José Ramos-Horta served as President of Timor-Leste between 2007 and 2012, having served as Prime Minister and Minister of Defense from 2006 to 2007 and as Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation from 2002 to 2006.
In 1975, when Portugal had devolved its colonial rule, East Timor was occupied by Indonesia. Ramos-Horta was one of the leaders of the resistance. He did not take up arms himself, but left the country as foreign minister in the government set up by the liberation movement FRETELIN (Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor). For the next 20 years, he traveled all over the world pleading the cause of the East Timorese, above all in the United Nations.
In 1996, Ramos-Horta and Bishop Carlos Belo were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their work toward a just and peaceful solution to the conflict in Timor-Leste.
Joshua Phoho Setipa assumed the role of Managing Director for The UN Technology Bank for Least Developed Countries in November 2018. With over 20 years’ experience in senior roles on international trade, economic policy, investment strategy, and economic development at the national, regional, and multilateral levels, Setipa has a wealth of experience and knowledge on issues affecting least developed countries. Setipa comes to The Technology Bank from the World Bank, where he had been leading strategic engagements with West Africa. He has extensive experience formulating and implementing national and regional development projects in Sub Sahara Africa. From 2015 – 2017. Setipa was the Minister of Trade and Industry for the Government of Lesotho, spearheading the adoption of national industrial policy. Prior to this he worked as Chief Executive Officer for the Lesotho National Development Corporation. Setipa was Senior Advisor to the Director General of the World Trade Organization for over six years, where he was a member of the Executive Management Team.
Jayathma Wickramanayake was appointed as the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth in June 2017 at the age of 26. She is the youngest senior official in the UN and the first woman to hold this position. In this role, Wickramanayake works to expand the UN’s youth engagement and advocacy efforts across all four pillars of the organization’s work — sustainable development, human rights, peace and security, and humanitarian action — and serves as a representative of and advisor to the Secretary-General.
In 2019 Wickramanayake was recognized by Time Magazine as one of the “Time 100 Next: Rising stars shaping the future” and in 2020 she was recognized by Forbes magazine as part of its “30 under 30” list.
Ron Hartman is currently IFAD’s Director for Global Engagement, Partnerships and Resource Mobilization. He is responsible for leading IFAD’s global engagement and multilateral relations including with the private sector; South-South and triangular cooperation, resource mobilization, and funds management. Prior to his current position, Hartman served as IFAD Country Director and Representative at its South East Asia and the Pacific sub-regional office in Jakarta. With over 25 years of professional experience, including over 18 years with the United Nations, Hartman has acquired extensive managerial and operational experience in over 25 countries. He has specialized knowledge in promoting sustainable socio-economic development and poverty reduction, public policy, and partnerships. He has strong technical experience in the design and implementation of public and private investments. In 2011, he was awarded the IFAD Presidential Award for outstanding performance.
Peggy Liu, Chairperson of JUCCCE, has been a leading environmentalist at the heart of the greening of China since 2007. Named the “Green Goddess of China” by Chinese press, she travels the world to consult companies and governments on how to catalyze societal-scale change, scale sustainable innovation, and collaborate with China.
Liu keynotes around the world on lessons she learned in tackling China’s toughest environmental challenges: pollution, urbanization, epidemics, drought, obesity, and diabetes. Liu’s superpower is bringing people together to bring in a better future faster. Liu’s “Tornado Leadership” methodology draws from her work across policy, economic, technical, and spiritual realms.
Maggie L. Fox is the Co-Founder of the Global Biodiversity Narrative Project, an initiative to create new cultural framing to shift humanity’s relationship with nature. Through Maggie Fox Strategies, she develops 21st century climate change, biodiversity, clean energy, and narrative-creation programs for communities, organizations, and foundations. Previously Fox served as President and CEO of the Climate Reality Project and the Climate Action Fund, international campaigns to train citizen leaders to demand action on climate change. Fox represented the United States on a UN High Level Panel on the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) in 2013-2104. Prior to Climate Reality, Fox was the national President of America Votes as well as Deputy Executive Director of the Sierra Club.
Lance Gould is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Brooklyn Story Lab (BSL), a media-strategy firm that teaches purpose-driven organizations how to be more effective storytellers, particularly around their SDG-related work. He was previously a journalist who held newsroom-leadership positions at The Huffington Post (Executive Editor), The Boston Phoenix (Editor in Chief), The New York Daily News (Deputy Managing Editor), and Spy magazine (Editor). In 2016, Gould received a Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Award for his editorial work related to the SDGs. In 2017, Gould was named to the Leadership Council for the UN’s Media for Social Impact Summit.
Jaweed Kaleem is a national correspondent at the Los Angeles Times, where he writes about the people and places that make up the vast U.S. outside California, D.C., and New York. A former religion reporter before joining the Times, he frequently reports on water resources, wildfires, agriculture, and climate change. Before joining The Times, Kaleem covered religion at HuffPost and the Miami Herald. Kaleem’s reporting has been recognized by the Society of Professional Journalists, the Headliner Awards, and the Society for Features Journalism, among other groups.
Pato Kelesitse is the founder of Sustain267 and the host of the Sustain267 podcast. She is an advocate for sustainable African development and gender equity, with a demonstrated history dedicated to their advancement.
Kelesitse is a member of the Global Shaper’s Community: Gaborone Hub, a World Economic Forum youth initiative, and serves as the Climate and Environment Steering Committee Southern Africa Regional Lead. She is a Climate Reality Leader trained in 2018 and is currently pursuing her Masters of Arts in Development Studies at the University of Botswana.
Ao Kong is Senior Programme Advisor to the UN Technology Bank for Least Developed Countries. With more than 15 years of international experience in the United Nations system and private sector leading international development, technology, and public-private partnership programme, she has been a strong advocate for a multi-sectoral approach that also puts women, young people, and local communities at the forefront of driving changes. Kong is a featured speaker on the interconnection of social, development and technology trends at global and fora such as the Milken Global Conference, Harvard Business Review Forum, and World Alliance for Low Carbon Cities. She is also a member of the New York Science Academy program to promote public engagement in science and design. Originally from Shenzhen, China, Kong was awarded as “Pacific Delegate” by the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Relations for her research on societal gender roles in the Asia Pacific region; and “Women’s Advocate and Featured Leader” by Financial Times China for her leadership work in biotech.