Nigel DeCoopman, Program Assistant
As C2G2’s program assistant, 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 C2G2.
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.
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 the C2G2, 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.
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.
Janos Pasztor, Senior Fellow and Executive Director
Janos Pasztor (a Hungarian and a Swiss citizen) is Carnegie Council senior fellow and executive director of the Carnegie Climate Geoengineering Governance Initiative (C2G2).
He has over 35 years 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: in the Secretariat of the 1992 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).
Natalia Rubiano, Government and Intergovernmental Organizations 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.
Kai-Uwe Barani Schmidt, Senior Program Director
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.
Peter Moesgaard Sørensen, Senior Advisor for Resource Development
Ambassador Peter Moesgaard Sørensen arrives at C2G2 after more than 20 years in the international affairs. He is an experienced diplomat skilled in governmental affairs, international negotiations, policy development, public relations and management.
Prior to his arrival he finalized his third posting as European Union Ambassador, the latest to the United Nations and other international organizations in Geneva. Before that he served as the European Union Special Representative to Bosnia & Herzegovina and the Head of Delegation in Skopje, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Prior to his postings as Ambassador, Peter served as Personal Representative of the EU High Representative, Belgrade, Serbia; Deputy Head of EU Pillar IV, Kosovo; Legal Adviser to the UN Special Envoy for the Western Balkans in Geneva and Senior Adviser to the Head of the OSCE mission to Croatia.
He comes with a Masters Degree in Law from Aarhus University Denmark and has been – and is now again – engaged with a Danish Law Firm.
Michael Thompson, Senior Outreach Manager
Before joining C2G2, 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.
Mark Turner, Director of Communications
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 long walks on the heath.
Qi Zheng, Government and Intergovernmental Organizations Outreach Officer
Qi ZHENG has over 8 years of experience working on climate change and development. She is an Outreach Officer at C2G2 in charge of engaging governments and intergovernmental organizations.
Qi previously worked as programme manager for 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.