPO’s) on the US NASDAQ market. Previously, he worked in the Far East Group at Advent International, and at Teradata Corporation (NYSE:TDC) during its formative stage, and IBM Corporation (NYSE:IBM) in engineering and marketing roles. Mr. Fung has been on the judging panel of numerous business plan contests, including the prestigious MIT US$100K Entrepreneurship Competition (which he co-founded in 1989), the MIT-CHIEF (MIT China Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum) Business Plan Contest, and the Harvard Business School New Venture Competition. He is also on the Advisory Board to The Breakout Labs, a project of the Thiel Foundation. Mr. Fung has served on the Investment Committee of the University of Massachusetts Foundation, Inc. for more than 15 years. Mr. Fung earned a BS (Summa Cum Laude) in Computer Systems Engineering, from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, an MS in Computer Science from UCLA, and an SM in Management from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

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Mohab Mufti

Mr. Mohab Mufti has thirty years of experience in the Financial Services industry having worked in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, managing and structuring investments in Global Markets, Structured Finance, Private Equity and Trade Finance. Currently, Mr. Mufti serves on the Board of Arqaam Capital, a DIFC-based emerging markets investment bank and most recently led an advisory business specialising in cross boarder direct investments. Previously, Mr. Mufti had established Asiya Investments Group’s advisory business in Dubai, developed the asset management business in Hong Kong and led the management of a Commodity Trade Finance Fund. Prior to moving to Dubai, Mr. Mufti was the CEO of Gulf International Bank (UK) Limited. During his tenure there, he was responsible for the management of bank and client assets of $20 billion. Mr. Mufti is an alumnus of the JP Morgan Finance Program and has a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the University of East Anglia, UK.

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Nasser Alshaali

Mr. Nasser Alshaali is currently the Managing Director of Sabertia, a co-investment platform connecting global capital with opportunities in non-core markets. He is also a co-founder of Sophic Advisory, focusing on the GCC and Maldives markets. Mr. Alshaali was the CEO of the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC), where he established the leading financial hub between London and Hong Kong, built a world-class legal and technical infrastructure, and secured key agreements between DIFC and UAE Central Bank, Hong Kong Monetary Authority, World Bank Group’s Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), Paris Europlace, Luxembourg and others. Mr. Alshaali was also successful at raising a $2.5 billion USD bond for the DIFC. Mr. Alshaali was also the COO of DIFX (Dubai International Financial Exchange) and established DIFX as the world largest Sukuk (Islamic bond) exchange before merging with Nasdaq. Prior to that, he worked with Dubai government’s “The Executive Office” to restructure all Dubai Government media assets into “Dubai Media Incorporated” (DMI). In addition to his public service, Mr. Alshaali served as the CEO of Gulf Craft where he restructured the company after the financial crises, maintaining profitability and re-establishing it on a growth path towards becoming one of the leading global yacht manufacturers. Mr. Alshaali sits on a number of Boards and Committees including: Dubai Financial Market, Dubai Statistics Center, Institute of Finance’s Special Committee on Effective Regulation, World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Financial Market Development, The Consulting Office (Dubai Government), and the Advisory Board of the School of Business and Economics at Emirates National University. Mr. Alshaali received a BA from American University, Washington, DC, in Philosophy and International Relations.

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Bernard Atalli

Since 2003, Mr. Bernard Attali has held the post of Senior Advisor for Texas Pacific Group in France. He is also Senior Advisor (of counsel) for Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe; Member of the Board of Directors of Air Canada and of International Power (GDF/Suez). Mr. Attali has held important private positions in addition to high visibility public positions. To name a few, Mr. Attali was CFO of Club Med, CEO of Datar in charge of regional development for France, Chairman of EEC Committees in Brussels, Chairman and CEO of major insurance companies such as Groupe des assurances nationales (GAN), Chairman and CEO of Air France from 1988 to 1993, Chairman of the executive committee of IATA, Chairman of Bankers Trust France, Vice Chairman for Deutsche Bank Investment Banking Europe and Chairman of Paris-Ile de France Development Agency. He has also been a member of many significant boards including SNCF (French railways), CIC, BNP, Société Générale, Scor, Méridien Hotels, Air Inter, La Poste, Sabena, CSA, EuroTunnel and Baccarat, and as of April 2014, Numericable. Mr. Attali is Honorary Chairman of the Air France Group, an Officer in the French Legion of Honor and Commander in the French National Order of Merit. He holds degrees from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques (Paris) and the Ecole Nationale d’Administration.

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François Barrault

Mr. François Barrault is Chairman and Founder of FDB Partners SPRL, an investment and advisory firm in TMT and renewable energy. Mr. Barrault started his career as a researcher in Robotics, Artificial Intelligence with IBM Corporation, then founded and sold several businesses. He has held senior positions in a number of large global companies, in particular Lucent Technologies, where he was President and CEO of Lucent EMEA and then, as International CEO and corporate officer, ran Lucent’s 38 acquisitions in the Internet sector. Mr. Barrault retired at the end of 2008 from the position of CEO of BT Global Services and as a BT Group board member. In BT Global Services, Mr. Barrault created a world leader in Networked IT services comprising 37,000 employees and operating in 176 countries, in four years acquiring 32 companies around the world. In parallel, he led BT Innovate, the advanced R&D and innovation team of BT Group, and in this role chaired and sponsored numerous initiatives with the most prestigious universities in the world. Mr. Barrault has been very active at the World Economic Forum (Davos and regional forums) and created and then chaired the BT Global advisory board, with sixty world-class leaders from around the world. He is also active in lecturing worldwide, and is a member of various boards of public and private companies, advisory boards, private investments funds and foundations around the world.

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Dr. Claude Béglé

Dr. Claude Béglé began his renowned international career in Nepal, Lebanon and Zimbabwe, where he worked for the Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs and then for the International Red Cross. From there, Dr. Béglé joined the Nestle Group and continued his international career for a further fourteen years, working in various countries abroad. As Managing Director of Philip Morris in Poland, Dr. Béglé was responsible for one of the largest privatisations and foreign investments ever made in Eastern Europe, whilst continuing to run the operational business. In 1997, Dr. Béglé joined the postal and logistics sector, working for TNT Express Worldwide, The Dutch Post Group, as a Vice President. In 1999, he was appointed CEO of GeoPost International Management and Development GmbH and, at the same time, Chairman of DPD GmbH, a pan-European road transport franchise system, both subsidiaries of the French Group La Poste. On joining the German Post (DPWN) in October 2005, Dr. Béglé took over responsibility for DHL Express Germany and DHL Central Europe, with revenue of over EUR 5.6 billion and more than 33,000 employees. In May 2007, he was nominated Executive Vice President of DPWN, and in 2008, Dr. Béglé was appointed Chairman of the Board of Swiss Post, a position he held until January 2010. Dr. Béglé holds a PhD in Economics, a Masters in Law and a Masters in International Relations.

