Communications Committee

Alexander Müller

Alexander Müller

Chair / Study Leader / TMG Research
Alexander Müller
TEEBAgriFood Study Leader and Steering Committee chair

Alexander Müller (Germany) is the study leader of “The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity for Agriculture and Food”.

Alexander Müller received a diploma in sociology at the Philipps-University in Marburg in 1985. He was elected as city councilor in Marburg (1985 -1992) with the responsibility for social and environmental affairs and was chair of the board of the municipal utilities (electricity, natural gas, water and public transport). In this function he was member of the board of a regional water supply utility and an association of regional electricity suppliers.

From 1992 to 1995 he was appointed as state secretary in the Ministry of Youth, Family Affairs and Health in the State of Hessen. From 1995 to 2000 he was member of the Parliament of Hessen and served inter alia as chair of the caucus and member of the budget committee. From 2001 to 2005 he was State Secretary in the Ministry for Consumer Protection, Food and Agriculture in the Federal Republic of Germany.

From 2006 until June 2013 he served as Assistant-Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and was responsible for the Department for Natural Resources and Environment incl. FAO’s work on Land and Water, Climate Change, Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture and the relations to CGIAR. During this time his department was chairing UN Water for three years and UN Energy for two years.

The Secretary-General of the UN nominated him as a member of the Advisory Group on Energy and Climate Change (AGECC) in June 2009 to advise him on the energy-related dimensions of the climate change negotiations.

From 2008 to 2011 he was chair of the United Nations System Standing Committee on Nutrition (UNSCN) May 2013 until Oct. 2015 he was Senior Fellow in the cluster Global Contract for Sustainability of the IASS working on governance of sustainability, with a focus on soils and its role in the Nexus of Water, Food and Energy, and on the German “Energiewende”. He also served for an interim period as Secretary General of the IASS.

Since 2014 he is appointed as study leader of the UNEP project The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity Agriculture and Food” (TEEBAgriFood).

Kathleen A. Merrigan

Kathleen A. Merrigan

George Washington University
Kathleen A. Merrigan
Executive Director of the Sustainability Institute George Washington University

Kathleen Merrigan (USA), named one of Time Magazine’s “Most Influential People in the World” in 2010, Dr. Merrigan brings to the university a diverse range of experience spanning nearly 30 years.

In 2009, she was nominated to serve as US Department of Agriculture deputy secretary by President Obama and unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate. During her four-year tenure at the USDA, she oversaw the daily operations of agency, leading the USDA’s budget process, establishing the agency’s priorities and monitoring progress, and driving its rulemaking process. Her accomplishments include creating and leading the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Initiative to support local food systems; serving as a key architect of First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” campaign; and representing the United States before the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development.

Before joining the USDA, Dr. Merrigan served for nearly a decade as a faculty member and director of the Agriculture, Food and Environment Program at Tufts University. She has also held positions as a senior analyst for the Henry A. Wallace Institute for Alternative Agriculture and a staff member for the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry, where she wrote the law establishing national standards for organic food.

Dr. Merrigan earned a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a Master of Public Affairs from the University of Texas at Austin, and a B.A. from Williams College.

Pavan Sukhdev

Pavan Sukhdev

GIST Advisory
Pavan Sukhdev
CEO/Founder, GIST Advisory and UNEP Goodwill Ambassador

Pavan Sukhdev is the founder & chair of GIST Advisory, a consulting firm specializing in valuing & managing environmental impacts and dependencies at all levels – national, provincial, business and personal. This firm was set up by Pavan’s NGO, GIST (Green Indian States Trust) to fund its research into major economic externalities arising from natural capital and human capital.

Until recently, Pavan was Special Adviser and Head of UNEP’s Green Economy Initiative, which demonstrates that the greening of economies is not a burden on growth but rather a new engine for growing wealth and decent employment, and for the reduction of persistent poverty.

A career banker, Pavan took a sabbatical from Deutsche Bank from 2008 till 2010 in order to deliver the environmental projects “TEEB” and the “Green Economy Report” for UNEP’s Green Economy Initiative. Pavan was appointed Study Leader of TEEB in early 2008 by the EU Commission and Germany (the first funders of TEEB) whilst still working full time at Deutsche Bank. TEEB, a global study on “The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity” commissioned by the G8+5, released a widely-acclaimed suite of reports at the UN’s Convention on Biological Diversity bi-annual meeting (CBD COP-10) at Nagoya, Japan, in October 2010.

