3rd InsuResilience Global Partnership Forum 2019 - Speakers

CVs of the Speakers and Panelists

The list of speakers is updated regularly. Check this website for new confirmations!

Luis Alfonso de Alba, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the 2019 Climate Action Summit

In 2018, UN Secretary-General António Guterres appointed De Alba as the Special Envoy for the 2019 Climate Summit

Before his appointment, Mr. de Alba was Undersecretary for Latin America and the Caribbean in Mexico’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Appointed Ambassador in 2001, he brings distinguished experience as Permanent Representative of Mexico to the Organization of American States, to the International Organizations in Vienna and to the United Nations in New York, among other postings. As his country’s Special Representative for Climate Change, Mr. de Alba led the negotiations for the 2010 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP16) in Cancún, Mexico. He has also held several elected positions at the United Nations, including Vice-President of the Economic and Social Council and first President of the Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Mr. de Alba holds a degree in international relations from the Institut d´Étude des Relations Internationales in Paris.

Isaac Anthony, Chief Executive Officer, CCRIF SPC

Isaac Anthony was appointed CCRIF Chief Executive Officer on January 1, 2013. Prior to this appointment, Mr. Anthony served as Permanent Secretary, Planning and National Development in the Government of Saint Lucia. He also has served his country in key positions such as Accountant General, Registrar of Insurance, Director of Finance and Permanent Secretary, Finance. He served as CCRIF board member appointed by CARICOM from 2007 to 2012. Mr. Anthony has many years’ experience as a senior finance and planning official with the Government of Saint Lucia coupled with service on the boards of key regional financial institutions such as the Caribbean Development Bank and the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank. He is the current Chairman of the National Insurance Corporation in Saint Lucia and a Commissioner of the Eastern Caribbean Securities Regulatory Commission (ECSRC). Mr. Anthony is a graduate of the University of the West Indies, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics and Accounting and an MBA from that institution.

Fatou Assah, Program Manager Finance and Competitiveness and Innovation, World Bank

Fatou Assah is a Program Manager working in the Finance and Competitiveness and Innovation of the World Bank Group, an institution she joined in 2000. She currently focuses on managing the Global Index Insurance Facility, a $ 100 million donor funded program, providing technical assistance to governments and insurance industry partners to promote the development of innovative agriculture insurance solutions in developing countries. She also worked in various parts of the World Bank Group (including IFC and MIGA) on financial sector analysis, advisory services and investments projects. Prior to joining this institution, she worked at UAP in France and in Gabon. She holds a Masters degree from Ecole Superieures des Assurances de Paris, and a Masters in Business from Universite de Paris.

Mohamed Béavogui, United Nations Assistant Secretary General (ASG) and Director-General African Risk Capacity

Mr Mohamed Béavogui, an expert in Agricultural Finance, was elected as the first African General Manager of the African Risk Capacity in January 2015 during the 3rd annual Conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. In September 2015, he took over from interim Director-General, Dr. Richard Wilcox. Mr Béavogui has over 25 years of international experience in development, and previous to his appointment with ARC, was the Director of Partnerships and Resource Mobilization and Senior Advisor to the President of the United Nations International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). He joined IFAD in 2001 as Director of Programs for West and Central Africa and was responsible for delivering the lending and grant program, and managing a large portfolio of projects. Prior to joining IFAD, he worked for 7 years with the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) in New York as a Senior Project Management Officer and subsequently as Regional Director for West and Central Africa. Earlier, he worked at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Burundi as Chief Technical Adviser and in Rome. Before this, Mr Béavogui worked in the African Regional Centre for Engineering Design and Manufacturing (ARCEDEM) in Nigeria, and for the Government of Guinea. He is a member of several panels working on regional and global issues related to food security and rural development, and the recipient of several honors and awards. Mr Béavogui holds a Master’s degree in Engineering from Saint Petersburg Polytechnic, a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from G.A Nasser University, and undertook Executive Management Training at Harvard Kennedy School.

Fabio Bedini, Senior Programme Adviser Climate and Disaster Risk Reduction Programmes, Climate Change and Food Security, Southern Africa Region, World Food Programme (WFP)

Fabio Bedini is Senior Programme Adviser in the Climate & Disaster Risk Reduction Programmes Unit at WFP Headquarters in Rome, and currently coordinates work of the Risk Transfer team. Fabio has an academic background in agriculture economics, and over 30 years’ experience in agricultural development, food security and risk management in a wide range of countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America gained with NGOs, the private sector, the UN and Italian Cooperation for Development.