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Sir David Brewer

Sir David William Brewer was the Lord-Lieutenant of Greater London from 2008 to 2015, appointed by Her Majesty The Queen. He was Lord Mayor of London between 2005 and 2006. Sir David grew up in Hampstead, went to St. Paul’s School and then Université de Grenoble, France. He commenced his career in 1959 with Sedgwick Collins and in 1976 he went to Tokyo to open the Sedgwick Group’s Japan office and lived there for three years. He set up the Group office in China in 1981 and obtained the first broker’s authorisation for Sedgwick in 1993. He opened their representative office in Mumbai in 1986 and has travelled regularly in Asia, and in particular to China, which he has visited over 100 times. Sir David became the Non-Executive Vice-Chairman of Marsh Ltd. following their purchase of Sedgwick Group. An active City businessman, Sir David holds Non-Executive Directorships with LIFFE Administration and Management, Tullet Prebon SITICO (China) Ltd, National Bank of Kuwait (International) PLC and is a member of the International Advisory Board for IPS Group. Sir David is a Warden of the Merchant Taylors’ Company and of the Blacksmiths’ Company. He is an Honorary Liveryman of the Insurers’ Company and of the Worshipful Company of Security Professionals, along with his position as an Honorary Master of the Bench of Gray’s Inn. Among other appointments, Sir David is Senior Treasurer of the Sons of the Clergy, President of The London Cornish Association, a member of the London Symphony Orchestra Advisory Council and a Director of the City of London Sinfonia. Sir David was appointed Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO) in the 2015 New Year Honours for his services as Lord-Lieutenant of Greater London.

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Robin Buchanan

Mr. Robin Buchanan has a long-standing, highly successful career in senior management consultancy positions and is recognised as one of the best consultants of his generation. He is the former Dean and President of London Business School. Under his leadership the School was, for the first time, ranked number one in the world for both its MBA and Executive MBA programs while over the same period the School increased the number of degree students by 57% and expanded its global reach, especially in the Middle East and East Asia. Before joining London Business School, Mr. Buchanan spent 25 years at Bain & Company, the leading global business consultancy. Mr. Buchanan joined Bain in 1982, becoming partner in 1986. He was  elected the Managing Partner of Bain in the UK in 1990 and appointed the Senior Partner for the UK and South Africa in 1996. From 1990 to 2007 the UK business grew at over 25% per annum. He was also a member of the management buy-out team that acquired Bain in 1991. Mr. Buchanan headed both the worldwide Acquisitions & Alliances practice and the UK Organisational Enhancement and Change Management practice. He remains a Senior Advisor to Bain. Mr. Buchanan is Chairman of the Board of Michael Page plc, a FTSE 250 Specialist Recruitment Company. He is also on the Board of LyondellBasell NV, a Fortune 500 petro-chemicals and refining company, and Schroders plc, a FTSE 100 global asset management company. Mr. Buchanan has previously served on the Boards of Liberty International plc and Swire plc. Mr. Buchanan is a graduate of the Harvard Business School.

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Dr. Julian Chang

Dr. Julian Chang is now working with Laureate International Universities’ China group based in Shanghai. Prior to that, he was Associate Dean for Student Life at Schwarzman Scholars at Tsinghua University in Beijing, where he aided in the strategic oversight, development, management, administration, and implementation of the program, with a specific emphasis on, and responsibility for, programmatic elements and issues related to student life. From 2001 to early 2014, Dr. Chang was the Executive Director of the Rajawali Foundation Institute for Asia at the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, Harvard Kennedy School. From 1996 to 2001, he held various teaching and managerial positions at Stanford University focusing on Asia and China. He first visited China in 1977 and returned to work there in the 1980s at Wuhan University. Dr. Chang is founding President of the Chinese Globalization Association, a non-profit organization, which supports research on the range and variety of China's contemporary outbound investment activity, both state and private. He is a senior partner at the Cambridge China Group, a strategic consultancy in Cambridge, USA; a Practice Partner at Provision, LLC, a global procurement services firm with offices based in Philadelphia, USA, and Dubai, UAE; and an associate of the Hong Kong-based X-RG group, as well as an independent director at Kulong Energy Beverage Company, Inc. Dr. Chang has given lectures and seminars across China and is often quoted in the Chinese press. His current research interests include innovation in China, as well as leadership and globalization. His PhD dissertation was on political marketing in China and the Sino-Soviet relationship. Dr. Chang co-edited China Rules: Globalization and Political Transformation; Economic Reform and Cross-Strait Relations: Taiwan and China in the WTO; and Presidential Politics in Taiwan: The Administration of Chen Shui-bian and is currently working on a multi-volume reference set on globalization and China’s higher education.

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Constantine Chikosi

In a career spanning 20 years with the World Bank, Mr. Chikosi held various operational, management and strategy roles within the World Bank Group delivering development solutions for client countries through demand led analytical work, high level policy dialogue with governments and advising the World Bank Board internally on corporate strategy and forward-looking initiatives. He oversaw a threefold growth of the Bank’s investment portfolio in Southeast Asia and a 40 percent improvement in its performance as chair of committees that shaped the Bank’s operational strategy and investment portfolios in Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar and Thailand. Mr. Chikosi led technical and diplomatic negotiations with the Prime Minister of Malaysia and the Finance Minister of Mauritius to set up a regional knowledge hub in Kuala Lumpur and a new World Bank office in Port Louis. He led multidisciplinary teams that delivered high impact knowledge and financial products and presented proposals to the Board of the World Bank on business strategies in Thailand, Malaysia, Mauritius and Botswana. Mr. Chikosi advised the government of Mauritius’ on its policy responses to the 2008 global financial crisis and on improving its global ranking in the “Ease of Doing Business” through analytical work and policy dialogues with the authorities at the highest level. Prior to joining the World Bank, Mr. Chikosi was based in Westminster, London leading teams that advised Commonwealth governments on globally competitive fiscal and legal frameworks for foreign investment in oil, mining and gas sectors. Prior to that he worked as a new business development executive for a global mining company and as non-executive Vice President of the Geneva-based World University Service. Currently, Mr. Chikosi serves on the Board and the Strategy Committee of Mauritius Commercial Bank Group, the largest bank in Mauritius and listed on the local stock exchange. Mr. Chikosi is also a Board Member at Strand Hanson Ltd, a London-based investment bank. Mr. Chikosi is a lawyer, a Chartered Accountant and a graduate of INSEAD Business School.

