4th InsuResilience Global Partnership Forum 2020 - Speakers

CVs of the Speakers and Panelists

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

DAY 1:

High-Level Event From strategy to implementation – deliverables on the road to Vision 2025

Hon. Min. Alfred Alfred Jr., Minister of Finance, Banking and Postal Services Republic of the Marshall Islands

Mr. Alfred Alfred Jr. is serving his second term as Senator of Ailinglaplap Atoll in the Republic of the Marshall Islands. In February 2020, he was appointed Minister of Finance, Banking and Postal Services. Previously Mr. Alfred also served as Minister of Resources and Development. From 2010 to 2015, Mr. Alfred served as Secretary of Finance. Prior to that, he was a diplomat serving as a Minister-Counsellor at the RMI Embassy in Japan. From 2000 to 2005, he headed the Banking Commission for RMI. Mr. Alfred holds a BA degree in Economics from University of the South Pacific. He also obtained a civil engineering degree from Yomiuri Institute of Science and Engineering in Japan.

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.

Achim Steiner, Administrator, United Nations Development Programme and Vice-Chair of the UN Sustainable Development Group

Mr. Achim Steiner is UNDP Administrator and Vice-Chair of the UN Sustainable Development Group. Prior to joining UNDP, he was Director of the Oxford Martin School and Professorial Fellow of Balliol College, University of Oxford. In addition, Mr. Steiner led the United Nations Environment Programme and was Director-General of the United Nations Office at Nairobi. He graduated in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (M.A.) from Worcester College, Oxford University and holds a M.A. from the University of London/School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS).

Paola Sherina A. Alvarez, Assistant Secretary, International Finance and Special Projects, Philippines

Paola Sherina A. Alvarez is currently the Assistant Secretary for International Finance and Special projects, specifically she handles Sustainable and climate finance as well as disaster risks. She also handles special projects such as the Inter-agency task force on Marawi Rehabilitation as well as the Inter Agency Task Force on Infectious Diseases (IATF-Covid). She sits as alternate of the Secretary in different international platforms such as the ASEAN DRFI-TWG, APEC, SEADRIF and the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action. She participates on behalf of the Secretary in the Advisory Council for Sustainable Finance. She served as Spokesperson of the Department of Finance for tax reform (TRAIN law) and is currently the representative of the Secretary to all climate and disaster matters of the Department of Finance.

Ibrahima Cheikh Diong,United Nations Assistant Secretary General (ASG) and Director General of the African Risk Capacity Group

Ibrahima Cheikh Diong has over 30 years of professional leadership and management experience in Africa, USA, Europe and Asia. As Director-General of the African Risk Capacity Group (ARC Agency and ARC Ltd), Ibrahima is responsible for defining and executing the strategic vision of the institution. As an ex-officio member of each of the affiliate managing organs including the Board of Directors, he is responsible for ensuring that the overall ARC Group Strategy is aligned with each affiliate. This includes coordination of the ARC Group management team and ensuring the financial sustainability of each affiliate.

Leveraging on his versatile expertise, knowledge, experience and vast networks, the Group Director-General will chart a new path towards strategies and partnerships that will continue to place ARC as a leader in Disaster Risk Management and a true partner to Africa’s populations and governments in alleviating the impact of natural disasters on the continent.

Ibrahima’s areas of expertise include: corporate and investment banking, structured and blended finance, transaction advisory, financial engineering, resource mobilization, business re-engineering, change management, human capital development, public-private partnership design, merger and acquisition management, project management, environmental policy and impact assessment management, monitoring and evaluation design, strategic communication and planning, private sector development, water resources management, among others.

Prior to joining ARC, Ibrahima founded and served as the Chairman of the Dakar-based pan-African management, communication and investment advisory firm, Africa Consulting and Trading (ACT Afrique Group). Prior to ACT Afrique Group, Ibrahima held several senior positions; Senior Africa Banker at BNP Paribas out of London; Minister, Special Adviser and Ambassador- at-Large to the President of the Republic of Senegal; Ambassador and Director General of International Cooperation of Senegal; Permanent Secretary of Energy of Senegal; Chairman of the Board of Senegal Airlines; Manager at Africa Department of International Finance Corporation; Regional Coordinator for Africa for Public Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility at the World Bank.

