Ms. Figueres has been the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) since July 2010. She has directed four consecutive successful Conferences of the Parties, and is now charged with the intergovernmental process to deliver the 2015 Paris agreement on climate change.
She has a long trajectory in the field of global climate change, having been a member of the Costa Rican negotiating team 1995- 2009, and having played a number of key roles in the governance of the UNFCCC before formally joining the secretariat.
She initiated her life of public service as Minister Counselor at the Embassy of Costa Rica in Bonn, Germany in 1982. Moving to the USA, she was Director of Renewable Energy in the Americas (REIA) and in 1995 founded the non-profit Center for Sustainable Development of the Americas (CSDA) which she directed for eight years. She designed and helped to establish national climate change programs throughout Latin America and served as high level advisor to both governments and private companies. In 2001 she received the Hero for the Planet Award from the National Geographic Magazine.
She has a Masters Degree in Anthropology from the London School of Economics, and a certificate in Organizational Development from Georgetown University. Ms. Figueres received an honorary doctorate of law degree from University of Massachusetts Boston in 2014. She speaks Spanish, English and German.
Mr. Richard Dictus (Netherlands) took up his appointment as the Executive Coordinator of the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme on 2 January 2013.
Richard joined UNV after having served as United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator / United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative in Malawi (January 2009 – December 2012).
During his four years in Malawi, Richard worked towards his vision of a unified and coordinated UN system in Malawi, which supports the country to achieve its development efforts with increased efficiency and innovation.
Richard joined the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) as a Junior Professional Officer in South Yemen in 1987. He subsequently served in different UNDP capacities in: Sudan (Assistant Resident Representative (Programme), 1990-1992), Lesotho (Assistant Resident Representative (Programme), 1992-1994) and Bangladesh (Assistant Resident Representative (Programme), 1994-1998) in environmental management, rural development, micro finance, human rights and disaster management practice areas.
As UNDP Deputy Resident Representative for Pakistan (1998-2000), he played a significant role in coordinating humanitarian assistance during floods and cyclones and the safety and security of UN staff.
From 2000 to 2001, Richard was a Management Advisor (Deputy Chief), Administrative Services Division, with UNDP’s Bureau of Management (BoM) at UNDP Headquarters in New York. There, he went on to be Deputy Director of Human Resources, BoM, from 2001 to 2005 where he contributed to the change management and transformation processes across the organization.
Returning to the field, Richard was UN Resident Coordinator / UNDP Resident Representative in Fiji from 2005 to 2009, where he honed a strong track record for effecting change management. He developed several innovative approaches to UN System coherence across 16 Pacific Island countries and with 15 UN agencies.
He graduated from the Technical University of Twente in the Netherlands with a Master's degree in Public Administration and Development Studies. He is married with three children.
Anna’s work calls on insights from a range of disciplines despite being firmly located within a combination of critical legal theory and jurisprudence. She has a particular interest in the relationship between human rights and the environment, and in the theme of legal subjectivity, locating these in relation to contemporary globalisation and to a central concern with the implications of the materiality of the living order – including the theme of lived embodiment.
Anna is the founder and co-editor in chief of the Journal of Human Rights and the Environment, a journal praised for its timeliness, vision and intellectual quality. She is also founder and director of the Global Network for the Study of Human Rights and the Environment (GNHRE) – now the largest existing international network of leading scholars in the field, activists, policy makers, lawyers and NGOs dedicated to the transformation of thinking concerning the relationship between human rights and the environment. (www.gnhre.org).
Anna's monograph Redirecting Human Rights: Facing the Challenge of Corporate Legal Humanity (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010) has been welcomed as an important contribution to the development of a ‘radical revisionist critical human rights philosophy' and is credited with ‘founding a new ground of contestation' ‘marking a fresh start towards the understanding of the ontology of human rights’. Anna has published articles in leading academic journals (including in Legal Studies, Res Publica, Law and Critique, The Human Rights Law Review) and has been invited contributor to some exciting publication projects, such as The New Oxford Companion to Law (OUP, 2008) and The Cambridge Companion to Human Rights (CUP, 2012). Anna was also part of the UK Feminist Judgments Project (a project involving approximately 50 academics, with judges and practitioners, including Lady Hale of the UK Supreme Court), and has a judgment published in R Hunter, C McGlynn and E Rackley, Feminist Judgments: From Theory to Practice (Oxford: Hart, 2011).