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Fadi Dabbagh

Mr. Dabbagh is a global business leader with over 29 years of success across multi-industries, transforming struggling operations into profitable enterprises.  He has founded numerous companies and have been at the helm of many multi-billion-dollar B2B and B2C enterprises. Mr. Dabbagh is currently the Board Advisor of AIX Investment Group, an international financial institution that provides investment advisory services with offices in Zurich and Dubai, managing a portfolio in excess of 1 billion Dirhams. Mr. Dabbagh has been instrumental in the corporate restructuring of the company, actively involved in every department and scaling the operation to the next level of growth. Prior to his appointment as Board Advisor, Mr. Dabbagh was the Director of Sales of Damac Properties, a global publicly listed property development company. Damac has been at the forefront of the Middle East’s luxury real estate market since 2002, delivering luxury residential, commercial and leisure properties across the region, including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, Lebanon and the United Kingdom. Mr. Dabbagh also has extensive experience in the e-commerce industry, having founded and served as CEO of Mistile International Ltd, the premiere Middle Eastern online luxury shopping community, awarded the Pan-Arab website of the year in 2014. Prior to founding, Mr.  Dabbagh ran the regional office of Bartercard International Plc, a publicly listed company on the London Stock Exchange and the World’s largest trade exchange, with 130 offices globally and an annual turnover of $1.6 billion. Mr. Dabbagh holds a BBA in International Business, Finance and Economics and a BA in Business Administration from Schiller International University in Paris (1992).  

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Professor Humayon Dar

Professor Humayon Dar is the Chairman, President & CEO of Edbiz Consulting Limited, a London-based Islamic financial consulting firm. He is a leading spokesman for the Islamic financial services industry, and has played lead roles in a number of global initiatives for the development of Islamic finance. As an Islamic financial innovator, he has helped a number of banks and financial institutions in developing cutting-edge products such as Islamic derivatives and structured products, Shari’a compliant short selling and structuring of Islamic hedge funds. His most recent contribution to the Islamic financial industry is the first-ever Islamic Socially Responsible Investing – SRI – screening methodology. He is Editor-in-Chief of the Global Islamic Finance Report – an annual publication he founded in 2010. He is also Editor-in-Chief of Islamic Finance Review (ISFIRE) – a quarterly magazine published by Edbiz Consulting from London. Professor Dar holds a BSc (Hons) and MSc (both in Islamic Economics) from International Islamic University in Islamabad, where he studied with a number of top Islamic jurists and Muslim thinkers. He also has an MPhil and PhD (both in Economics) from Cambridge University, where he conducted research on Islamic finance. His post-doctoral research has focused exclusively on Islamic economics, banking and finance. Professor Dar also sits on the Board of Directors of Arab British Chamber of Commerce – a high-level body supported by the British government and the government of the Arab countries. He has also sat on Shariah Boards of several institutions, including Hong Leong Islamic Bank, Allianz Global Investors, Sharia UMEX and many more. Over the years, Professor Dar has written many articles for established journals and authored as well as co-authored books mainly on issues related to Islamic finance. His latest publication, `Global Islamic Finance Report’ (2011) was co-authored with Talha Ahmad.

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Dr. Marie-Paule Donsimoni-Bupp

Dr. Donsimoni is a social entrepreneur with four decades in senior positions in the knowledge management industry, focusing on technology as a means of increasing productivity, and 10 years as an investor in Botswana. In Jan. 2013, Dr. Donsimoni was appointed CEO of AIDA, a boutique that facilitates infrastructure implementations in Southern Africa and in the Bay of Gabon. In Feb. 2012, the Masire Foundation invited Dr. Donsimoni to join its Board of Trustees and focus on “rural innovation” and “peace and governance”. She has been on the Board of Advisors of Oxford Analytica since 1993. In 2007, she started the Aarberg Group bringing innovative practices in Botswana. By Dec. 2010 her agribusiness, employed close to 100 employees. Exceptional circumstances in the livestock industry led to a voluntary closure of the activity in October 2011. In 2009, she started AcademE as the sole Distributor of Ontuitive Products and Services in Africa. AcademE is BOTA accredited, joined the Botswana Innovation Hub in Dec. 2010 and works with the Microsoft Innovation Center and the Botswana College of Agriculture. Before, she worked in California with the largest privately-held learning group, Knowledge Universe; in France, as CEO of DAFSA; and, prior, as senior manager in the UK, at Oxford Analytica and the Economist Intelligence Unit; and, in Belgium, at DRI/McGraw Hill. She held several posts in academia: Dean of the Economics Department of the Catholic University of Louvain, Professor of Economics at Columbia University, visiting Professor in France and Italy. She holds an M.A. in Economics from Paris-I, an M.Sc. in Applied Mathematics from Paris-VI, and a Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University. She has published numerous articles and a textbook. A French citizen, she divides her time between Paris, the permanent residence of her American husband, and Gaborone.

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Amir Dossal

Amr Dossal, President, Global Partnerships Forum, and former Executive Director, United Nations Office for Partnerships

Mr. Amir Dossal is the Chairman and Founder of the Global Partnerships Forum, an international platform to address economic and social challenges through innovative partnerships. He is a 25-year veteran of the United Nations. He was Executive Director of the UN Office for Partnerships, and served as the UN’s Chief Liaison for Partnerships and focal point for the partnership with media mogul Ted Turner to manage the $1 billion gift to the UN. In that capacity, he forged strategic alliances with governments, corporations, foundations, and philanthropists uniting these partners for a common purpose: to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. As the primary interface for the UN Foundation, Mr. Dossal successfully attracted new investments of over $560 million from various donors that supported over 450 international projects for women and children’s health, climate change and bio-diversity. Mr. Dossal has developed numerous partnerships and secured sizeable social investments from such major names as the American Red Cross, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Coca-Cola, the Rockefeller Foundation, and Rotary International. He also oversaw management of the UN Democracy Fund, which he established in 2005 as an instrument to strengthen democratic institutions and enhance governance in new and restored democracies. Mr. Dossal is also the Co-Founder of the Pearl Initiative, a CEO-led program, promoting transparency and accountability in the Gulf Region, and is Co-Founder of the Ocean Sanctuary Alliance. In addition, he serves as Commissioner of the Broadband Commission for Digital Development. In January 2015, Amir was appointed Special Adviser to the United Nations Global Compact, for Strategic Relationships.