He has also  served as the Africa Director at the US-based international management consulting firm, Booz-Allen and Hamilton, where he led its public utility privatization work in in Africa, senior independent adviser to African and US governments, UN agencies, international foundations and NGOs, international private companies and think tanks; Manager of the Environment Unit of the Dakar-based Pan-African Agency for Research and Consulting. He was also the Director of the Water Resources and Environment Department of the African Network for Integrated Development. While living in Taiwan, he founded an intermediary firm, Africa Consulting in Taiwan (ACT), to support investment flows from Taiwan to Africa.

Ibrahima graduated from the School of Int’l and Public Affairs (SIPA) at Columbia University in New York City with a Master’s degree in Int’l Affairs (MIA) specialized in International Finance and Environmental policy. He also holds a BSc. of Civil Engineering specialized in Water Resources Management from Hohai Int’l University, Nanjing, People’s Republic of China. He also holds a diploma in BOOT design.

Ibrahima is perfectly fluent in English, French, Mandarin Chinese and Wolof, and has a working knowledge of Portuguese.

Denis Duverne, Chairperson of the Board of Directors of AXA, France, Chairman of the Insurance Development Forum (IDF)

Since September 1, 2016, Mr. Denis Duverne has been non-executive Chairman of the Board of Directors of AXA. Previously, he held senior roles including CFO and Deputy CEO at the global insurer since 1995. Moreover, since September 2018, he has been Chairman of the Insurance Development Forum (IDF). The IDF is a public-private partnership aiming to enhance the use of insurance to build greater resilience against disasters and to help achieve the United Nations Global 2030 Agenda.

Patricia Fuller, Ambassador for Climate Change, Canada

Patricia Fuller’s mandate is focused on advancing action on climate change through building international partnerships and promoting Canadian clean technologies.
Ms. Fuller joined the Government of Canada as a foreign service officer, and through her career has specialized in international economic and trade policy as well as environment and energy policy. She has held senior positions at Global Affairs Canada, the Privy Council Office, Natural Resources Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada. She has served abroad as Ambassador of Canada to Uruguay from 2004 to 2007 and as Ambassador to Chile from 2012 to 2015, in addition to assignments in Mexico and Guatemala. Ms. Fuller holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Economics and Political Studies from Queen’s University and a Master of Science with distinction from the London School of Economics.

Carla Montesi, Director at the European Commission’s Directorate General for Development and Cooperation

Carla Montesi is currently Director at the European Commission’s Directorate General for Development and Cooperation. She has been responsible for the Directorate “Planet and Prosperity” since September 2018. Before that (2014-2018) she was Director for Western and Central Africa. Prior to 2014, she was Director at the Directorate General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries. Initially responsible for fisheries conservation, control and structural actions for the Mediterranean and Black Sea, she has piloted maritime policy as well as fisheries and funding for the Baltic Sea, North Sea and Landlocked Member States. Formerly a lawyer in Italy who specialised in European affairs at the College of Europe in Bruges, Mrs Montesi’s earlier career encompassed diverse responsibilities in the field of EU external policy for development and cooperation both at Headquarters and in EU Delegations in Africa, as well as experience in the Cabinet of EU Commissioner Emma Bonino for External Policy and Humanitarian Affairs.

Eduardo Morón Pastor, Executive President, Peruvian Association of Insurance Companies (APESEG)

Currently is the Executive President of the Peruvian Association of Insurance Companies (APESEG, in Spanish). He is also Professor at the Faculty of Economics of Universidad del Pacifico. Previously, he was Chief Economist at the Latin American Reserve Fund (FLAR) from 2012-2014. He was Deputy Minister of Economics, Director at the Research Center of Universidad del Pacifico, Director of the Master in Economics Program at the same university. He has written several books and research papers on pensions, fiscal policy, monetary policy and exchange rate issues. He holds a PhD in Economics at UCLA, a Master in Economics at Universidad del CEMA in Buenos Aires, Argentina and he is Licentiate in Economics by Universidad del Pacifico in Lima, Peru.

Sofía Sprechmann Sineiro, Secretary General of CARE International

A leader in international development and a long-serving champion of gender equality, Sofia brings over 25 years of experience of working at CARE.  She spearheaded CARE’s first program strategy and was integral to placing women and gender equality at the very heart of CARE’s worldwide work. In CARE’s 75th year history, her leadership remains pivotal to the development of our 2030 vision.

