C2G Team as of 1 October 2023
Rebecca Chamblee, Program Associate
Rebecca Chamblee is the newest member of the C2G team, joining as a Program Associate. Rebecca has over 4 years of experience working in International Affairs. During her undergraduate studies she spent a semester studying abroad in Geneva where she was able to attend lectures taught by representatives from renowned international organizations such as the World Bank, IMF, the UN, ICRC and MSF.
She has previous experience working in Knowledge Management for Trickle UP to rebuild their company SharePoint site. She has also worked in Monitoring and Evaluation with a small women’s self-help group in Ethiopia to clean and analyze data sets to promote women’s economic development post-Covid. These former working experiences helped prepare her for everyday tasks to assist team members at C2G.
Rebecca is relatively new to global climate issues but began to develop her passion for the intersection between international development and environmental practices during her graduate capstone project which focused on pollution of rivers in Indonesia by garment factories. She has earned a BA in Global Studies and an MA in International Relations from the New School for Public Engagement located in New York City.
Nicholas Harrison, Director of Knowledge Management
Nicholas Harrison brings 20 years’ experience working across Europe and internationally on sustainable development and climate change governance and implementation.
Prior to joining C2G, Harrison served as an adviser on climate action in the Executive Office of the United Nations secretary-general, supporting delivery and ratification of the Paris Agreement on climate change. Before this, as a senior consultant at Ecofys, he coordinated global teams of experts delivering high-profile international research assessments and analysis on climate change, sustainable energy, and low emissions development
In previous roles, Harrison served as an adviser on climate change and strategic intelligence for the UK Department of International Development, Department of Communities and Local Government, and the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. He began his career in environmental engineering, moving into communications to promote renewable energy technologies, followed by various roles in city, regional, and national government, improving the use of data and evidence to deliver more sustainable development.
Harrison has written and presented widely on climate change and sustainable development, served on the Sustainable Communities committee of the British Standards Institution (BSI) and worked extensively to promote integrated multi-level governance and the role of cities, states, and other non-state actors in climate action.
He holds an MSc in organisational psychology from City University, London, is a fellow of LEAD International and the Norfolk Charitable Trust, and is an independent expert for the Climate KIC, Europe’s largest public-private innovation partnership focused on climate innovation to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
Alia Hassan, Outreach Officer, Government and Intergovernmental Organizations
Alia Hassan is an international relations expert. With over 10 years of experience in Latin America and the Middle East, she is specialized in sustainability, education and culture, working with governments and international organizations to build strategic alliances. Before joining C2G, Alia worked with UNDP as Project Coordinator where she supported the Government of Ecuador’s efforts to strengthen the country’s climate change governance.
Alia holds a MSc Degree in Political Science from the University of Quebec in Montreal, and a BSc in Communication Science from the University of Montreal.
Valérie Novarina, Personal Assistant to the Executive Director
Valérie Novarina has over 13 years of experience as an administrative assistant in international organizations, such as UNICEF, World Health Organization (WHO), and World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in Geneva.
Anita Nzeh, Knowledge Management and Communications Officer
Anita Nzeh is a social scientist with over 14 years of working knowledge in International Development in both the private and public sector, specialising in policy analysis, programme design, monitoring & evaluation, communications, private sector development and fund raising.
She previously worked as a Senior Programme Officer for the Commonwealth Foundation, supporting the organisation to develop its new Knowledge, Learning and Communications programme. Prior to this she spent six years spearheading sustainability communications in Africa through iEcoAfrica, an organisation she founded. She engaged in media partnerships working with brands such as Ethical Corporation, Sustainable Brands and Innovation Forum.
Anita enjoys sports and discovering all the wonders of nature.
Janos Pasztor, Executive Director
Janos Pasztor (a Hungarian and a Swiss citizen) is Senior Fellow of the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs, and is Executive Director of the Carnegie Climate Governance Initiative (C2G).
He has four decades of work experience in the areas of energy, environment, climate change, and sustainable development. Before taking up his current assignment he was UN Assistant Secretary-General for Climate Change in New York under Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
Earlier, he was Acting Executive Director for Conservation (2014), and Policy and Science Director (2012-2014), at WWF International. He directed the UNSG’s Climate Change Support Team (2008-2010) and later was Executive Secretary of the UNSG’s High-level Panel on Global Sustainability (2010-2012). In 2007 he directed the Geneva-based UN Environment Management Group (EMG). During 1993-2006 he worked and over time held many responsibilities at the Climate Change Secretariat (UNFCCC), initially in Geneva and later in Bonn.
His other assignments included: the Secretariat of the UN Conference on Environment and Development (Earth Summit ’92); Stockholm Environment Institute; United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP); Secretariat of the World Commission on Environment and Development (Brundtland Commission); the Beijer Institute; and the World Council of Churches.