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Simon Duffy

Mr. Simon Duffy was Executive Chairman of Tradus PLC (formerly QXL Ricardo PLC) from 2007 until 2008. Prior to this, he was Executive Vice Chairman of ntl:Telewest Inc. (now Virgin Media Group) having previously been President, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer of ntl Inc., the major component of VMG. Prior to ntl, Mr. Duffy was Chief Financial Officer of Orange SA and before that Chief Executive Officer of Denmark-based wireless data company End2End AS. He joined End2End from Internet service provider WorldOnline International BV, where he was Chief Executive Officer and Deputy Chairman. Previously he had spent eight years at EMI Group PLC, where he was Group Finance Director and Deputy Chairman, and six years at Guinness PLC, including three years as Operations Director of United Distillers. Currently, Mr. Duffy serves as non-executive Chairman of Cell C (Pty) Limited and Cadogan Petroleum PLC. He is also a non-executive director of Oger Telecom Ltd, Modern Times Group AB and mBlox Inc. Previous non-executive directorships include Imperial Tobacco Group PLC, GWR Group PLC, Thames Television PLC, HMV Media Group PLC, Gartmore PLC, Berisford PLC, Cantab Pharmaceuticals PLC (Chairman), Amteus PLC, Tiscali S.p.A., iMedia Holdings Ltd (Chairman) and the Intellectual Property Institute. He also sits on the advisory board of the British-American Project and on the corporate development board of the NSPCC. Mr. Duffy holds a Master of Arts from Oxford University and a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School, where he was a Harkness Fellow.

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Andrew Hall

Mr. Andrew Hall is an internationally active investor and advisor in the renewable energy and engineering technology sectors with a portfolio of investments and non-executive and advisory roles in Africa, Asia and Europe in all stages of the renewable energy value chain. Mr. Hall has extensive financial, organisational turn around and demerger/merger experience. He has held a number of senior executive roles within Siemens AG, most recently as Group CFO of Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy SA, Spain and Executive Director and CFO of Siemens Wind Power & Renewable Energy Division, Hamburg and is considered to be a leading expert in the wind and solar renewable energy sector.

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Anthony Harris

Anthony Harris’ 34-year career with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, which focussed largely on the Arab World, culminated in his appointment as British Ambassador to the UAE in the 1994. During his time in Abu Dhabi, Mr. Harris negotiated the UAE-UK Defence Cooperation Agreement. Other postings included Lebanon, Sudan, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. In the 1980's he worked for the Defence Export Services Organisation in the Ministry of Defence, where he was responsible for bilateral defence relations with the GCC States, and helped to negotiate the Al-Yamamah Air Defence deal with the Saudi Government. In Cairo, he was Chargé D'Affaires at the British Embassy during the First Gulf War. After leaving the FCO, Mr. Harris was from 1998  to 2000 a Director of Middle East Corporate Finance with Robert Fleming in London. After moving to Dubai in 2000, and setting up his own consultancy business, he was appointed Senior Executive Officer of Robert Fleming Insurance Brokers Middle East, and opened an office for RFIB in early 2006 in the DIFC. He also opened an office for RFIB in Saudi Arabia and was General Manager in Riyadh from 2010-14. He was thereafter Deputy Chairman of RFIB Middle East Group. He helped open the RFIB office in Baghdad in 2014. Apart from insurance, he has advised and helped set up companies in the region in a number of other fields, notably corporate communications, education, real estate, defence, security and financial services. He works closely with a number of commercial investigation companies, and writes reports on regional issues. He travels extensively in the Middle East region. He writes and occasionally broadcasts on regional political and economic affairs.

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Dr. Fan He

Dr. He Fan is chief economist and managing director of Caixin Insight Group. Caixin is a leading media and data company in China where he heads the research department of Caixin that focuses on public policy research and strategic planning. Dr. He is also a Senior Economics Fellow at the Institute for New Economic Thinking in New York. Before joining Caixin, he was the deputy director of Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Dr. He is one of the most active young economists in China. His fields of interest include Chinese macro-economy, international finance, and international political economy. He is the author or editor of 10 books and more than 100 papers in professional economics journals. Dr. He has worked on a broad range of issues like RMB exchange rate policy, China’s foreign trade and FDI policy, and financial system reform. Dr. He is a consultant for Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Commerce, People’s Bank of China, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and is deeply involved in many policy discussions. He is also a member of the Bellagio group of central bankers and academics (Group Thirty). At the same time, Dr. He has written extensively for a broader public audience. He is a columnist for many newspaper and magazines. Dr. He is also an economics commentator for CCTV2, and a regular guest on Dialogue, CCTV9. He has also been interviewed by BBC, CNN, NHK, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal and other international media. Dr. He was selected as Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2005, Asian Young Leader by the Asia Society in 2006, and Young Leader (YLF) by NCUSCR (National Committee of US China Relationship) in 2007. Dr. He received his Ph.D degree (2000) and MA degree (1996) in economics from the Graduate School, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. He earned a bachelor's degree in economics from Hainan University in 1993. From 1998 to 2000, Dr. He was a visiting fellow at Harvard University.

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Chris Hylen

Mr. Chris Hylen is senior vice president and general manager of the Citrix SaaS Division, a market-leading global provider of web collaboration, remote access, data sharing and IT support software as a service. Having spent the majority of his career focused on providing SaaS offerings to small and mid-sized business customers, Mr. Hylen is in his natural element heading the Citrix SaaS team. Prior to joining Citrix in July 2013, Mr. Hylen was the senior vice president and general manager of Payment Solutions at Intuit, where he successfully drove the development of innovative payment products and services, including the launch of Intuit’s first mobile credit card processing solution. Before Intuit, he held executive roles at Automatic Data Processing and American Express. All told, Mr. Hylen brings more than 20 years of senior general management leadership experience to Citrix. Mr. Hylen holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Widener University and a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard Business School.

