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Corporate Leaders Groups

Business leadership for a climate neutral economy
Eliot Whittington

Eliot is Director of CISL’s Corporate Leaders Groups and is Policy Director for CISL. He leads the team behind both the European and UK Corporate Leaders Groups (CLG Europe and CLG UK). He also leads CLG Europe’s Green Growth Partnership with leading EU climate and environment ministers.

His work has a strong focus on climate change, but he also helps drive action on the circular economy, plastics and issues around the social and justice implications of economic change. He represents the Corporate Leaders Groups on the board of the We Mean Business Coalition and has been responsible for CISL work that has included collaborations with the World Bank, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the UNFCCC, a number of European governments and a wide range of senior business stakeholders. For CISL he sits on the supervisory board of German based thinktank Agora Energiewende. He regularly advises business and government and has sat, for example, on the UK government’s BEIS Economic Recovery Taskforce on Net Zero and Treasury Net Zero Review Technology and Innovation Advisory Group.

He has over 20 years’ experience in working to unlock systemic change, including providing policy analysis around climate action for Save the Children and Christian Aid, leading Christian Aid’s UK lobbying work with parliamentarians and political parties, and working on mobilising grassroots campaigning in locations from Addis Ababa to Birmingham.

Martin Porter

Martin joined CISL from the European Climate Foundation in 2018, where he was working as Europe Group Co-ordinator. He has also led their Industry and Innovation programme and has a long track record of working on industry, environment and sustainability issues prior to taking up that role in 2015. Until 2020, he was also an expert advisor to the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 on climate and resource issues and a representative on the Economic and Social Committee’s Commission on Industrial Change.  He remains a member of UCL’s European Institute Advisory Board and a member of the advisory board to the Sustainable Biomass Programme.

He became a Senior Associate for CISL in 2011 and prior to that developed his public affairs consultancy activities largely in this area. He led advocacy campaigns for a range of blue-chip multinational clients, trade associations and coalitions as he established his career in Brussels through international PR agencies such as Weber Shandwick Worldwide and Edelman PR Worldwide, as well as co-founding Brussels’ first ‘think-do tank’, The Centre.

A European of dual Belgian-British nationality, his interest in the EU began as a student. He gained a first class degree in European Studies (French and Italian, Joint Honours) from the University of Bath, and went on to be awarded a Doctorate from the same institution for a thesis on interest representation in the EU on environmental issues. This focused on the activities around the packaging and packaging waste Directive, the most lobbied piece of legislation in the EU’s history, at the time. As convinced ‘pro-European’, he continues to support the UK’s active involvement in the EU.

Beverley Cornaby

Beverley manages the UK Corporate Leaders Group and chairs the UK Business Group Alliance for Net Zero. She works closely with the UK government, including on net zero policy, adaptation and resilience, and to support the UK’s COP26 Presidency. Beverley recently led CISL’s overarching programme of work on COP26 and continues to lead the CLGs’ collaboration with international business networks. 

Beverley also leads a programme of work looking at the issues of resource efficiency and industrial transformation. She previously led a collaborative initiative that resulted in a roadmap and vision towards eliminating plastic packaging waste from the soft drinks supply chain and has published a case study of the approach Sky took to eliminating single-use plastic from their business.

Before joining CISL, Beverley spent ten years working in the public sector, in local, regional and then national government, most recently working for the Sustainable Development Commission with a particular focus on education and health policy. Through this work, Beverley authored a number of government publications on sustainable schools and young people policy. Beverley holds a Postgraduate Certificate in Sustainable Business from the University of Cambridge and a BSc (hons) in Ecology and Conservation from University of Sussex.

Ursula Woodburn

Ursula joined the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) in August 2018. She is a Programme Director and Head of EU Relations and the Brussels office. Through her role she drives strategy on corporate engagement on climate ambition and building a net zero European economy. She works in particular with the Corporate Leaders Group Europe, the We Mean Business Coalition and the Green Growth Partnership, which creates a common space for governments, businesses and parliamentarians to collaborate in support of a greener EU economy.

Having lived in Brussels since 2002 Ursula is now a dual Belgian-British citizen. Before joining CISL, Ursula worked on EU energy, climate and environment policy in Brussels both at Weber Shandwick and an environmental NGO. She also worked in the European Parliament for an S&D MEP. She studied Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Cambridge and has a Masters in Development and Governance from the University of Antwerp. 

Beth Barker

Beth is a Programme Manager working on the Aviation Impact Accelerator project, an academic-industry collaboration working to accelerate the transition to sustainable aviation, and on CLG Europe's work convening industry and advocating for policy to support heavy industry decarbonisation. 