He has BSc and MSc degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Kai-Uwe Barani Schmidt, Deputy Executive Director, Governmental Affairs
Kai-Uwe Barani Schmidt builds on more than 20 years of international and senior level working experience including at the executive office of the secretary-general of the United Nations, at the secretariat to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, at the World Bank Institute, and independent senior advisory work.
As a senior member of the secretary-general’s Climate Change Support Team, Schmidt contributed to the coordination of the global climate change summit in 2009 and was part of the secretary-general’s team at UNFCCC negotiations in Copenhagen. In the lead-up to and during the landmark Paris climate change agreement in 2015, he led the team’s work on the global climate action agenda, initiated by the secretary-general at his 2014 summit, that mobilized thousands of companies, hundreds of cities, and sub-national authorities in collaboration with governments, the UN, IGOs, and NGOs.
Over the last few years, Schmidt has contributed to the launch of the Initiative for Climate Action Transparency (ICAT). This initiative aims to build a best practice for guidance, tools, and capacity of governments and sub-national authorities to measure the effects of their policies with regard to climate change and the other UN SDGs and report progress publicly, thus fostering greater transparency, effectiveness, and trust, enabling innovative financing and ambition in climate policies worldwide.
Schmidt’s experience has covered public policy design, regulatory design, and implementation of global emissions trading and offset instruments. He has coordinated high-level events, navigating the interface of international negotiations with private sector, intergovernmental, and non-governmental organizations focusing on private sector engagement in climate change and development action at international, national, sub-national, city, and company/NGO levels. In addition, Schmidt’s experience has covered institutional build-up and management of both resources and people.
Mark Turner, Senior Communications Consultant
Mark Turner (UK) has seen the world of international affairs from many sides, as a foreign correspondent, NGO activist, aid worker, and speechwriter.
He was the Financial Times’ Africa correspondent, and later UN correspondent, with tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. After leaving newspapers he moved into public interest communications, including with the advocacy group Avaaz.org, IOM (after the Haiti earthquake), IRENA (renewable energy), UNHCR (refugees), and OCHA, as speechwriter for Valerie Amos, the UN’s humanitarian aid chief. He lives in the Surrey Hills of southern England, and loves games and e-biking on the heath.
Qi Zheng, Outreach Officer, Government and Intergovernmental Organizations
Qi ZHENG has over 8 years of experience working on climate change and development. She is an Outreach Officer at C2G in charge of engaging governments and intergovernmental organisations.
Qi previously worked as programme manager for the UK Committee on Climate Change on a UK-China cooperation on climate risks. Prior to that, she spent 5 years in China working as policy officer on climate change for the British Embassy in Beijing and as campaign officer for Oxfam Hong Kong.
Former Team Members
Former team member’s biographies have not been updated since their departure from C2G so may not reflect more recent activities.
Miranda Böttcher, Research Associate
Miranda Böttcher is a Research Associate at the Institute of Advanced Sustainability Studies in Potsdam (IASS Potsdam), Germany. She is perusing a PhD in Political Science, and her research focuses on the interplay of language, knowledge and power in climate geoengineering research and governance agendas. She has previously worked as a research analyst for Foresight Intelligence in Berlin, Germany, an investigator at the Mintz Group in San Francisco, USA, and a research assistant at the University of Heidelberg, Germany.
Thomas Busch, Resource Development Consultant
Thomas Busch is an expert in international affairs with a particular focus on European Union affairs. He has over 15 years’ experience in Diplomacy and European Foreign and Security policy overall and on international mediation and facilitation, policy formulation and implementation and public administration. Before joining C2G, Thomas held various international and national assignments such as Senior Facilitator for the EU facilitated Dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, Head of the EU’s Political Office in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Desk Officer for EU Foreign and Security Policy in the German Federal Foreign Office etc.
Thomas holds a master degree in political science from the Freie Universität Berlin.
Nigel DeCoopman, Program & Finance Associate
As C2G’s Program & Finance Associate, Nigel DeCoopman supports the initiative in a logistical and administrative capacity. He also acts as an intermediary between Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs and C2G.
Nigel started his career in foreign affairs as an intern at the Council on Foreign Relations. He has a range of experience relating to foreign affairs including diplomatic consulting, conflict resolution, and programming for international relations-themed events. Nigel is an associate member of New College, and spent a term studying international relations and international management at the University of Oxford.
Tim Kruger, Science Adviser Associate
Tim Kruger, James Martin Fellow, Oxford Martin School, Environmental Change Institute and Institute for Science Innovation and Society, University of Oxford.