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Ahmet Iplikci

Mr. Ahmet Iplikci is the Founding Partner and Managing Director of Ishtar Advisory Limited which provides strategic advice to funds and large international groups on access to investment and business growth opportunities and fund-raising in Emerging Markets. A former banker and hedge fund manager, Mr. Iplikci is a Board Member at British Chamber of Commerce Turkey, former Senior Advisor to Turkish Prime Minister's Office Investment Agency and Vice Chairman of Turkish British Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He also sits on the boards of Banco Finantia (a prominent Portuguese bank), The Hub Exchange (a London based Fintech company), and Arar Oil & Gas.

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Salim Ismail

Salim Ismail is the best-selling author of Exponential Organizations and an entrepreneur with ties to Yahoo!, Google, and Singularity University. He consults with governments and the world’s top Fortune 500 companies on innovation and growth. Ismail brings a global perspective on the impact of breakthrough technologies and how organisations can leverage disruption to grow faster than their peers. His book quickly reached No. 1 on Amazon’s “Best-Sellers in Business Management.” Ismail has spent years building Singularity and supporting its pledge to “educate, inspire and empower a new generation of leaders to apply exponential technologies to address humanity’s grand challenges.”

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Lord Anthony St John

Lord St John of Bletso, (Anthony) took up his seat as a Crossbench Member of the House of Lords in 1978. He was brought up in South Africa where he qualified as an attorney before working for Shell as their internal auditor and legal counsel. He completed his Masters in Law at London University in Chinese and Maritime Law and spent a year living in China and Hong Kong. He worked for over 15 years in financial services in London, initially as an oil analyst and then equity sales and investor relations with Smith New Court and then Merrill Lynch focussed on Sub Saharan Africa and the Far East. He has served as a director on many listed and unlisted companies ranging from oil, telecommunications, IT, renewable energy, financial servicesandmanufacturing. Hismain focus is now on promoting business opportunities in Africa, through African Business Solutions Ltd. He is Chairman of Strand Hanson Group, Global Resources Investment Trust and Integrated Diagnostic Holdings Plc. Lord St John was appointed Extra Lord in Waiting to Her Majesty The Queen in 1998. He has served on many House of Lords Select committees, including Communications Information, PICT and European Union Trade Finance and Foreign Affairs. He remains Vice Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary South Africa Group as well as a Member of the Executive Committee of the All Party Parliamentary Africa Group. He is currently Chairman and Trustee of six charities.

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JR Kerr

JR Kerr is Founder & CEO of Handshake, a bespoke influence and reputation firm working with the private, public and cause sectors to grow their influence through positioning, partnership ecosystems, and integrated activations to engage citizens and business with a more human approach. Mr. Kerr started his career with degrees in theology, philosophy and anthropology and spent a decade communicating on historical and cultural ideas to large audiences and creating not-for-profits and social enterprises. Previously an advisor to the White House Office for Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships under former President Obama, Kerr has served as the director of programming and curation for Chicago Ideas Week and has worked with influencers and organizations such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, One Campaign, Global Poverty Project, The White House Public Engagement Office, and helped to start the Soledad O’Brien Foundation. With more than 15 years’ experience in convening networks of influence around social issues and creating stories around these partnerships, Mr. Kerr made a strong pivot, believing the only way to scale the kind of change he wanted to see in the world was to bring in the private sector. After a few failed enterprises, Mr. Kerr joined Frequency540, where he curated and grew their social impact business. Transitioning to the role of entrepreneur, Mr. Kerr founded Handshake on the premise that businesses are the pathway to human prosperity. Mr. Kerr is a published author, founder of an anti-human trafficking organization, served on the board at SXSW Eco, and is a special advisor to RFK Human Rights.

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Wolfgang Lehmacher

Mr. Wolfgang Lehmacher has more than 20 years of experience in senior roles in the supply chain, logistics and transportation sector. He is former President and CEO of GeoPost Intercontinental, the global express parcel expansion vehicle of French La Poste. Mr. Lehmacher is heading the Supply Chain and Transport Industries community at the World Economic Forum. Prior to this engagement, he was Partner and Managing Director (China and India) at CVA, overseeing the global Transportation and Logistics Practice. Mr. Lehmacher’s early career began in 1980 with the German Red Cross, then subsequently with leading international supply chain solutions providers, including Kuehne & Nagel. In the 1990’s, he held senior management positions with TNT, including Country General Manager Switzerland and Director Eastern Europe and Eastern Mediterranean Regions. Mr. Lehmacher is the author and co-author of books, articles and whitepapers, primarily covering topics in the field of supply chain. He has had speaking engagements at various summits, including the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, and leading business schools in the world, such as the MIT Centre of Transportation and Logistics. Mr. Lehmacher has been involved in major initiatives in the Courier Express Post (CEP) industry, such as establishing GD Express Worldwide in Germany; heading EMS Germany – the joint venture between Deutsche Post and TNT; developing the TNT Express Worldwide business in the Eastern European and Eastern Mediterranean regions, covering over 50 countries; expanding the La Poste express parcel business through strategic investments combined with entrepreneurial partnerships in Europe and subsequently worldwide.

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Cecilia Magnusson Ljungman

Ms. Cecilia Magnusson Ljungman has 20 years’ experience of international development co-operation. Having begun her career in 1993 at the United Nations World Food Programme, she has gained significant experience in over 30 developing countries. she has assisted dozens of bilateral, multilateral and non-governmental organisations in evolution, results-based management and strategic planning in the effort to improve overall effectiveness and results and is considered an independent international expert in evaluation of development co-operation. A native Swede, Ms. Magnusson Ljungman spent the early years of her career in the Great Lakes region of East Africa, working for the WFP then Unicef as the Head of the Information and Communications Section. In 1996, she returned to Stockholm to work at the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs as First Secretary for the Division for Global Cooperation, Humanitarian Unit, later moving to Denmark to work as Senior Consultant to the Development Planning Division of COWI, Consulting Engineers and Planners AS in Copenhagen. Since 2006, Ms. Magnusson Ljungman has been a freelance consultant focussing mostly on evaluations and human rights based approaches. Ms. Magnusson Ljungman is experienced in managing large consulting teams and is asked to advise and train organisations on results-based management, outcome mapping and rights-based approaches. She has specialised skills from undertaking a wide range of assignments in evaluation, development policy and strategy working in areas spanning democratic governance, human rights, gender equality, post-conflict assistance and civil society development. Ms. Magnusson Ljungman is a graduate of Balliol College, University of Oxford and holds a Bachelor of Arts and Masters from the Honour School of Politics, Philosophy and Economics.

