Panel & Secretariat

Chairperson


Dr. Rosina Bierbaum’s experience extends from climate science into foreign relations and international development. She is a Professor and Dean Emerita at the University of Michigan with appointments in both the School of Natural Resources and Environment, and the School of Public Health. She also served on President Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, and is a lead author of the U.S. National Climate Assessment, and an Adaptation Fellow at the World Bank. Previously, Dr. Bierbaum served for two decades in both the legislative and executive branches of the U.S. Government, and ran the first Environmental Division of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). She was selected by the World Bank to co-direct its prestigious World Development Report in 2010, which focused on climate change and...

Adviser on Climate Change Mitigation


Saleem H. Ali is an environmental planner whose research and practice focuses on ways of resolving ecological conflicts through technical and social mechanisms, as well as exploring novel ways of peace-building between corporations, governments and communities. He holds the Blue and Gold Distinguished Professorship in Energy and the Environment at the University of Delaware, and is also a Senior Fellow at Columbia University's Center on Sustainable Investment and Georgetown University's Center for Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Studies.

Professor Ali has held the Chair in Sustainable Resources Development at the University of Queensland’s Sustainable Minerals Institute in Brisbane, Australia (where he retains professorial affiliation). Previously, he was Professor of Environmental Studies at the University of Vermont’s...

Adviser on Biodiversity


Dr. Cooney has eighteen years of experience working across the interface of research, policy and practice in governance, conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, using a transdisciplinary perspective integrating insights from diverse disciplines and stakeholders.

Dr. Cooney leads the work (until December 2018) of the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Sustainable Use and Livelihoods Specialist Group, a joint initiative of the Species Survival Commission and the Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy. This is a global network of over 300 leading experts in the sustainable use of wild resources and its contribution to livelihoods, focused on building and synthesising knowledge, developing authoritative guidance, and influencing practice and policy. She has worked for a number of...

Adviser on Chemicals and Waste


Dr. Katima has been involved in chemicals management processes since the negotiations of the Stockholm Convention up to Minamata Convention and served as a Member of the GEF Technical Advisory Group on Sound Chemicals Management that prepared a proposal for the GEF Council on the inclusion of chemicals management as a GEF focal area.

Dr. Katima has led research groups, including on waste stabilization ponds and constructed wetlands, biofuels, and non-burn medical waste treatment technology. He has also worked on climate change, including as a Lead Author of Chapter 4 of the Third Assessment Report of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and as a member of the IPCC Task Force Bureau on Inventory representing Anglophone Africa. He was one of the IPCC experts that contributed to the assessment report that led to the...

Adviser on Land Degradation


Professor Metternicht has 24 years of research experience in environmental management and policy to address land degradation, and has worked at a range of prominent institutions around the world. Since 2012 Graciela is Professor of Environmental Geography at the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, UNSW Sydney.

Previously (5 years) she was Senior Officer of Early Warning and Assessment at UN Environment working on integrated environmental assessments and early warning, providing independent scientific and technical advice to Ministries of Environment of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Professor Metternicht has expertise and leadership in global environmental issues and sustainable development, and applications of geospatial technologies to these issues, supported by peer-reviewed publications relevant...

Adviser on International Waters


Dr. Blake Ratner is Executive Director, Collaborating for Resilience—a cross-regional initiative working to address environmental resource competition and strengthen governance and livelihood resilience in interconnected resource domains and landscapes. The initiative works with partners to build capacity for structured, multi-stakeholder dialogue to assess the roots of resource conflict and to foster innovations that build resilient local economies, sustain critical ecosystem services, and increase social and economic well-being.

Dr. Ratner is the immediate past Director General of WorldFish, the CGIAR research institute dedicated to strengthening livelihoods and increasing food and nutrition security through fisheries and aquaculture. As chief executive, Dr. Ratner launched a six-year strategy, leveraging science to pursue...

Adviser on Adaptation


Dr. Ferenc L. Toth received his M.Sc. (1978) and PhD (1982) in economics from the Budapest University of Economics and a second doctorate (1994) in economics from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Dr. Toth worked as Senior Energy Economist and Unit Head at the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) in Vienna, Austria between 2003 and 2015. Previously he worked as a senior scientist and project leader on climate change, sustainable development, energy, and environmental studies at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Laxenburg, Austria and at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) in Potsdam, Germany. His current activities are also in the domains of climate change, sustainable development, energy-economy-environment linkages, and energy economics. Dr. Toth served as Coordinating Lead...

Senior Adviser to the STAP Chair


Dr. Thomas Lovejoy is an innovative and accomplished conservation biologist who coined the term “biological diversity” in 1980. He serves as Senior Fellow at the United Nations Foundation.  In 2010 he was elected University Professor in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy at George Mason University.  He served as President of the Heinz Center for Science, Economics, and the Environment from 2002-2008 and was the Biodiversity Chair of the Center from 2008-2013. It was also during this time that Dr. Lovejoy served as the Chair of STAP, and he continues to inform the work of STAP in his role as Senior Adviser to the current Chair.

Dr. Lovejoy has been Assistant Secretary and Counselor to the Secretary at the Smithsonian Institution, Science Advisor to the Secretary of the Interior, U.S., and Executive Vice President...

Senior Adviser to the STAP Chair


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

Mark has over 30 years’ experience in drylands systems ecology, management and policy, including senior roles such as CEO of the Desert Knowledge Cooperative Research Centre in Alice...