Sofia, originally from Uruguay, lives today in Quito, Ecuador. First joining CARE in 1994, Sofia has served in several positions, providing support to programs in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America. As Program Director at the CARE International Secretariat, Sprechmann Sineiro has for the last eight years been responsible for leading the implementation of our program strategy worldwide, making a significant contribution to fighting poverty and inequality, and towards attaining the Sustainable Development Goals.

With extensive experience in program design and implementation; impact measurement and evaluation; and advocacy, Sofia remains dedicated to transforming power relations inside and outside of the organization. Her unshakable commitment to women and girls is drawn from many years of working alongside some of the worlds most marginalised communities; from domestic workers, women working in the garment sector and victims of gender-based violence.

Prior to working in international development, Sofía was a Sociologist in the field of public opinion polls and audience research. She holds a B.A. in Sociology from the Universidad de la República Oriental del Uruguay and an MSc in Epidemiology from the University of London/London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Sameh Wahba, Global Director, Urban, Disaster Risk Management, Resilience and Land Global Practice,  World Bank

Sameh Wahba, an Egyptian national, is the Global Director for the World Bank’s Urban, Disaster Risk Management, Resilience and Land Global Practice, based in Washington, D.C.  The Global Practice, which also covers territorial development, geospatial and results-based-financing issues, has a portfolio of close to $30bn in commitments in investment project, program-for-results and development policy lending and over 400 staff.

Prior to this, Mr. Wahba served as the Director for Urban and Territorial Development, Disaster Risk Management and Resilience at the World Bank Group’s Social, Urban Rural, and Resilience Global Practice, where he oversaw the formulation of the World Bank’s strategy, design, and delivery of all lending, technical assistance, policy advisory activities, and partnerships at the global level. He also served as Practice Manager for the Urban and Disaster Risk Management unit in Africa and the Global Urban and Resilience Unit, and as Acting Director of Operations and Strategy for the Global Practice. He worked as Sustainable Development Sector Leader for Brazil, based in Brasilia, and as an urban specialist focused on housing, land, local economic development, and municipal management and service delivery in Latin America and the Caribbean as well as the Middle East and North Africa Regions. Prior to joining the Bank in 2004, he worked at the Institute of Housing and Urban Development Studies in Rotterdam and at the Harvard Center for Urban Development Studies. He has over 25 years’ experience in urban development, land and housing, infrastructure and sustainable development.

Mr. Wahba holds a Ph.D. and Master’s degree in urban planning from Harvard University, and a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Architectural Engineering from Cairo University. He speaks Arabic, French, English, and Portuguese. He co-authored the World Bank’s flagship publications on “Regenerating Urban Land: A Practitioner’s Guide to Leveraging Private Investment” and “The Hidden Wealth of Cities: Creating, Financing, and Managing Public Spaces”, as well as the “Culture in City Reconstruction and Recovery” Position Paper jointly with UNESCO. He is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Cities and Urbanization and serves on the Boards of Cities Alliance, Global Resilient Cities Network, and World Resources Institute Ross Center for Cities.

Dr. Jürgen Zattler, Director-General for International Development Policy, 2030 Agenda, Climate; German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)

Mr. Zattler is a development and macroeconomist with more than 30 years of international experience. Mr. Zattler has been working in the BMZ in various positions since 1986 including Director General for Multilateral and European Policy, Head of the Division on World Bank, IMF, and debt related issues, and Deputy Head of the Division for WTO and trade policy. From 2017 to 2020, Mr. Zattler served as World Bank Group Executive Director representing Germany. His prior experience in the public and private sector includes the European Commission in Brussels, where he worked on macroeconomic issues related to developing countries and the Dresdner Bank in Berlin. He holds a PhD in economics from the University of Giessen.

DAY 2:

Interactive Solution-Building
Decision-Making under Uncertainty in a Changing Multi-Hazard Climate and Disaster Risk Environment

Ancellmi Anselmi, Director of Consultancy & International Relations at the Africa College of Insurance and Social Protection and the Country Microinsurance Coordinator in Tanzania

Ancellmi is a Director of Consultancy & International Relations at the Africa College of Insurance and Social Protection. He is an avid Researcher, Consultant, Author & a Trainer for government and international organizations on planning, policy, regulation and strategy. He serves as the Country Microinsurance Coordinator in Tanzania (TIRA/FSDT) facilitate SC and TWG in deployment of the Inclusive Strategy 2020 – 2030. As a business man & CEO, he develops various insurance products, and builds partnerships in deploying the insurance projects for Acclavia Insurance Brokers & Risk Consultants. He is a Lecturer at the Tanzania Public Service College. He serves in various taskforces within the insurance industry and outside geared at engineering growth of the financial sector and inclusive economy such as Governing Council Tanzania Insurance Brokers Association, secretary to the Tax Reforms Committee of the Insurance Industry in Tanzania, Africa Insurers Organization (AIO) Microinsurance Working Group, UN Global Compact and InsuResilience Global Partnership. He is Associate of the Chartered Institute of Securities & Investments (CISI) of London.