Anna has extensive editorial responsibilities. She is series editor of Law, Justice and Ecology (a book series published by Glasshouse/Routledge) and series co-editor for Edward Elgar Publishing’s Critical Reflections on Human Rights and the Environment book series.
In addition to her editorial role with the Journal of Human Rights and the Environment, Anna has also worked (and is working) on a range of edited and co-edited collections. She recently edited Should Trees Have Standing? 40 Years On (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 2012) and was co-editor (with J Jones, R Fenton and K Stevenson) of Gender, Sexualities and Law (Glasshouse/Routledge, 2011), a collection bringing together an international range of academics to provide a comprehensive interrogation of the range of contemporary issues raised by the gendered character of law, legal discourse and institutions. Anna is also currently editing a collection for the Onati Publication Series, Human Rights and the Environment: In Search of a New Relationship (the proceedings of a seminar held at the International Institute for the Sociology of Law, Onati, Spain in June 2012 – forthcoming 2013). She is also working on: Vulnerability (with Professor Martha Albertson Fineman) (forthcoming, 2013); The Research Handbook on Human Rights and the Environment (with Professor Louis Kotze, forthcoming 2014/5); and the fourth edition of Human Rights in the World Community: Issues and Action (also known as Claude-Weston) (with Professor Burns Weston) – due out in 2013/4.
Anna is a Global Affiliate to the Vulnerability and Human Condition Collaboration, Emory University USA; Visiting Scholar at Bristol Law School, UWE, UK and Invited Professor at the Westminster International Law and Theory Centre, University of Westminster, UK. She has also held a variety of visiting scholarships/fellowships and has been invited to speak at a wide range of universities, conferences and events, internationally and within the UK.
Anna's teaching practice and pedagogic philosophy reflects her long-standing interest in legal reasoning and in the teaching of reasoning skills to students.
Anna came to academic life after working in a range of other roles, including theatre performance; political activism; community organisation and management. She graduated from the University of Oxford in 1999 with a first class honours on the internationally respected two-year post-graduate BCL degree. She took up her first academic post in 2000, having decided not to pursue a career at the English bar – in essence because she became fascinated by the broader questions surrounding law, its nature, its power and its social role.
Anna welcomes applications for doctoral supervision for any subject within her research interests, especially in human rights theory, human rights and the environment, legal personhood, rights theory generally.
Leon has over 20 years hands-on experience in the remittance industry and has been involved with two successful start-up money transfer businesses during that time. Before establishing DMA, Leon was part of the senior management team running Coinstar Money Transfer Limited (formerly Travelex Money Transfer Limited). Aside from his functional responsibilities Leon was responsible for the business in UK, Sub-Saharan Africa, Ireland, Belgium and Netherlands.
Prior to this, Leon was Commercial & Marketing Director at MoneyGram International and worked for the Thomas Cook Group. He began his career with NatWest Bank.
He was a steering group member of the UK Government's Remittances Task Force, form its inception in 2005 until the completion of its work early in 2010. He is an observer to the G20 Consultative Committee of the Private-Public Sector Partnership on Remittances. Leon has spoken at, and chaired, numerous international conferences on remittances including at the World Bank, the United Nations and the G8.
Leon was also Managing Director of the International Association of Money Transfer Networks, an international trade association, 2009 and 2013.
British Street Performer, Owen Lean became the Bachelor of Magic when he graduated in 2006 with the worlds first degree in street magic. Making the front page of the Irish Times, and several other national newspapers. A year later his house burned down and he lost everything he owned, ever since then he has traveled the planet, performing his unique comedy magic show on the worlds street, taking away peoples fears and "Entertaining those without even the remotest interest in magic" - The Irish Times.
Stefan is a member of the German MFA. When a severe heart problem was diagnosed and no donor heart was in sight, his heart was replaced by an artificial system which he carries with him in a bag. That doesn’t stop him for preparing for a marathon - on rollerblades.
Dr. Jessica Seddon is a Senior Fellow at the IIT Madras Ctr for Technology and Policy and the Founder of Okapi, an India-based research and consulting group focused on institutional design for complex goals in changing times.