OUR WOMEN LEADERS & AMBASSADORS
Ms Esther AN
Chief Sustainability Officer, City Developments Limited
A pioneer CSR practitioner for over 20 years, Esther is instrumental in building up CDL’s sustainability leadership.
CDL is the first and only Singapore company listed on the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World for 8 consecutive years and is currently ranked top real estate company. It is also the first to be included in leading global sustainability benchmarks such as the FTSE4Good Index Series since 2002, MSCI ESG Research (AAA rating) since 2009 and Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes since 2011. Furthering its position as a sustainability leader, CDL successfully issued a green bond in April 2017, the first in Singapore by a local company.
A committee member of the Global Compact Network Singapore, which is the local network of UN Global Compact for CSR, Esther is a member of the World Green Building Council’s Corporate Advisory Board and the Urban Land Institute Women’s Leadership Initiative Singapore Steering Committee. Her latest appointments include: member of the UNEP Finance Initiative Property Working Group, GRI Corporate Leadership Group for Integrated Reporting and Sustainable Stock Exchanges’ Green Finance Advisory Group.
Dr. Noeleen Heyzer
Under-Secretary-General, United Nations (2007-2015)
Dr Noeleen Heyzer, a social scientist, was an Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and the highest ranking Singaporean in the UN system during her term.
She was the first woman to serve as the Executive Secretary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific since its founding in 1947. Under her leadership (Aug 2007-Jan 2014), the commission focused on regional co-operation for a more resilient Asia-Pacific, founded on shared prosperity, social equity, and sustainable development. She was at the forefront of many innovations including for regional disaster preparedness, inclusive socio-economic policies, sustainable agriculture and urbanization, energy security and regional connectivity. She was also the United Nations.
Secretary General’s Special Adviser for Timor-Leste, working to support peace-building, state-building, and sustainable development in fragile states.
As the previous Executive Director of the UN Development Fund for Women, she was widely recognized for the formulation and implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace, and Security. Dr. Heyzer was a founding member of several international women’s networks and has served on numerous boards and advisory committees of international organizations, including the UNDP Human Development Report, the High-level Commonwealth Commission on Respect and Understanding chaired by Nobel Laureate Prof Amartya Sen, appointed a jury member of US, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s Innovation Award for Women’s and Girl’s Empowerment 2010, and on the Board of Trustees of the National University of Singapore.
She holds a BA (Upper Hons) and a MSc from Singapore University, a PhD from Cambridge University, and has received numerous international awards for leadership.
Ms Terri WILLS
Chief Executive Officer
World Green Building Council
Terri Wills is the CEO of the World Green Building Council. She is responsible for developing and implementing the strategy for the organisation, and working with the Board of Directors, its various Committees, and the staff. Terri reports directly to the Chair of WorldGBC.
Previously, Terri was with the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group where she spearheaded C40’s networks that have had a direct impact on policy in over half of C40 cities. Terri also served as the London City Director for the Clinton Climate Initiative, worked with the Government of Ontario on clean technology and creative industry development, and worked for the BBC as a Head of Strategy.
In March 2017, Terri was named as one of 10 women leading the global push towards climate action, gender equality and social justice for all by Eco-Business.
Ms Christina LEE
Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Global Green Economic Forum
A visionary business professional with experience in media, business strategies and cross cultural management. Christina is deeply passionate about sustainability & business. She founded Global Green Economic Consulting (GGEC) in Singapore in 2012. GGEC successfully spin-off its business conference, Global Green Economic Forum (GGEF), to become a social enterprise since 2015. GGEC provides consulting service to help companies incorporate sustainability into their business with particular focus on stakeholders engagement. GGEC has a vast network in China and its effort in promoting sustainability is well recognized by the business community. Recently, GGEC has become the Belt & Road Initiative Strategic Partner to the Chinese largest privately owned clean-energy CHP provider, BROAD Group.
Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, Christina was appointed as Asia Managing Director of the leading global business media, Bloomberg Businessweek (formerly known as BusinessWeek) where she worked for 12 years. She oversaw the company’s business operations, business development, events and local language editions in Asia. She played a significant role in the company’s sales and business development where her contribution was highly recognized.
Previously, she also held senior positions at Yahoo! Inc., Star Television (News Corporation) and Avenue Magazine New York.