Ekhosuehi Iyahen, Secretary General, IDF

Ekhosuehi Iyahen is the Secretary General of the Insurance Development Forum (IDF), an industry-led public-private partnership helping to achieve the objectives of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and related U.N. Agreements, collectively herein known as the U.N. Global 2030 Agenda.

Prior to this role, Ekhosuehi was the Director for Policy & Technical Advisory Services for the African Risk Capacity Agency Secretariat (ARC). Before that, Ekhosuehi was directly involved in managing and supervising operational aspects of the World Bank sponsored Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF), the first multi-country parametric risk pool in the world. In this role she managed the renewal process for 16 CCRIF member countries for a period of approx. 5 years, from its launch to full operation.

A graduate of Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government and the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), Ekhosuehi was awarded a distinction for her dissertation which examined the role of Risk-Transfer Instruments – Risk Pooling and Securitisation as an Adaptation Strategy to Natural Hazards in Small Island Developing States. She was also selected as a 2018 Rockefeller Foundation Resident Practitioner Fellow at the Bellagio Centre in Italy.

A citizen of both Nigeria and Barbados, she also serves as an advisor to several governments and other public and private institutions on catastrophe/climate risk, on loss and damage and the role of insurance. She is a member of the Experts Advisory Group of the Centre for Global Disaster Protection.

Zoë Scott, Head of Multilateral Programmes, Centre for Disaster Protection

Zoë has worked for 20 years in public finance, disaster risk management, governance, research and evaluation in low-income countries. She has worked with and for many UN agencies, regional development banks, bilateral donors and INGOs.

Within the Centre leadership team Zoë is responsible for leading the Centre’s work with multilateral organisations, including overseeing our technical quality assurance services. She has an LL.M in Law in Development from Warwick University.

Kara Devonna Siahaan, Lead, Network and Policy – Anticipation Hub &International Federation of Red Cross Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)

Kara Siahaan has over 14 years of experience in technical assistance, programme management, advocacy and partnership for governments, development agencies, the UN and the Red Cross Red Crescent network in the areas of disaster response, disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. Prior to joining IFRC, Kara advised governments in Southeast Asia on disaster displacement issues as the Nansen Initiative Adviser assigned to the German Government and the International Organization for Migration. Kara now leads the anticipatory action and disaster risk financing global work at IFRC, including the coordination of forecast-based financing work in over 30 countries. She co-led the development of the Forecast-based Action by the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund, an IFRC global funding mechanism to enable predictable financing for local early action. She is the Lead for Emerging Topics, Network and Policy at the Anticipation Hub.

Kara has a Master’s degree in Urban Development and International Cooperation from Technische Universität Darmstadt and Institut d’urbanisme de Grenoble.

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.

Karina Whalley, Head of Public Sector Business Development, AXA Climate

Karina Whalley is leading public sector business development for AXA Climate, the centre of expertise for parametric insurance of global insurer AXA. She is also advisor to Insurance Development Forum Chair Denis Duverne. Prior to joining AXA Climate, she was an underwriter and supporting government engagement for the African Risk Capacity. Previously, Ms. Whalley worked in investment banking and journalism. She graduated in Geopolitics from Université Libre de Bruxelles and in Pure Mathematics and Finance from the University of Cape Town.

DAY 3:

Regional learning
How does Climate and Disaster Risk Financing contribute to building resilience?

Lorena Braz, Resilience Programme Officer, Food Systems and Resilient Livelihoods, World Food Programme (WFP) Kenya

Lorena Braz has joined the WFP Kenya office in 2018 as a Resilience Programme Officer. Prior to WFP, Lorena spent 8 years working on food security, social protection and home-grown school feeding projects in the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), with a focus on Sub-Saharan Africa. In WFP Kenya, Lorena supports the Food Systems and Resilient Livelihoods Team and acts as focal point for the R4 Resilience Initiative in the country. Through R4’s integrated risk management approaches, she is supporting the WFP team to develop inclusive strategies to strengthen the resilience and diversify livelihoods of vulnerable and food insecure smallholder farmers in Kenya’s Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs).