Before joining CISL, Beth worked on sustainable development research with the Centre for Ecology, Development and Research and Conservation Research Institute (University of Cambridge), primarily looking at the intersection of urban growth, water insecurity and climate change in North India. She has also worked on sustainable transport advocacy in the UK, particularly the role of cycling. Beth has a BA in Geography from the University of Cambridge and an MSc in Environment and Sustainable Development from UCL.

Tahmid Chowdbury

Tahmid joined CISL as a Programme Manager in August 2021, focusing on Industry. Tahmid runs the Taskforce for climate neutral and circular materials and products, and leads on competitiveness policy. Tahmid previously worked at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy within the UK Government. Tahmid worked on EU engagement and strategy, managing the UK’s participation at the Competitiveness Council and Energy Council, as well as policy work on the EU Industrial Strategy and European Accessibility Act. Tahmid also held roles at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, HM Treasury and as a Blue Book Trainee at the European Commission.

Tahmid holds an MA in European Studies from KU Leuven, following a BA in French and History from the University of Sheffield. Additionally, Tahmid holds a CMI Level 6 Diploma in Leadership and Management, APMG International AgilePM Practitioner certification and an ICF Accredited Diploma in Transformational Coaching and a trained practitioner around Diversity and Inclusion. Tahmid is a native English speaker, with a command of French and Spanish.

Isabelle Cross

Isabelle joined CISL in December 2019. As Team Administrator, her role includes the project coordination of events and webinars, assisting with publications and providing assistance to the Policy Director. This has included the organisation of high-level roundtables for government and business leaders; the delivery of a letter to the new Prime Minister from over 100+ businesses; and managing logistics for the upcoming COP27 Summit. Furthermore, Isabelle leads on the creation of social media assets and posts for the UK Corporate Leaders Group; provides financial and contractual administrative support to senior colleagues; and is trained to manage the CLGs website.

Prior to CISL, Isabelle worked as a Recruitment Advisor with the NHS. She also completed a Wildlife Conservation and Media internship in Costa Rica, surveying the unique fauna in the Osa Peninsula to assess the effects of climate change and forest disturbance. Isabelle holds a degree in Geography and a Master’s in Environmental Management from the University of Nottingham.

Aurore Cupers

Aurore joined CISL in May 2017 and is based in Brussels. As senior project coordinator, she supports the Centre for Policy and Industrial Transformation, providing coordination and project management for the CLG Europe secretariat. Her main focus is event support and Brussels engagement.

Prior to this, Aurore was working as an executive assistant and interpreter for a culinary school in Italy. She holds a degree in Germanic Languages and one in Multilingual Communication.

Jenifer Elmslie

Jenifer joined CISL as a Project Manager in October 2021, upon finishing her Master’s degree at the London School of Economics in International Development, Gender and Globalisation. Jenifer has previously worked for the United Nations, responding to complex humanitarian emergencies and natural disasters. She has also worked as a researcher at Cambridge University’s Judge Business School and in the third sector, as a project manager at NGO Plan International. Jenifer also holds a first-class BA in International Relations from Warwick University. Jenifer is a native English speaker, with a command of French and German.

At CISL, Jenifer works as a project manager, working to coordinate Aviation Impact Accelerator, manages industrial UK-based decarbonisation research projects in a project management and policy function. She also supports CLG Europe’s Materials and Products Taskforce.

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Salomé joined the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) as a Project Coordinator focusing on EU policy and industrial transformation. Prior to joining CISL, Salomé worked as a Schuman trainee in the DG for External Policies of the European Parliament focusing on sustainability and climate change issues. She also gained experience in the development and humanitarian sector as a Partnership Assistant at the NGO World Vision and as a Programme and Funding Coordinator in the Al-Amari refugee camp in Palestine.

Salomé holds an MSc in International Relations of the Middle East with Arabic from the University of Edinburgh and a BA in Law from Paris II - Université Panthéon Assas. Salomé is a native French speaker, bilingual in English, with a command of Arabic and German.

Serena Liuni

Serena project manages delivery for the UK Corporate Leaders Group. Prior to joining CISL, Serena gained broad international experience both in the public and private sector working as a project officer for interdisciplinary European projects within multicultural teams, focusing on the implementation of EU regional policies, Structural Funds management, institutional and capacity building, local, rural and sustainable development.