Actively in supporting media industry and business communities, Christina was the Deputy Chairman of SOPA (The Society of Publishers in Asia) and Chairman of its China Projects Group Sub-Committee. She is currently the advisor of Tsinghua University x-lab, a board of director for Canaan Garden Charity, permanent member of Chiu Chow Chamber of Commerce and the Youth Elite Association in Hong Kong. Christina holds a Masters Degree in Management from Macquarie University (MGSM), Sydney. An avid sports enthusiast, she was honored to be a torch bearer for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Professor Ann Florini
Director, Master of Tri-Sector Collaboration, Singapore Management University
Professor Ann Florini is Professor of Public Policy, School of Social Sciences, Singapore Management University, and Non-resident Senior Fellow in the Foreign Policy Studies Programme at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC.
Prof Florini has spearheaded numerous international projects, including the Global Governance Initiative on behalf of the World Economic Forum (2000-2005) and the International Task Force on Transparency, Initiative for Policy Dialogue, Columbia University (2000-2005). Before joining SMU, she was the founding director of the Centre on Asia and Globalisation at the National University of Singapore (2006-2011).
She is author or editor of four books and has published numerous scholarly and policy articles in journals such as Energy Policy, Foreign Policy, Global Governance, Global Policy, International Security, and International Studies Quarterly.
Prof Florini received her Ph.D. in Political Science from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and a Master’s in Public Affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.
Managing Editor, Eco-Business
Jessica is the Managing Editor of Eco-Business, an award-winning journalist, TV presenter, director, producer and a social entrepreneur.
She has more than a decade of experience in journalism with a particular expertise in sustainable development, and is also a columnist for The Straits Times where she was formerly the political and environment correspondent. She is an adjunct research associate for the Centre for Liveable Cities, a Singapore think tank focused on creating and sharing knowledge on liveable and sustainable cities.
She studied at the University of Warwick and University of London’s Goldsmiths College, and has written for London-based publications such as The Independent, The Times and The Ecologist.
She is the winner of many journalism awards, including the Earth Journalism Awards at the UN climate change meeting in Copenhagen in 2009, Young Journalist of the Year by Singapore Press Holdings in 2010, and the Asean Green Technology Journalism Award in 2011. She also has a merit award for the environmental leadership category from the Ten Outstanding Young Persons awards by JCI Singapore.
She founded Eco-Business in 2009 with a vision to provide a platform for the region to discuss and advance sustainability issues. Under her leadership, Eco-Business beat other media giants to clinch the Lee Foundation Excellence in Environmental Reporting by a Media Organisation Merit Award at the Asian Environmental Journalism Awards (AEJA) 2013. In 2015, Jessica was given the AEJA’s Sustained Environmental Reporting by a Journalist Award for her efforts in contributing to environmental journalism over the last decade.
Jessica’s passion is in advocating sustainable development and gender equality. She is frequently invited to speak at events and moderate discussions across the globe on her areas of expertise.
Executive Director, Singapore Green Building Council
Yvonne is a passionate advocate on the use of recycled materials and adoption of sustainable construction practices, an interest she developed during the 10 years spent at the Building and Construction Authority (BCA). She spearheaded BCA’s sustainable construction initiative as Director of the Centre for Sustainable Buildings and Construction, where she successfully collaborated with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) on sustainable resource management in the building sector.
From her various portfolios, ranging from policy, regulatory, industry development, to research & development in BCA, Yvonne fully understands the fine balance between public and private partnerships. She played a key role in initiating a number of innovative building projects particularly in the use of alternative materials and minimization of carbon emissions.
Yvonne is a Professional Engineer and graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) from NTU in 1993 and obtained her Master of Science (Civil Engineering) degree from NUS in 1998. She gained her industry experience as a civil engineer at P&T Consultants, an international multi-disciplinary building and construction consultancy firm, before joining BCA. Prior to joining SGBC, Yvonne was instrumental in setting up the secretariat office and obtaining government funding and support for the Waste Management and Recycling Association of Singapore (WMRAS).
She actively contributes her knowledge and expertise through her appointments in a number of SPRING Singapore Standards Committees as well as the Singapore Accreditation Council.
Susan van Boxtel
Advisor for Innovation, Technology & Science, Holland Innovation Network | Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Singapore and in Malaysia
Susan van Boxtel is Advisor for Innovation, Technology & Science at the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. She heads the regional team of the Holland Innovation Network, reporting to the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) and the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs.
The Holland Innovation Network informs, inspires and connects governmental agencies, companies and universities from the Netherlands to partners for innovation in Singapore and in Malaysia.