Lourdes del Carpio Gómez de la Torre,  Director of Rural Insurance at La Positiva Seguros y Reaseguros

Lourdes del Carpio,  Director of Rural Insurance at La Positiva Seguros y Reaseguros, Peruvian insurance company that leads agricultural insurance in Perú. Lourdes is a Fulbright Grantee and holds a master degree in Public Administration at  Maxwell School, Syracuse University (USA), Bachelor degree in  Political Science at Augustana College in Illinois (USA),  a Law degree at the University  Católica Santa María in Perú and a diploma on Top Management at INCAE Business School (Costa Rica). Her work on insurance began in 2004 at the Ministry of Agriculture in Perú where she worked as Coordinator of the Insurance Development Unit, leading the project to regulate agricultural insurance for the first time in Perú.

Currently at La Positiva Seguros Lourdes has introduced new types of insurance at La Positiva Seguros, crop insurance for the poor, crop insurance for small farmers that have access to credit and index insurance for catastrophic events.

She is an international speaker on microinsurance, specifically in agricultural insurance. She has participated in several conferences, as speaker, invited by the World Bank, IADB, Munich Re Foundation, Impact Insurance, among other international organizations.

Dr Annette Detken, Head of Division, KfW Development Bank

Dr Annette Detken is Head of Division, Sector Policy Unit Economic Development and Education, at KfW Development Bank. Throughout her career, Annette has worked in the area of climate finance and environmental protection, with a special focus on insurance market development since 2015. Prior to her current position, she managed the acquisition team of KfW Carbon Fund and served as Head of Division of KfW’s Economic Research Directorate. Annette studied economics and finance at the University of St. Gallen and the Stern School of Business, New York University.

Mr. Saiyad Hussain, Acting Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Saiyad Hussain is the Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Fiji Development Bank, since January 2020.

A qualified Chartered Accountant by profession, he is also a Board Director of the South Pacific Stock Exchange and a Member of the Fiji Institute of Bankers.

He holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Banking and Financial Management and Bachelor of Arts Degree in Accounting and Financial Management, Economics and Public Administration & Management from the University of the South Pacific.

Carlos Izaguirre, Deputy Superintendent of Insurance, Superintendency of Banking, Insurance and Private Pension Funds Administrators of Peru (SBS)

Mr. Carlos Izaguirre holds a bachelor degree in economics and a master degree in finance, both given by the Pacific University of Peru; and an MBA degree by the Haas School of Business from the University of California Berkeley.

Currently, Mr. Izaguirre is the Deputy Superintendent of Insurance in the Superintendency of Banking, Insurance and Private Pension Funds Administrators of Peru (SBS). He has performed as Insurance Development Manager in Diviso Financial Group, Chief Supervision Manager of Insurance Companies and Private Pension Funds at SBS, advisor in the Treasury Department of Peru, and consultant at the Inter-American Development Bank – IDB. He has also accomplished duties as Board member in several organizations such as the National Commission of Securities, National Health Supervisor, the Deposit Insurance Fund, and the Access to Insurance Initiative. Also, he acted as representative in the boards of the International Association of Insurance Supervisors – IAIS and the Latin-American Association of Insurance Supervisors – ASSAL.

Vijay Kalavakonda, Senior Operations Officer, International Finance Corporation, The World Bank Group

Vijay Kalavakonda has more than 20 years’ experience working on Access to Finance primarily focused on agriculture finance and insurance and disaster risk finance and insurance. At the World Bank Group, Vijay worked on a range of access to finance related activities including insurance and Co-Contributory Pension Program for Low Income Households.

Vijay Kalavakonda has worked on agriculture and disaster risk insurance across several countries including Tunisia and Morocco, Nicaragua, Mexico, Turkey, Indonesia, the Philippines, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, and Small Islands including both the Caribbean’s and the Pacific.

Over the last 3+ years Vijay’s primary focus area has been in supporting agriculture finance, and financial risk resilience against climate change risks in South Asia.