In addition to his work for C2G2 as Science Advisor. Tim leads a group at the University of Oxford which assesses a range of proposed climate engineering techniques and the governance mechanisms required to ensure that any research in this field is undertaken in a responsible way. He is a co-author of the Oxford Principles – a set of draft principles for the conduct of geoengineering research. In addition, Tim is involved in a start-up that is developing a technology that uses natural gas to generate electricity in a way that removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Natalie LaVan, Program Manager
Natalie was Programme Manager at C2G2 with more than eight years’ experience in communications, event planning and project management. She came to C2G2 from the United Nations – Division for Sustainable Development in New York, where she had worked as a Stakeholder Engagement Programme Consultant. Natalie has a track record in formulating policy and community engagement campaigns within the development sector. She speaks fluent French and working Spanish and graduated with an M.A. in Environmental Policy Design with a focus in Human Rights from Lehigh University, College of Arts and Sciences, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania in the United States.
Dao Nguyen, Lead Adviser, Biodiversity
Dao has over 20 years of experience in conservation of nature including international biodiversity policy and advocacy; conservation project design and implementation; conservation communications, education and outreach.
Before joining C2G2, Dao was the coordinator for biodiversity policy at WWF International, leading the WWF global network on global biodiversity policy advocacy at the Convention on Biological Diversity and other multilateral fora. Prior to that, Dao worked internationally on several conservation and social assignments with the University of Queensland, where she tutored on protected area management. Dao has also supported a large-scale project in the Republic of Seychelles, with Nature Seychelles, as the technical advisor for communications, education, advocacy and outreach focusing on raising awareness on conservation of small island biodiversity.
Dao also worked for WWF Vietnam nearly 10 years on hands-on conservation activities and projects from species issues such as tiger conservation and sea turtle nest monitoring in protected areas, to conservation planning at landscape and ecoregional level. She was the winner of the 2004 Swiss-RE Resource Award for her project work with indigenous community management of a critical watershed in Central Vietnam.
Dao holds a BA in Languages from Viet Nam National University, and an MSc in Conservation Biology from the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology, University of Kent, UK.
Celine Novenario, Communications Officer
Celine Novenario has over 10 years of experience working in communications at the United Nations and World Meteorological Organization. Prior to joining C2G, she focused specifically on climate and water issues at WMO. Celine started her career as a journalist in the Philippines, where she was born and raised. She holds a Master’s degree in Global Affairs with a concentration on Human Rights and International Law from New York University.
Paul Rouse, Science Advisor
Paul Rouse spent over 20 years designing and delivering interdisciplinary research programmes that produce policy evidence and impact within UK research councils. During this time, he headed up environmental, energy and food security agenda for the Economic & Social Research Council, including thinking on geoengineering research and engagement activity with the SPICE initiative. Rouse left the science policy community to undertake a PhD, at the University of Southampton, on the governance of geoengineering, which he completed in 2018.
Rouse has a record of accomplishment in taking research evidence into the government policy arena, advising key actors on a wide range of issues from climate change adaptation and geoengineering, to enhancing STEM skills within schools. Internationally, he worked with the Belmont Forum, Future Earth and was an EU Framework Programme National Contact.
Most recently, Rouse has been working with the UK Research & Innovation, taking a particular interest in enhancing ethical thinking and responsible innovation approaches within engineering.
He has postgraduate and professional qualifications and a MA and PhD. Rouse is a Visiting Fellow in Politics and International Relations at the University of Southampton and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Natalia Rubiano, Outreach Officer
Natalia Rubiano has over five years of experience working on sustainability issues. Before joining the C2G2 team, she worked with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Country Office in Ecuador supporting the implementation of a broad portfolio of National and Regional projects in Environment and Energy.
She holds an MSc degree in Environment and Sustainable Development from University College London and a Bachelor’s degree in Multilingual Business and International Relations from the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador.
Cynthia Scharf, Senior Strategy Director
Cynthia Scharf previously served as the head of strategic communications and chief speechwriter on climate change for the United Nations secretary-general from 2009-2016. As a senior member of the secretary-general’s Climate Change Support Team, she played a key role in the secretary-general’s two global climate change summits (2014 and 2009) and advised the secretary-general during the UNFCCC negotiations, including the landmark Paris climate change agreement in 2015.
Prior to her work on climate change, Scharf worked on global humanitarian and public health emergencies at the UN and with international non-governmental organizations in the Balkans, Africa, the UK, and Russia. She also has private sector experience working in the social impact investing field. Scharf began her career as a journalist in Moscow in the early 1990s covering the collapse of the communist system in the former USSR and Eastern Europe.
Scharf’s articles on politics, the economy, and the environment have been published in The International Herald Tribune, The Wall Street Journal Europe, Los Angeles Times, Christian Science Monitor, Moscow Times, Globe and Mail, and elsewhere. She received her MA from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and speaks Russian.
Michael Thompson, Senior Outreach Consultant
Before joining C2G, Thompson was a co-founder of the Forum for Climate Engineering Assessment, a researcher at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, and a policy advisor with the Natural Resources Defense Council and The Energy and Resources Institute in Delhi, India.