Vitumbiko Chinoko, Advocacy and Partnerships Coordinator, Climate Change and Food Security, Southern Africa Region, CARE International

Mr. Vitumbiko Chinoko is a policy and advocacy expert with a background in the implementation of people-centred movement for structural and system change in climate change, sustainable development and governance. He designed and implemented a global climate justice campaign influencing major international processes such as the Sustainable Development Goals, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the review of the Hyogo Framework of Action (HFA), and eventual adoption of the Sendai Framework of Action. On the ground, he successfully managed disaster risk reduction and adaptation projects funded by DiPECHO and ECHO respectively. Currently, he is working with CARE where he is coordinating advocacy on the implementation of the Malabo Declaration, the African Union Agriculture vision 2015-2025.

Alejandra Díaz Agudelo, Head of Growth, Microinsurance Catastrophe Risk Organisation – SCC (MiCRO)

Alejandra Díaz is Colombian and has studies in political science and a post-graduate degree in corporate social responsibility. She is the head of growth for Colombia for the Microinsurance Catastrophe Risk Organisation (MiCRO), a reinsurer specialized in design and implementation of affordable and sustainable indexes insurance against natural disasters for those who need them the most. She has over 14 years of experience in the insurance sector, leading the strategies of sustainability, financial inclusion, consumer protection, agricultural insurance and innovation of the insurance association of her country (FASECOLDA). She was member of the Board of Directors of the Microinsurance Network, responsible for the Inclusive Insurance Working Group at FIDES and a fellow of the Cochran Fellowship Program of the United States Department of Agriculture. She is professor on sustainability in a well know university in Colombia.

Dr Maria Flachsbarth, Parliamentary State Secretary, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany

Dr Maria Flachsbarth is Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development since March 2018. From the end of 2013 to March 2018, she served as Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture. From 2009 to 2013, she chaired a Parliamentary Committee of Inquiry on the envisaged radioactive waste disposal facility at Gorleben, and was the special representative for churches and religious communities of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group. From 2002 to 2013, she served on the Parliamentary Committee on the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety. Maria Flachsbarth pursued combined doctoral and postgraduate studies at the University of Veterinary Medicine (TiHo), where she received her doctorate in 1990.

Antonio Huertas, CEO, MAPFRE

Antonio Huertas (Villanueva de la Serena, Badajoz, 1964) graduated with a B.A. in Law from the University of Salamanca. He joined MAPFRE in 1988. He has been Chairman and CEO of MAPFRE since 2012 and President of Fundación MAPFRE since 2014. He has held several senior positions in the Group, including Chairman of MAPFRE Puerto Rico from 2001 to 2004. Huertas is actively involved in the main European insurance organizations. He is a member of both PEIF (Pan European Insurance Forum) and EFR (European Financial Services Round Table), and sits on the Geneva Association Board of Directors. He is also President of the Fundación Consejo España-Brasil. Additionally, he is a trustee of several leading Spanish foundations, including Fundación Carolina, Fundación Princesa de Asturias, Fundación Museo Reina Sofía, Fundación Mujeres por África, Pro CNIC Foundation, COTEC, Fundación Ortega Muñoz, and Asociación Española de Fundaciones. Personally and professionally, Antonio Huertas advocates for equal opportunities and sustainable economic and social development, along with education as the bedrock of social progress. Over the course of his career, he has consistently promoted innovation and technological development as distinguishing features of the company he leads. In his spare time, Antonio loves reading, history, film and mountain biking, and enjoys strolling through his favorite cities.

Juan Antonio Ketterer, Chief of the Connectivity, Markets and Finance Division, Inter-American Development Bank

Juan Antonio Ketterer is the Chief of the Connectivity, Markets and Finance Division of the Inter-American Development Bank. The Division engineers funding mechanisms and risk mitigation structures (guarantees, SPVs, hybrids, funds…) to support public-private investments in climate financing, as well as the issuance of green bonds. The Division also conducts extensive work on digital transformation, fintech and green financing.
Prior to his current position, Juan Antonio developed a substantial experience with the international financial sector, especially in the areas of financial engineering, capital markets, climate investments and digital finance. He held managing positions at several advisory, financing and trading firms, as well as at securities exchanges and clearing houses. Juan Antonio obtained a Ph.D. in Financial Economics from the University of Minnesota, becoming professor of finance at the Tepper Business School of Carnegie Mellon University and at the Kellogg Graduate School of Management of Northwestern University.