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Magnus Magnusson

Vice President

Magnus Magnusson joined the Eco Capacity Exchange as Vice President in November 2016. His areas of responsibility include emerging markets, government relations, infrastructure finance and social development. Magnus has 25 years of development finance experience from positions at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, United Nations, Nordic Development Fund, Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Nordic Council of Ministers and Nordic Project Fund. A Swedish citizen, Mr. Magnusson has an academic background in social sciences, business studies and environmental sciences from Uppsala University, Swedish Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm School of Economics and University of California, Berkeley University. He wrote his thesis on microfinance in rural Laos.

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Mario Marconi

Mario Marconi is the co-founder of Africa Wealth Partners, a multi-family office focusing on Africa. He comes out of the financial services industry with a background in wealth management, investment banking, and sustainable philanthropy. For more than 25 years, he held senior executive positions at UBS where he grew and led multiple areas of the private bank including its wealth planning business, its global philanthropy services and services for UHNW families and family offices. As the Global Head of the UHNW Family Services Group, Mr. Marconi built UBS’ holistic wealth management area and established a number of services to help families manage all aspects of their wealth including succession planning, family office management and family governance. He initiated and led the Values Based Investing strategy of UBS, aiming at making sustainable and impact investing core components of the clients offering. Mario speaks on the topics of family business, sustainability and philanthropy, and advises a number of ventures in the philanthropic and impact investing space. He has written a number of articles on family business, philanthropy and impact investing. Mario holds an M.B.A. from IMD in Lausanne, Switzerland and a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Geneva. He is fluent in English, Italian, French, and German.

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Dr. Ernesto Marcos

Dr. Ernesto Marcos is the founding partner of Marcos y Asociados, S.C., an investment boutique in Mexico City. He is a Mexican national and a resident of Mexico. He has devoted most of his professional career to the development of financing alternatives that better suit the differentiated needs of the Mexican industrial and infrastructure sectors. Between 1989 and 1994, Mr. Marcos was Chief Financial Officer at Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX), one of the largest industrial conglomerates in Latin America. From 1986 to 1989, he was President of Nacional Financiera, Mexico’s development bank. Between 1982 and 1983, Mr. Marcos held the position of Undersecretary for State Owned Industry within the Ministry of Industry. He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Notre Dame and has been professor of economic analysis, economic development and economic planning at universities in Mexico and the US. He has served as Chairman or member at the Board of a number of Mexican companies, as Adjunct Governor of the World Bank, the International Financial Corporation, the Interamerican Development Bank and the Interamerican Investment Corporation. He has been Chairman or member of the Board of a large number of Mexican corporations, including Telmex, Grupo Sidermex, Grupo Condumex, Cemex, Aeromexico, Celanese, Grupo ICA, Banca Somex, Bancomer and Banco Internacional. Additionally, he has been a Director and head of several committees of Fina Oil and Chemical Company, and Repsol, which, through mergers, have now become part of  TotalFina Elf and Repsol-YPF, respectively.

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Ala Nuseibeh

Ala Nuseibeh has several interests in oil and gas corporations dealing with procurement of products and services for national and international oil & gas corporations. He has assisted blue chip corporations in penetrating into the Middle East, which resulted in early successes. Nuseibeh moved into the oil and gas industry after working with his family's successful construction business in Qatar. As an expert in Middle East oil and gas, Nuseibeh specializes in identifying upstream and downstream oil and gas opportunities, arranging strategic partnerships, and facilitating project financing. Since 2002, Mr. Nuseibeh has been Middle East Director of Baron Oil, which was recently acquired by Sonoran Energy. His family, know as the Nusaybah clan, are Sunni Muslim and held the keys of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre alongside the Joudeh Al-Goudia family (who were added to the original arrangement in the time of Saladin, the Muslim conqueror who seized the holy city from the Crusaders in 1187. According to tradition, the Nusseibeh family took its name from a female companion or Sahabiyah of the Islamic prophet Muhammad named Nusaybah bint Ka'ab. She was a member of the Ansar who transferred their political power over Medina to Muhammad. Nussaiba fought along with Muhammed in battle and was an early example of women taking leadership roles in Islam.

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Marshall Orson

Mr. Marshall Orson is a co-founder and partner in consulting firm Melbourne Partners, which provides business development services for transactions related to intellectual property licensing, acquisitions, and partnerships, with a specific focus on content. He also was a co-founder and partner in the media strategy and crisis management firm, Devonwood Media. From 1989 to 2001, Mr. Orson worked at Turner Broadcasting, including five years as Vice President and General Manager of the Turner Trade Group (“TTG”). TTG is the world's largest media company-owned trade business; Mr. Orson oversaw its global media sales deals and retail operations, and all business and legal issues. He also held a number of business positions at Turner focusing on content creation, use,  acquisition and disposition, including stints as Vice President for Turner Home Entertainment, Turner Publishing and Turner Original Productions. He joined Turner’s legal department in 1989, initially with responsibility for overseeing deals related to its motion picture library and ultimately oversaw selected production deals and due diligence projects related to Turner corporate acquisitions. Prior to joining Turner, Mr. Orson practiced law in the Atlanta office of Paul, Hastings, Janofsky and Walker, after serving as a judicial law clerk for U.S. District Court Judge R. Allen Edgar in the Eastern District of Tennessee. He is a 2001 graduate of Leadership Atlanta and co-chaired its 2003 and 2004 Criminal Justice Day programs. He is also a past President of the Unitarian-Universalist Congregation of Atlanta. Mr. Orson is a graduate of the Duke University School of Law (Order of the Coif and High Honors), where he served as Senior Editor of Law and Contemporary Problems. He also received his bachelor’s degree (cum laude) from Duke University.

