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Plenary Session – Island Collaboration and Planning for the Future

September 9 — 3:00 AM - 11:00 AM EDT

September 9, 2020 3:00 AM EDT


Session Details:

Session Duration: 1.5 hours
Organiser: Island Innovation
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Session Description:

This session will feature keynote addresses on the global collaboration between islands and response to challenges that island communities face.

Session Speakers:

Celeste Connors

Executive Director, Hawai’i Green Growth Local2030 Hub

Celeste Connors has twenty years of experience working at the intersection of economic, environment, energy, and international development policy. Before joining Hawai‘i Green Growth, she was CEO and co-founder of cdots development LLC, and served as the Director for Environment and Climate Change at the National Security Council and National Economic Council in the White House where she helped shape the Administration’s climate and energy policies, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Celeste also served as a diplomat in Saudi Arabia, Greece, Germany, and U.S. Mission to the UN. Celeste is a Senior Adjunct Fellow at the East-West Center. Celeste has served on numerous boards including her current service on Hawaiian Electric Industries, the Global Island Partnership (GLISPA), the Institute for Sustainability and Resilience at the University of Hawaii and Icebreaker One. Celeste grew up in Kailua, O‘ahu.

Session: Plenary Session – Island Collaboration and Planning for the Future.

Celeste Connors

Executive Director, Hawai’i Green Growth Local2030 Hub

Ovais Sarmad

Assistant Secretary-General, Deputy Executive Secretary, United Nations Climate Change Secretariat (UNFCCC)

Mr. Ovais Sarmad joined the United Nations Climate Change secretariat (UNFCCC) on 1 September 2017.

Mr. Sarmad advises the Executive Secretary on a range of issues relating to the inter-governmental affairs and strategic planning of the UNFCCC process. He provides oversight to the overall operations of the UNFCCC covering human and financial resources as well as organizational development.

Previously he served as Chief of Staff/Chef de Cabinet at the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Geneva. Mr. Sarmad worked in several management and policy capacities in IOM over a period of 27 years. Prior to IOM, he worked in the private and public sectors in London, where he qualified as a Chartered Management Accountant (ACMA) and Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA). He graduated from Osmania University in Hyderabad, India, as a Bachelor of Commerce.

He is married to a Spanish national and has two boys.

Ovais Sarmad

Assistant Secretary-General, Deputy Executive Secretary, United Nations Climate Change Secretariat (UNFCCC)

Neville Aquilina

Director General, Global Issues, International Development, Economic and Cultural Affairs, Ministry for Foreign and European Affairs, Government of Malta

Mr Neville Aquilina is the Director General, Global Issues, International Development, Economic and Cultural Affairs at the Ministry for Foreign and European Affairs of Malta. Since joining the Ministry in 1999, Mr Aquilina served both Malta and abroad and represented the Ministry at International conferences and events in various capacities. In 2012, he served as Director at the European Affairs Division, and in 2015, he was appointed Director General.

As Director General for International Development, together with his European peers, Mr Aquilina contributes to the formulating of European Union development policy and thematic policies in order to reduce poverty in the world, to ensure sustainable economic, social and environmental development and to promote democracy, the rule of law, good governance and the respect of human rights, notably through external aid. Furthermore, in close partnership with the Commonwealth Secretariat, Mr Aquilina oversees the projects being taken forward at the Commonwealth Small State Centre of Excellence and supports the Deputy Director at the Centre in this regard.h

Since 2015, Mr Aquilina is the Chair of the Sanctions Monitoring Board of the Republic of Malta.

Neville Aquilina

Director General, Global Issues, International Development, Economic and Cultural Affairs, Ministry for Foreign and European Affairs, Government of Malta

Stuart Minchin

Director-General, The Pacific Community

Dr Stuart Minchin is currently the Director-General/CEO of the largest intergovernmental organisation in the Pacific. The Pacific Community (SPC) is a science and technology for development organisation owned by the 26 Member countries and territories in the Pacific region. SPC’s 650 staff deliver services and scientific advice to the Pacific across the domains of Oceans, Islands and People, and has deep expertise in food security, water resources, fisheries, disasters, energy, maritime, health, statistics, education, human rights, social development and natural resources. Stuart was previously Chief of the Environmental Geoscience Division of Geoscience Australia.

He has an extensive background in the management and modelling of environmental data and the online delivery of data, modelling and reporting tools for improved natural resource management. Stuart has represented Australia in key international forums and was Australia’s Principal Delegate to both the UN Global Geospatial Information Management Group of Experts (UNGGIM) and the Intergovernmental Group on Earth Observations (GEO).

He also currently serves on the Editorial Board of the International Journal “Ecological Indicators”.

Stuart Minchin

Director-General, The Pacific Community

Paul Wheelhouse MSP

Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands, The Scottish Government

Born in Belfast, Paul was raised in Edinburgh, attending Stewart’s Melville College. He has an honours degree in Economics from the University of Aberdeen and an MBA from University of Edinburgh. He has lived in Berwickshire since 2000‬.

‪Paul is a professional economist and, since 1992, had specialised in higher and further education markets, policy evaluation and economic appraisal and impact assessment of capital projects.‬

Between May 2011 and September 2012 Paul served on the Scottish Parliament’s Finance Committee, and the Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee. And was the Parliamentary Liaison Officer to the Cabinet Secretary for Parliamentary Business and Government Strategy of the Scottish Government. Previously, between May 2011 and Feb 2012, Paul served as Parliamentary Liaison Officer for the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Environment and the Minister for Climate Change.‬

Prior to taking his Ministerial position Paul was a member of cross-party groups on Epilepsy, Rural Policy, Armed forces Veterans, Funerals and Bereavement, Boating and Marine Tourism and deputy convener of Sport. Paul Wheelhouse was appointed Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands in June 2018.

Paul Wheelhouse MSP

Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands, The Scottish Government

Details

Date:
September 9
Time:
3:00 AM - 11:00 AM EDT
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