Josh Ling, Climate Change Specialist, Asian Development Bank

Josh Ling is a Climate Change Specialist at Asian Development Bank. He joined ADB in April 2020 and serves as the Fund Manager of ACliFF (Asia-Pacific Climate Finance Fund). Josh has a variety of experience working on the topics of disaster risk financing and financial inclusion through roles with World Bank, Mercy Corps, International Labour Organisation (ILO) and Deloitte, based in Europe, Latin America, and Australia.

Prior to joining ADB, Josh worked as a Financial Inclusion and Risk Financing Specialist at the World Food Programme (WFP) in Rome. Josh is an Australian actuary by background and speaks English, Spanish, Portuguese.

Sunya Morongei Orre, Director, National Drought Management Authority

Mr Sunya Morongei Orre is an expert in drought risk management and food security at the National Drought Management Authority, Kenya. Working as Director Technical Services, Mr Sunya Morongei Orre is responsible for drought early warning, resilience, contingency planning and response in Kenya. In Kenya, Mr Orre´s role has been to oversee drought risk management mechanisms such as shock-responsive cash transfers and index-based insurance schemes.

Vineil Narayan, Acting Head of Division and Climate Finance Specialist | Climate Change and International Cooperation Division, Ministry of Economy, Fiji

Mr Vineil Narayan has seven years of experience working in national economic planning, national budget programming and economic and climate policy development. Currently, he is the Acting Head of Climate Change & International Cooperation through which he is in charge of coordinating Fiji’s domestic climate action, international climate commitments and cooperation with key development partners to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. He is also working as the Climate Finance Specialist on a full-time basis with the Climate Change Division and is in charge of enhancing the nexus between finance and climate change through incorporating climate finance into national budgetary planning/processes and performing strategic analysis of existing and potential sources of climate finance. Mr Narayan represents the Fijian Government at international climate negotiations on matters related to climate finance. Furthermore, he has worked on developing numerous sectorial and national level plans, policies, frameworks and strategies as a proud civil servant of Fiji.

Aholotu Palu, CEO of the Pacific Catastrophe Risk Insurance Company (PCRIC)

Aholotu Palu is the CEO of the Pacific Catastrophe Risk Insurance Company (PCRIC). Aholotu has 25 years of experience in the economic management, finance and development sectors as reflected by his various roles in the region and nationally. Prior to PCRIC, Aholotu was the GIZ Climate Finance and Public Finance Management Expert at the Pacific Island Forum Secretariat, providing strategic advice in the area of the nexus between Public Finance Management and Climate Change Finance for Pacific islands. He was also the former Chief Secretary and Secretary to Cabinet (Contracted) for the Government of Tonga, Acting Chief Executive Officer and Head of Budget, Procurement and Aid Management for the Tonga Ministry of Finance and National Planning in Nuku’alofa.  Aholotu also had an opportunity to work for the World Bank as Senior Adviser to the Executive Director for the South East Asia Group. Aholotu is committed to enhancing accessible and affordable climate and disaster-related financial solutions for Pacific Island countries.

Ashok Shah, Group Chief Executive Officer, Apollo Investments / APA Insurance

Mr. Shah’s education is in Applied Chemistry. Professionally he is a Chartered Insurer with ACII. He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (MCIArb) and an Associate of the Insurance Institute of Kenya (AIIK). He is a past Chairman of Association of Kenya Insurers (AKI) and currently the Group Chief Executive of Apollo Investments Limited. He is a Director of CDSC representing the Capital Market Challenge Fund. Other directorships include APA Insurance Ltd, Barclays Bank of Kenya, APA Life Assurance, Apollo Asset Management, APA Insurance Uganda and Reliance Insurance Company Ltd in Tanzania.

He is a seasoned executive with over 30 years of progressive experience within the Insurance Industry both in East Africa and England. A solid reputation for achieving corporate growth objectives through providing strategic direction, diverse perspectives and positive leadership. Known within the industry for driving business results and maximizing profitability through the delivery of innovative products, quality and service and prudent management of people, technology and processes. Proven ability to manage budgets; align technology strategy with corporate strategy; set business and group goals; and lead large management teams to achieve project goals and exceed client expectations.

Ashok has steered the APA APOLLO group to great heights and has led key innovations in the Kenyan Insurance market. APA was the first Insurance company in Kenya to offer a health insurance that covered HIV related illnesses in 2001, which was adopted 7 years later by their competitors. This same trailblazing spirit has seen APA lead a consortium of Kenyan insurers to partner with the public sector, in offering small holder index based livestock and agriculture covers in marginalized areas of the country.