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Dr. William H Overholt

Dr. William H Overholt is a fellow at the Asia Global Institute and has been a Senior Fellow at Harvard since 2008. From 2013-2015 he was also Senior Fellow and then President of the Fung Global Institute in Hong Kong. From 2002-2008 he was Distinguished Chair and Director of the RAND Corporation’s Center for Asia Pacific Policy. He served as Asia regional Head of Strategy and Economics for Nomura from 1998 to 2001. Before that, he was Managing Director and regional Head of Research at Bank Boston Singapore. During 18 years at Bankers Trust, he managed a country risk team in New York from 1980 to 1984 and then served as regional strategist in Hong Kong. At Hudson Institute, 1971-1979 he directed studies for the U.S. Department of State, National Security Council, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and Council on International Economic Policy. Dr. Overholt is author or co-author of seven books, including Renminbi Rising: The Emergence of a New Global Monetary System (2015); Asia, America and the Transformation of Geopolitics (2008); The Rise of China (1993); Political Risk (1982); and (with William Ascher) Strategic Planning and Forecasting (1983). He is principal co-author of: Asia’s Nuclear Future (1976) and The Future of Brazil (1978). With Zbigniew Brzezinski, he founded the semi-annual Global Assessment in 1976 and edited it until 1988. Dr. Overholt received his BA from Harvard and his PhD from Yale.

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Jonathan Pardoe

Jonathan Pardoe worked for Virgin Atlantic for 26 years from 1990 until September 2016 and worked in Treasury and Fuel Procurement overseeing their global exposure. Whilst most of that time was primarily concerned with fuel procurement and fuel hedging he also spent three years overseeing all areas of risk including FX, emissions, investments as well as sustainable fuels. During his career Jonathan worked in Treasury and Management Accounts at Virgin Atlantic, CalAir (a small charter airline) and Rank Hovis McDougal (food manufacturer). However his first job was within National Westminster Bank Plc where his initial treasury experience was gained. Mr. Pardoe majored in Economics and Mathematics at his local college before going on to take examinations in accountancy and procurement and attending numerous training courses on all aspects of hedging as well as aviation fuel supply and quality and fuel procurement, provided by numerous institutions such as IATA, Invincible Energy, Shell and various other banks, fuel suppliers and fuel traders. With almost 30 years of aviation and risk management experience, Mr. Pardoe was responsible for creating and running the highly successful Virgin Atlantic hedging policy and overseeing the successful implementation of the RightAngle fuel system designed by SolArc (who are now part of OpenLink). Over these years he developed a small but highly professional and award winning team with nearly 50 years combined experience in hedging and fuel procurement. Regularly invited during his career by bank and oil companies, as well as internal departments, to explain Virgin Atlantic’s hedging and procurement practices up to CEO levels including a globally broadcast interview with Air BP’s senior management team. Mr. Pardoe chaired the International Airline Transport Association (IATA) Commercial Fuel Working Group for five years and represented all the visiting airlines on the Hong Kong Management Association for eight years.

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Nicole Rogers

Ms. Nicole Rogers (nee Maus) hails from one of the largest and oldest farming operations in Canada. Both her grandfather and father were innovators in the domestic and international trading and marketing of agricultural commodities. Prior to its sale, the Maus family livestock trading business  enjoyed annual revenues in excess of C$100 million. Ms. Roger’s education with respect to agricultural marketing was considerably enhanced following the founding by her father of In 2008 Ms. Rogers moved to Dubai, where she served as Canada’s Trade Commissioner for Agriculture in the United Arab Emirates. In 2013, she left the government and set out to work directly with Canadian farmers to better position them in the global marketplace. Shortly thereafter she founded Agriprocity. Agriprocity’s stated aim is to connect Canadian farmers directly with trading partners in the agricultural import dependent Middle Eastern market. The Agriprocity model aims to disrupt the traditional North American agri-food export process. With full transactional transparency, purposeful crop growing, a focus on long-term contracts and fixed margin pricing, Agriprocity is poised to serve as a key plank in the strategies being developed by Middle East governments as they seek to address the pressing issue of food security in the region. In addition to acting as the Principal of Agriprocity, Ms. Rogers sits on the United Nations FAO panel on Near East Food Security as a private sector delegate and is on the Advisory Board of Global AgInvesting Middle East.

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Dr. Dominick Salvatore

Dr. Dominick Salvatore is a Distinguished Professor and Director of the Ph.D. Program in Economics at Fordham University in New York City. He is President of the North American Economic and Finance Association, Past President of International Trade and Finance Association (1994 to 1996) and Chairperson of the New York Academy of Sciences (1998 to 2002). In addition, Dr. Salvatore is a Fellow of the New York Academy of Sciences and a Research Associate of the Vienna University of Economics and Business. He has served as a consultant to the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and Economic Policy Institute in Washington, D.C. In 1997, he received an “Achievement Award” from City University of New York. Dr. Salvatore was also appointed “Honorary Professor” by the University of Shanghai in 2005 and Strathmore’s Who’s Who, Professional of the Year in Education in 2006.

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Dr. Richard Sandor

Dr. Richard Sandor (Ph.D.) is Chairman and CEO of Chicago-based Environmental Financial Products (EFP), which specializes in inventing, designing and developing new financial markets. EFP was established in 1998 and was the predecessor company and incubator to the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX), the European Climate Exchange (ECX), the Chicago Climate Futures Exchange (CCFE) and the Tianjin Climate Exchange (TCX). Dr. Sandor is currently the Aaron Director Lecturer in Law and Economics at the University of Chicago Law School and a Visiting Fellow with the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment at Oxford University. Dr. Sandor was honored by the City of Chicago for his universal recognition as the “father of financial futures”. In 2002 he was named by TIME Magazine a “Hero of the Planet”; and in 2007 as one of the magazine’s “Heroes of the Environment” for his work as the “Father of Carbon Trading.” In October 2013, Dr. Sandor was awarded the title of Chevalier dans l´ordre de la Légion d´Honneur (Knight in the French National Order of the Legion of Honor), for his accomplishments in the field of environmental finance and carbon trading. Dr. Sandor was a faculty member of the School of Business Administration at the University of California, Berkeley, and held a faculty position at Stanford University. He was named the first Martin C. Remer Visiting Distinguished Professor of Finance in the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. He was a Distinguished Adjunct Professor at Columbia University Graduate School of Business, where he taught the first Environmental Finance course at a major business school. He served as Distinguished Professor of Environmental Finance at Guanghua School of Management at Peking University and as a member of its International Advisory Board. He holds an honorary degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa, from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. Dr. Sandor is a Board Member of the Clean Energy Trust, a Member of the Advisory Board of the Center for Financial Stability and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute; and a Senior Fellow of the Milken Institute. He served on the board of directors of leading commodity and futures exchanges in the United States and Europe, including the Chicago Board of Trade, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the Intercontinental Exchange. Dr. Sandor is the author of “Good Derivatives: A Story of Financial and Environmental Innovation,” also published in Chinese by People's Oriental Press; and the lead author of “Sustainable Investing and Environmental Markets: Opportunities in a New Asset Class” (published by World Scientific). He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Brooklyn College and holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Minnesota.

