We are fortunate to have global thought leaders on-board to drive this mission, cutting across sectors and geographies.
Harish Hande is an engineer and renewable energy entrepreneur with over 25 years of grassroots experience in meeting requirements of underserved communities. He is member of the SEforALL Administrative Board and the co-founder of SELCO India and CEO of SELCO Foundation. Under his leadership SELCO reached 450,000+ households across six Indian states, while focusing on Innovation and Ecosystem building. Harish is a graduate of the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur and holds a MSc and a PhD from the University of Massachusetts Lowell, U.S.
Kandeh K. Yumkella was the CEO of the Sustainable Energy for All Initiative (SEforALL), and is nos Founder and CEO of The Energy Nexus Network (TENN). Yumkella is a former Chairman of UN-Energy and a two-term former Director-General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). He is a distinguished development economist and an expert in international development with over 30 years of international development experience, he brought a renewed and vital focus to global energy issues and led the coordination of the United Nations response to energy issues. As Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All, Dr. Yumkella was the founding Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Vienna-based initiative on Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All). His global leadership was responsible for the planning and implementation of the initiative as well as engaging with the leadership of relevant stakeholders in government, businesses, academia and civil society at the highest level to advocate for and promote sustainable energy for all.
Sikha is mainly involved in the strategic planning, management and coordination of the programs in Ethiopia. She works with Ethiopian local partners on their capacity building, landscape mapping and research on existing scenarios of the renewable energy and ecosystem components, supports in program design, implementation on the ground and capturing learnings. Sikha has been involved with SELCO Foundation for the last 4 + years, within the skills and capacity building component of the renewable energy ecosystem works of the SELCO Foundation. She is graduate with a master degree in Power and Energy systems from National Institute of Technology Karnataka (NITK) and an undergraduate degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from National Institute of Technology Calicut (NITC).
Prashant manages the training and partnerships portfolio under the Global SDG7Hubs program. He is based out of Bangalore, India and has been working in the decentralized renewable energy sector from 2017. He has a Bachelors in Aerospace Engineering and has over 7+ years of experience of working in Indian not-for-profits.
Karthika has a background in BTech in Electrical & Electronics Engineering and also holds a Masters in Power Systems. She has been working with the SELCO Foundation for the past 3 year. Where she has a body of experience with development of technological solutions and innovations, with a specific focus on application of DRE based solutions addressing issues of livelihood. She was anchoring the Agri team within SELCO Foundation, working across rice, millet, spice, tomato, potato value chains. Specifically, her domain of expertise and knowledge is with the application of active cooling solutions across agri, health, and built environments within the organization.
Sebastien is involved in the management and coordination of the programs in West-Africa. Across the region, he works with local partners to enhance SDG7 ecosystems through learning studies and decentralized renewable energy solutions implementations in health and livelihood sectors. As a Junior project manager, Sebastien has been working for the SELCO Foundation for the last two years and has previously work for other non-governmental organizations in the Global South. He has also written and published a Master thesis on the “Challenges of the renewable energy and food nexus in West-Africa”. Furthermore, he has graduated with two Master degrees in "Transnational actions and policies" from Sciences Po Aix, as well as in "International Development and Humanitarian Policy" from Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne University.
Dr. Paul T. Yillia has professional background in applied science and engineering with over 20 years of experience in undertaking analytical work and implementing technical assistance programs within the development context. He has served in various capacities, with assignments in several countries. Currently, he is leading efforts in Sierra Leone on the energy ecosystem to define the strategy for decentralized renewable energy (DRE) interventions for social infrastructure. Dr Yillia has interacted with various stakeholders, including governments at the highest political level, aid agencies, companies, academia, international organisations and MDBs. He has undertaken numerous consultancy assignments with several governments and international organizations, including FAO, UNDP, UN-Environment, UNESCO, UNF, UNIDO, UNOPS, UN-Water, and the World Bank Group. He has participated in the organisation and facilitation of several international events, with over 100 appearances and more than 80 presentations, including keynote speeches and moderation of high-level panels and discussions.
Ekram has an expertise in agribusiness, industry incubation, strategy development, and innovation implementation. With an educational background in Economics, she has been engaged in multiple development and livelihood projects including the Global SDG Hubs initiative of Selco Foundation. Ekram is now leading the Sustainable Agro-industrial Value-network Innovation (SAVI) program in Precise Consult.
Abel is a project manager working as a consultant with educational background in Electromechanical Engineering and Management. Has working experience in managing projects in off-grid Energy, Agriculture, Policy, Green manufacturing, and Capacity building with Government, private sector, and development partners stakeholders. Additionally has experience designing and implementing projects and worked with Global SDG Hubs since October 2020 in managing project activities.
Dr. Pauline Macharia holds a Phd in Environmental Science & Technology, specialized in water-energy nexus and energy efficiency, from the Vienna University of Technology. She has participated in several multinational research and training programmes, and has been involved in reasearch and university teaching for more than 10 years in Kenya, Austria and Sierra Leone.
Damilola Ogunbiyi is CEO of Sustainable Energy for All, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All and Co-Chair of UN-Energy. She is also a Commissioner for the Global Commission to End Energy Poverty. Mrs. Ogunbiyi was formerly the Managing Director of the Nigerian Rural Electrification Agency, where she successfully negotiated the Nigerian Electrification Project—a USD 550 million facility—to rapidly construct solar mini-grids and deploy solar home systems across Nigeria. She also worked as a Senior Special Assistant to the President on Power and Head of the Advisory Power Team in the Office of the Vice President of Nigeria. Before joining the Federal Government of Nigeria, Mrs. Ogunbiyi was the first female to be appointed as the General Manager of the Lagos State Electricity Board.
Richenda joined the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) as Executive Director after serving as Managing Director for Empowering Clean Economies at the Rocky Mountain Institute, and previously as Chair, International Institutions at the Global LPG Partnership where she worked on climate and clean energy solutions in developing economies. She was also a member of the World Bank's Energy Program's (ESMAP) Technical Advisory Group from 2016-2019. From 2010-2016 she was Executive Director of Energy Access at the United Nations Foundation, working on the UN Sustainable Energy for All Initiative, and leading a 2,300 member global off-grid renewable energy practitioner network. She previously served for nearly five years as CEO of Trickle Up, a global microenterprise development organization. Richenda has previously worked in private equity and impact investing in emerging markets as well as in post-conflict settings. She is a board director of SELCO India and Energy 4 Impact, and an Emeritus founding U.S. Women's "Clean Energy Ambassador" within the U.S. DOE Clean Energy, Education and Empowerment (C3E) initiative.
Gauri Singh is the Deputy Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency. Ms. Singh brings more than 30 years of experience in policy, advocacy and project implementation within the field of renewable energy and sustainable development from India and the international system. Prior to joining IRENA, Ms. Singh worked within India’s federal government and at the apex level within the provincial government. Federally, she was responsible for leading the development of the National Solar Mission of India policy in 2010, an early policy framework designed to drive solar power development across the country.
Dr. Minoru Takada spearheads UN DESA’s efforts in reviewing, following up and implementing SDG7 on energy, in support of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Prior to this position, Dr. Takada was the Team Leader for Sustainable Energy for All at the Executive Office of the Secretary-General at UN. Previously, he was Head of the Sustainable Energy Programme at UNDP, and worked in Africa as a community organizer for several years. He holds a PhD in renewable energy applications from the University of Mie in Japan, and a Masters in nuclear engineering from the University of Hokkaido, Japan.