Dr Olivier Mahul, Practice Manager, Crisis & Disaster Risk Finance Unit, World Bank

Dr. Olivier Mahul is Practice Manager of the World Bank’s Crisis & Disaster Risk Finance unit, which provides developing countries with analytical, advisory, convening and financial services to improve financial planning against disasters, climate shocks and other crises. He oversees the Disaster Risk Financing and Insurance Program (DRFIP) and the Global Index Insurance Facility (GIIF). DRFIP implements, among others, the WB-UK Disaster Risk Finance Hub in London, and the Global Risk Financing Facility (GRiF) in partnership with the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery.
Since he joined the World Bank, Olivier has been involved in the development of innovative disaster risk financing and insurance solutions in more than 40 countries and he has led the creation of flagship regional initiatives such as the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF), the Pacific Catastrophe Risk Insurance Program (PCRAFI), and the Southeast Asia Disaster Risk Insurance Facility (SEADRIF). Olivier holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Toulouse School of Economics and post-doctorates from Wharton Business School and University of California at Berkeley. Olivier has authored more than 40 publications in international journals and two books: “Catastrophe Risk Financing in Developing Countries: Principles for Public Intervention” (with J. David Cummins) and “Government Support to Agricultural Insurance: Challenges and Options for Developing Countries” (with Charles Stutley).

Leonardo Martinez-Diaz, Global Director of Sustainable Finance, WRI

Leonardo Martinez-Diaz is the Global Director of Sustainable Finance at the World Resources Institute (WRI) in Washington, D.C., where he heads a team of researchers working to promote the flow of public and private finance to environmentally-sustainable activities, including climate adaptation and mitigation. Prior to joining WRI, Leonardo served in the Obama Administration as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Energy and Environment. He was responsible for overseeing multilateral climate and environmental funds, directing the Treasury’s domestic and international work on climate finance, and leading on climate change elements of international negotiations. Before that, he served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for the Western Hemisphere and as Director of the Office of Policy at the U.S. Agency for International Development. Leonardo has a doctorate from Magdalen College, Oxford, and did his undergraduate work at Northwestern University. He is author of Globalizing in Hard Times: The Politics of Banking-Sector Opening in the Emerging World.

Janot Mendler de Suarez, Technical Adviser, Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre and World Bank Consultant

Janot Mendler de Suarez is currently working as a Climate Centre Technical Adviser with the Partners for Resilience Alliance in Haïti, as well as the AfD-supported scoping study on Forecast-Based Action with the OECS and research on opportunities for health-related Impact-based Forecasting in the Caribbean with Pasteur Institute and French Red Cross – all building on her last six year’s work with PfR in Mali anpiloting Forecast-based Financing with Togo Red Cross, Togo’s National Civil Protection Agency, and the German Red Cross. Janot also consults with a number of World Bank disaster risk management teams, including developing a Social Protection Core Course game session with participants from 44 countries, co-designing a highly interactive Fundamentals course on disaster risk financing and insurance with GFDRR, and a game on regional DRFI options for national governments with the Caribbean Technical Assistance Programme. Inter alia, Janot served as a judge for the MIT Climate Accererator InsuResilience challenge last year and is currently supporting the World Bank Caribbean CREWS initiative.

Katherine S. Miles

Katherine is a thought leader on women’s financial inclusion, entrepreneurship and the gender-dimensions of climate change. Katherine co-authored ‘Integrating Gender Considerations into Different Models of Climate Risk Insurance (CRI)’ and ‘Applying a gender lens to Climate Risk Finance and Insurance’ on behalf of the InsuResilience Global Partnership. Drawing on her gender, women’s financial inclusion and private sector expertise, she has provided strategic advice and conducted research for a range of clients including the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), the Alliance for Financial Inclusion, the IFC and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).
Katherine has advised financial inclusion policymakers and authored guideline notes on the themes of Sex-disaggregated Financial Inclusion data, Integrating Gender and Women’s Financial Inclusion into National Financial Inclusion Strategies, and Policy Responses to Anti-Money Laundering (AML)/ Countering the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) that Advance Women’s Financial Inclusion. She co-designed and tested a UNCDF tool to identify the financial inclusion constraints facing women and girls in the least development countries. Furthermore, she developed a UNCDF and Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) gender self-assessment toolkit to support financial service providers in Myanmar to better serve women clients and enhance women’s participation within their workforce. Recently, she has authored a series of guideline notes on green growth and gender for the Donor Committee on Enterprise Development (DCED).
Earlier in her career, at the Global Reporting Initiative, Katherine facilitated the development of corporate sustainability reporting guidelines for companies on their environmental, social and economic impacts. She has a BA (hons) Anthropology and an MSc International Development.