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Ton Schurink

Mr. Ton Schurink is a senior executive with extensive experience in trading commodities, risk management, barter, shipping, financial trading and structured finance acquired during a 32-year career with Cargill. In 2001, he founded his own consulting company, CFT Advisory Services, which focuses on overlaps between commodities, finance and trading. In 2008 Mr. Schurink founded, along with other partners, CFT Services & Partners SA, and in 2011, CFT Trading FZ-LLC in UAE. Mr. Schurink is a Board member of Navemar SA in Fribourg and Oceana SA in Chur, Amtrada Holding in Amsterdam, Kernel Holding in Luxembourg and Banque Cantonale de Geneve. He is also working with several trading companies, mainly on risk management issues. In 2012 he started working with two trading companies to obtain and restructure their credit lines. Mr. Schurink is a graduate from Nijenrode Business School in The Netherlands and INSEAD Advance Management Programme in Fontainebleau, France.

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David Scowsill

David is a serial non-executive director and chairman. His board experience has been principally for private companies, with extensive executive experience in public listed entities. David has built a large network in private equity and venture capital, working with 25 different private equity funds, and completing multiple deals in the technology and travel sectors. He has advised CEOs, mentored founders and invested in several start-ups. His global commercial and operational executive experience has given him business and cultural understanding of all parts of the world.   David spent seven years as President and CEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), the global forum for business leaders in the travel and tourism industry. David developed an un-paralleled network of contacts in both private and public sectors. He was regularly interviewed on CNN, CNBC, BBC and Bloomberg, particularly in times of crisis during natural disasters or terrorist incidents. At the WTTC Global Summits, he had dialogues with many high profile individuals, including Former Presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton, and Former Prime Ministers Tony Blair and David Cameron. Previous non executive roles include Chairman of PrivateFly, Chairman of Yuuguu, Director of On the Beach Holidays, Vice Chairman at Worldhotels, and Director at Venere Net SpA. David’s executive career included CEO Opodo, the pan-European online travel agency, then owned by nine of Europe’s leading airlines, and SVP Sales, Marketing, and IT, on the Board of Hilton Hotels.  He has 19 years of extensive sales, marketing, and operational experience worldwide in aviation, with British Airways as Director of Europe and Middle East, and Regional General Manager of Asia Pacific, as well as Managing Director of European Sales at American Airlines. David graduated from the University of Southampton in the UK, where he received an Honours Degree in Spanish and Latin American studies.

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Adrian Sender

Mr. Adrian Sender is an experienced investment banker with an in-depth knowledge of corporate and project finance in the Middle East. He has led and managed a number of transactions in the Gulf Cooperation Council and internationally, including an Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Co. (du) $500 million & $220 million club, DEWA Thor II $350 million securitisation, $10.4 billion Barzan Qatar Petroleum project financing, $4 billion State of Qatar dual tranche Sukuk, EMAL $350 million working capital facility, Dubai Duty Free $1.75 billion debut international financing, and a CBQ $455 million club loan. Mr. Sender currently serves as the Head of Corporate Finance at Doha Bank where he acts as a senior executive helping to lead the bank’s coverage and strategy, and globally heading the Structured Finance and Advisory businesses. Prior assignments include being an AGM, Corporate Finance & Investment Banking at Samba Financial Group; Director and CAO of Lehman Brothers, Middle East; and a Business Analyst at Credit Suisse First Boston. Mr. Sender has additionally been a member of the steering committee of the Dubai chapter of the Overseas Securities Advisory Council (OSAC). He also acted as Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Dubai Internal Arts Centre. Mr. Sender has a Bachelor of Science in Economics and Accounting from the University of Bristol.

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Governor David Paterson, 55th Governor of New York State

Governor David Paterson became New York’s 55th Governor on March 17, 2008. He immediately raised eyebrows when he warned off an impending fiscal crisis in his inaugural address. Governor Paterson was ahead of the national curve in predicting and acting on the State’s fiscal downturn. Despite the greatest economic crisis that New York State has ever faced, Governor Paterson enacted sweeping reforms on a wide range of issues facing New Yorkers. During the next three years, he would reduce New York’s deficit by nearly 40 billion dollars (twice the amount of budget – cutting in any comparable period). He became the first Governor to sign legislation attaching criminal penalties to predatory- lending during the worst foreclosure crisis in American history. He overhauled the Rockefeller Drug Laws that excessively punished low-level drug offenders, while depriving judges of discretion-in-sentencing, for over 35 years. Governor Paterson would introduce landmark civil rights legislation that eventually ended legal discrimination against same-sex couples in New York. He would also increase the welfare allowance for the neediest New Yorkers for the first time in 20 years. In 2009, Governor Paterson settled 200 years of legal debate, when the NY State Court of Appeals upheld his appointment of a Lieutenant Governor, Richard Ravitch. Since stepping down as Governor, David Paterson has hosted a popular drive time talk- radio show on WOR-am in New York City. Governor Paterson served as an adjunct professor of Government in 2011 and 2012 at New York University, and has since moved to Touro college school of Osteopathic medicine. Governor Paterson is a highly sought-after speaker by diverse entities and organizations, and often appears as a guest commentator on political news programs. Governor Paterson has been appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo as 2014 New York State Democratic Party Chairman.

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Mehdi Varzi

Mr. Mehdi Varzi began his career as a Senior Analyst at NIOC before serving as a diplomat for ten years. In 1982, he joined a firm of London stockbrokers, which subsequently merged with Kleinwort Benson, later becoming Dresdner Kleinwort Benson, where he held the position of Director, Oil and Gas Research. In 1998, Mr. Varzi played a major role in the appointment of Dresdner Kleinwort Benson as Financial Advisor to the National Petrochemical Company of Iran (the first such appointment of a foreign bank in Iran since the Islamic Revolution in 1979). In 2001, he was promoted to Managing Director, Energy Research. In the same year, he established Varzi Energy as an independent international oil and gas consultancy and was appointed as Senior Energy Consultant, Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein. Mr. Varzi obtained a BSc in Economics from the London School of Economics and an MA in the Politics and Economics of the Near and Middle East from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London.

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