Ashok is a tireless philanthropist whose activities through the APA Apollo foundation focuses mainly on environment, youth empowerment and education. Through building sand dams, the foundation provide communities with a clean, local and reliable source of water even during periods of drought. He was the first recipient of the Life Time Achievement Award for contribution to the Kenyan Insurance Industry and a finalist for both the 2015 and 2016 AABLA Philanthropist of the Year award and 2016 Entrepreneur of the year award.

Khusrav Sharifov, Senior Technical Advisor on Climate Resilience and Disaster Risk Management, UNDP Vietnam Country Office

Khusrav Sharifov is a humanitarian-development practitioner with over 25 years of experience working with the private sector, UN organizations and INGOs. Mr. Sharifov has supported governments Asia-Pacific Region, Eastern Europe, Central Asia and South Caucasus with formulation and implementation of policies and programmes focusing on disaster risk management and climate change adaptation at the regional, national and local levels.

Mr. Sharifov is currently working with the United Nations Development Programme in Viet Nam in the capacity of Senior Technical Advisor on Climate Resilience and Disaster Risk Management. He holds master’s degree in international trade and economic relations

Enock Sing’oei, Inclusive Insurance Market Development Consultant, Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture

Enock Sing’oei is an agriculture and climate insurance consultant with experience in design, distribution, innovation and evaluation of Agriculture and Climate Insurance in Africa and Asia. Enock is a Microinsurance Master 2020 alumni, Fellow from ILO Impact Insurance Facility and currently working actively as Inclusive Insurance Market Development consultant at Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture.

In recent past, Enock has been involved in ILO’s Impact Insurance trainings and project evaluation on inclusive insurance in Africa and Asia.

Over the last 9 years, Enock has worked on various inclusive insurance projects in Africa and Asia with: Kilimo Salama now Acre Africa in Kenya & Rwanda, Kifiya Financial Technology in Ethiopia, WorldCover in Ghana, Kenya and Uganda, CNAAS Assuarance in Senegal, ILO-GIZ trainings in Zambia, ILO IFAD research work in Uganda, Cambodia and Indonesia, Syngenta foundation feasibility studies in Sudan and Morocco amongst many other advisory roles across Africa and Asia. Enock is passionate in supporting projects that decrease risk and improve wellbeing of the global poor.

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.

DAY 4:

Impacting lives & Closing Session
Presenting evidence of how CDRFI impacts lives

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.

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.

Vositha Wijenayak, Executive Director, SLYCAN Trust

Vositha Wijenayake works as the executive director of SLYCAN Trust. She is an international lawyer specializing in public international law and has over a decade of experience in working on climate change, at national and international level. Vositha is a member of the National Expert Committee on Climate Change Adaptation of the Ministry of Environment of Sri Lanka, and has been a delegate of the Sri Lankan government’s delegation to the UNFCCC negotiations since 2016, negotiating on issues related to compliance, climate change adaptation, loss and damage, gender, and MRV. Vositha is also a consultant to the UNFCCC Secretariat, and a member of the NAP Technical Working Group and the Expert Group on Oceans and Climate Change of the UNFCCC. Vositha co-chairs the Impacts Working Group of the Insuresilience Global Partnership, and her most recent research includes work on national adaptation plans, and the NDC review process, and climate induced migration and displacement in countries in Asia and Africa.

Maria Teresa Zappia, Deputy CEO, BlueOrchard and Chief Impact and Blended Finance Officer

Maria Teresa joined BlueOrchard in 2008 to manage the investment team. As of 2012 Maria Teresa was appointed Chief Investment Officer and was responsible for the top-down part of the investment process at BlueOrchard together with the Portfolio Management Team. She now leads the Blended Finance Impact Management team and is responsible for the PPP funds under BlueOrchard’s management and BlueOrchard’s impact practice.

Before joining BlueOrchard, Maria Teresa worked as Senior Banker in the Group for Small Business which was EBRD’s microfinance and SME finance team and managed a portfolio of microfinance/SME credit lines with local commercial banks and MFIs across the Balkans, Central Europe and Central Asia. She also worked for the Asian Development Bank and for the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) in several field positions in Africa, Asia and Central Asia. Maria Teresa, holds a Master of Philosophy in Development Studies from the University of Sussex (UK) and a Master in Economics from the University of Florence (Italy).