Teresa Pelanda, Advisor, Access to Insurance Initiative

Teresa joined the A2ii in 2014 and is the lead contact for Central & Eastern Europe and the Caribbean region, responsible for A2ii’s implementation activities and cooperation with supervisors and regional associations. She is furthermore the A2ii’s Monitoring & Evaluation specialist and responsible for the topic of Climate Change and Disaster Resilience. In 2016 she was seconded to the Insurance Supervisory Authority of Peru (SBS) where she supported the modification of the current microinsurance regulation. Prior to A2ii Teresa worked as a consultant on inclusive insurance topics in Germany and Peru. She holds a Master of Science in Regional Studies of Latin America from the University of Cologne with a focus on economics and cooperative studies.

Dr. Kerstin Pfliegner

A conservation and development scientist and practitioner, Kerstin worked over 20 years in Eastern and Southern Africa, Europe and the USA with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Danish consulting engineers COWI, as researcher with the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund in Washington D.C. as well as with government agencies in numerous countries. She was employed by the German Federal Environment Agency in Dessau as a Scientific Expert Climate Change and by the Federal Environment Ministry in Berlin where she led the evaluation program of the International Climate Initiative. In 2013 Kerstin joined the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) in Berlin, where she worked as a manager of the East Africa program. Kerstin holds a Master of Business Administration (Munich and Hamburg universities), an MSc. in Environmental Sciences (Imperial College, London), and a PhD. in Forestry and Development (University of East Anglia). Kerstin joined TNC in April 2016 as Germany Country Representative and Senior Policy Advisor Climate Risk & Resilience Europe. She leads TNC’s work on nature-based solutions for climate risk reduction and TNC’s partnerships with the insurance sector in Europe. Kerstin is a German national fluent in English and French with proficient knowledge of Kiswahili.

Sahil Shah, Specialist Advisor, ALLFED

Sahil is a specialist advisor to ALLFED, advising on sovereign financial instruments for major risks to food systems. He is also an entrepreneur, currently running an Agritech company, developing offshore seaweed cultivation to mitigate climate change and contribute to food security, and has previously run software startups. He also advises a number of other non-profits, such as Asha for Education, the think tank Let’s Fund, and is a TEDx Speaker, University of Cambridge alumni and ex strategy consultant.

Pablo Suarez, Associate Director for Research and Innovation, Red Cross Crescent Climate Centre

Pablo Suarez is associate director for research and innovation at the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre, as well as visiting fellow at Boston University, and artist in residence at the Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center. He has consulted for the United Nations Development Programme, the World Bank, Oxfam, and about twenty other international humanitarian and development organizations, working in more than 60 countries. His current work involves creative approaches to climate risk management – ranging from self-learning algorithms for flood prediction, to collaboration with humorists to inspire thinking and action. Pablo holds a water engineering degree, a master’s degree in planning, and a Ph.D. in geography.

Claudia Thyme, VP, Director Emerging Markets Development, AXA XL

In the role of Director Emerging Markets Development, Ms. Thyme explores and executes opportunities that increase resilience and drive continued growth in emerging markets, by driving (re)insurance penetration. For business development she has a particular focus on Latin America. Ms. Thyme has more than twenty years’ experience in the insurance industry, 11 of those with AXA XL. Prior to taking on her current role, she held the position of Director Strategy & Business Groups, Communications & Marketing. Before joining XL, Ms. Thyme held different senior communications and marketing roles at Zurich Insurance for ten years. While leading global teams and acting as advisor to global and regional business leaders, Ms. Thyme successfully formulated and executed strategies to drive business development and market penetration. She has broad experience working with both mature and emerging re/insurance markets, including Africa, Asia and Latin America. At AXA XL, Ms. Thyme is also a Diversity & Inclusion sponsor, member of the Global CSR Committee and Chair of the EMEA CSR Committee. Ms. Thyme started her career as a communications and marketing consultant, advising companies across different industries on change management strategies. She holds a BA from Georgetown University, Washington D.C. and an MBA from City University London Business School. She is based in Zurich, Switzerland.