Serena worked for the DG AGRI (EC) European Network for Rural Development in Brussels, and as a research assistant for the Evaluation Unit of the Ministry of Economic Development in Rome. She holds an MPhil in Land Economy from the University of Cambridge, and a postgraduate specialisation in local development projects evaluation from the Economics and Finance Ministry School in Rome. Serena is an Italian native speaker, proficient in English and French, and currently learning Spanish.

Dr Sanna Markkanen

Sanna Markkanen is responsible for much of the research activity and content development for the Centre for Policy and Industrial Transformation, at the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL), University of Cambridge. After completing her PhD in social policy in 2007, Sanna has worked as a researcher and lecturer in the UK and Australia. She has extensive and diverse experience of policy evaluation and social policy research. Her previous work has focused on immigration, housing, inequality, deprivation and public health. In recent years, Sanna has carried out research on energy efficiency, the social and economic impacts of the transition to low carbon economy, industrial decarbonisation and how global capital flows can influence the emergence of more sustainable hydropower infrastructure. Her current work focuses on various different aspects of climate policy and the energy transition. 

Kirsten joined the Cambridge Institute of Sustainable Leadership (CISL) in March 2022 and is based in Brussels. As part of her project coordinator role, she provides support to the Centre for Policy and Industrial Transformation team. Prior to this experience, Kirsten was the policy intern for CISL and a trainee for the Commission for Economic Policy in the European Union’s Committee of the Regions. The remit of the commission and her areas of focus included industrial policy and Sustainable Development Goals governance.

Kirsten holds a Master of Public Policy, with a specialisation in EU policy, from University College Dublin (UCD) and a BA in Economics, Politics and International Relations from UCD. She is a native English speaker and is currently learning French.

Romain Pardo

Romain joined the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) in December 2018 to work as Programme Manager in the EU office. Prior to joining CISL, Romain spent most of his career working as a Policy Analyst in various Brussels based Think Tanks.

At the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP), Romain was the project manager for the Think 2030 sustainability platform which brings together various stakeholders, including business and policy makers, to propose solutions for a sustainable future within and beyond Europe, and worked on projects and publications related to the circular economy. Romain was also a Policy Analyst in the Sustainable Prosperity for Europe Programme at the European Policy Centre (EPC) analysing policy developments in the field of resource efficiency, climate action and the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. He first gained experience in the think tank world as personal assistant to the Managing Director of Re-Define, an organisation working on the Euro crisis and the Green New Deal. With an academic background in political sciences and international relations and a Master in Geopolitics and Geostrategy, Romain also lived in England, Mexico, Canada and France with professional experiences in the private and cultural sectors.

Annabelle Roblin

Annabelle joined CISL in May 2016. She provides coordination and project management for the CLGs secretariat, with a focus on research and content delivery for CLG thought-leadership reports and briefings. She also supports the CLG’s participation in the We Mean Business Coalition and it’s work with the Green Growth Partnership. Annabelle is based in Cambridge.

Before joining CISL, Annabelle worked for ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, where she contributed to the launch of a multi-year programme to accelerate local climate action and supported the delivery of ICLEI’s Pavilion at COP21. Prior to this she completed an internship for the Loire-Anjou-Touraine Regional Natural Park in France where she evaluated its climate policy.

Annabelle holds an MA in Sustainable Development and a BA in Politics and International Relations.

Goksen joined the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) in January 2022 to work as Senior Project Manager in the EU office. She provides coordination and planning for the CLG Europe secretariat and its communication activities. She also supports the Green Growth Partnership and on profiling the CLGs at international events.

Prior to CISL, Goksen spent four years working as a project manager and communications coordinator at Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe, and three years at French Development Agency. Goksen holds a degree in Business Administration from Galatasaray University in Turkey and a Masters in organisational communication from Jean Moulin Lyon 3 University, France.

Krisztina Zálnoky

Krisztina joined the CISL Brussels office to work as a policy intern in July 2020, and she is working as Research Project Manager.

Prior to joining CISL, Krisztina worked at the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency of the European Commission and completed internships at the UNICEF Hungarian Committee and the U.S. Commercial Service in Hungary. She gained experience in the private sector, working as an analyst at KPMG on projects related to the Common Agricultural Policy. She is a co-founder and board member of V4SDG – Visegrad for Sustainability.

Krisztina studied International Relations with a specialisation in European integration at Corvinus University Budapest and holds an MSc in Public Policy from University College London.

Convened by

The University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership

The Prince of Wales’s Business & Sustainability Programme

Capacity-building for senior executives in mainstream leadership roles. Translate complex sustainability trends into strategic business decisions.

 

Three-day residential course.