Circular Economy is an important topic for (potential) collaborations between The Netherlands and Singapore. There are three reasons why citizens, companies and government need to switch to a circular economy: the increasing demand for (raw) materials, dependence on other countries, and the impact on the earth’s climate (CO2 emissions). To become fully circular in 2050, the Netherlands will need to utilise materials, products, and services in more efficient and smarter ways. To create a circular economy in the Netherlands, changes are needed in Europe and worldwide. This is because raw material supply chains and waste flows are global. And not all discarded products or materials end up in the Netherlands or even in Europe. Also, many businesses operate internationally. Moving towards a circular economy requires international research programmes and already offers opportunities for businesses. This knowledge and expertise will enable us to realise our national and international ambitions.
Prior to joining the Holland Innovation Network, Susan was a preclinical and translational researcher in pharmaceutical industry in The Netherlands and Singapore. She holds a Master degree Biology from the Radboud University in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. Susan loves to ride her Royal Enfield motorcycle, and still discovers hidden gems after more than 8 years in Singapore.
Yeo Lian Sim
Special Advisor, Diversity, Singapore Exchange
Lian Sim is Special Adviser at the Singapore Exchange (SGX) after 10 years as head of regulation and risk management. As regulator, she had charge of listed companies, member brokers and trading surveillance for a fair, orderly and transparent market. Risk management responsibilities covered financial risk of clearing and settlement and oversight of enterprise risk.
Before joining the SGX, Lian Sim was for many years at the Monetary Authority of Singapore in various roles including managing foreign reserves, responsibility for exchange rate and monetary policy and regulating the capital market. She was also seconded to Temasek Holdings (Private) Limited.
Lian Sim is a director of Shared Services for Charities Limited and has also served on the boards of various charitable organisations. She graduated with Honours from the University of Singapore and holds a Master degree from the London Business School, London University. Lian Sim was awarded the Public Administration Medal (Gold) at the Singapore National Day Honours 1994.
Executive Director, CSR Asia
Mabel is an Executive Director of CSR Asia. CSR Asia – an ELEVATE company, is a mission-driven business creating value for clients and partners in Asia-Pacific by supporting responsible, inclusive and sustainable business. In her last nine years with CSR Asia, Mabel has engaged with and advised various multinational and local companies on sustainability strategy and reporting, stakeholder engagement, social impact assessment and measurement, corporate community investment and sustainable supply chains. She is also an experienced trainer and facilitator, and contributes to research that aims to build capacity on sustainable business practices in the region.
Based in Sydney, Mabel leads on CSR Asia’s initiatives in Australia, supporting Australian companies with their sustainability practices in Asia. She is also responsible for CSR Asia’s Strategic Partnership programme and Community Investment Round Table (CIRT), both are member-based regional networks of sustainability professionals and NGO partners. CSR Asia’s Strategic Partner Programme connects leading companies across the region who share best practices and challenges in sustainability. The CIRT supports member companies to play a key role in creating positive change for communities and plays an active role to share best practices in corporate community investment.
Prior to her current sustainability experience, Mabel spent over eight years in the international development sector with a focus on child protection and child rights. In her last NGO position, she held an Asia-Pacific role providing technical assistance to countries starting up national child protection helplines, her regional responsibilities covered South East Asia, South Asia, Central Asia and the Pacific. This role entailed a multi-stakeholder approach, involving dialogue and negotiations with senior government representatives, INGOs, corporates and UN Bodies.
Mabel holds a BA (Political Science and Psychology) and a Masters in Public Administration (Policy, Public and Non-Profit Program) from the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, New York University.
Ms Rita SOH
Managing Director, RDC Architects Pte Ltd
Rita Soh graduated with honours from the National University of Singapore in 1987. In 2011, she obtained her Master of Science (Sustainable Building Design) from University of Nottingham (UK). This is to reinforce her strong belief in the need to have all buildings designed sustainably, with good environmental comforts for its occupants as well as to use mother earth’s natural resources responsibly.
Rita has been involved in many feasibility studies, design and project management of healthcare, hospitality, residential, commercial, industrial, institutional and infra-structure projects, both local and overseas. She is a Board member at Sentosa Development Corporation and a member of Appeals Board (Land Acquisition), BCA Productivity Gateway Advisory Panel as well as the HomeTeamNS Infrastructure Development Advisory Panel.
Regionally, she is Convenor for Architects Regional Council Asia (ARCASIA) Fellowship and was a Founding Chairman of Arcasia Committee on Professional Practice (2004-2008) as well as Chairman of Committee on Social Responsibilty (2015-2017). Rita served as President, Board of Architects Singapore for 6 years (2010-2015) and a Nominated Member of Parliament (12th Session)(2014-2015). She was also President of the Singapore Institute of Architects from 2004-2007 and was instrumental in establishing a Blueprint for the architectural profession in its pursuit of Architectural Excellence as well as a Pro-Enterprise approach in architecture.