Pavan continues his involvement in TEEB as the Chair of the Advisory Board and was appointed a UN Environment Goodwill Ambassador in 2012.

Dustin (Miller) Wenzel

Dustin (Miller) Wenzel

TEEB for Agriculture & Food
Dustin (Miller) Wenzel
TEEB Sectoral Studies and Events Coordination (Geneva, Switzerland)
Dustin Miller holds a Master of Science in Environment and Development from the Institute of Development Policy & Management at the University of Manchester as well as a Bachelor of Arts (cum laude) in International Development Studies at McGill University. His principal focus has been on identifying and mainstreaming the synergies between biodiversity conservation and socioeconomic development toward sustainable and equitable ecosystem management.

Dustin joined the TEEB team in Geneva in February 2012 and, among various other programme and operational support duties, has been primarily responsible for the project management of activities related to ‘TEEB for Agriculture & Food.

Ruth Richardson

Ruth Richardson

Global Alliance for the Future of Food
Ruth Richardson
Executive Director Global Alliance for the Future of Food

Ruth Richardson (Canada) is the Executive Director of the Global Alliance for the Future of Food, a unique coalition of foundations committed to leveraging their resources to help shift food and agriculture systems towards greater sustainability, security, and equity. At the core of the Global Alliance is a shared belief in the urgency of advancing sustainable global agriculture and food systems, and in the power of working together and with others to effect positive change. In this capacity Ruth serves on the Steering Committee of the TEEB for Food and Agriculture study led by the UNEP, and on the Advisory Committee of the Global Urban Food Policy Pact.

Alongside her role with the Global Alliance, Ruth runs Open Blue – a consulting company that works with a small number of clients who are deeply committed to developing powerful strategies to tackle some of the most pressing global, national, and local problems of our time. Prior to these endeavours, Ruth was the first Environment Program Director at the Metcalf Foundation that has been the cornerstone of innovative environmental policy funding in Ontario. Her tenure at the Metcalf Foundation included acting on the Advisory Committee of the City of Toronto, Board of Health, Toronto Food Strategy to develop an action plan to improve the food system of the Toronto city region.
As well, Ruth was the first Director of the Unilever Canada Foundation, as well as the Manger, Environmental and Corporate Affairs, working within a corporate environment to lead the company in philanthropy and community engagement. She was the founding Chair of the Canadian Environmental Grantmakers’ Network spear-heading the first affinity group of its kind in the country turning an early conversation between a handful of funders into an international network of now over 50 members. And, she sat on the founding advisory committee of the Laidlaw Foundation’s Children and Environmental Health program helping to initiate a key program on toxics reduction in Canada. She is also the Founder and past-Chair of Small Change Fund, a web-based vehicle for micro-philanthropy in Canada.

Danielle Nierenberg

Danielle Nierenberg

Food Tank
Danielle Nierenberg
President, Food Tank

Danielle Nierenberg (USA) is President of Food Tank and an expert on sustainable agriculture and food issues. She has written extensively on gender and population, the spread of factory farming in the developing world and innovations in sustainable agriculture.

Danielle co-founded Food Tank, non-profit organization, in 2013 as an organization focused on building a global community for safe, healthy, nourished eaters. Already, the organization boasts more than twenty major institutional partners and has recruited more than 40 of the world’s top leaders in food and agriculture policies and advocacy work as part of Food Tank’s Advisory Board. The organization hosted the 1st Annual Food Tank Summit in January 2015 in partnership with The George Washington University.

Prior to starting Food Tank, Danielle spent two years traveling to more than 35 countries across sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and Latin America, meeting with farmers and farmers’ groups, scientists and researchers, policymakers and government leaders, students and academics, along with journalists, documenting what’s working to help alleviate hunger and poverty, while protecting the environment.

Her knowledge of global agriculture issues has been cited widely in more than 8,000 major print and broadcast outlets worldwide; she has authored or contributed to dozens of influential reports and books; she has spoken at hundreds of major conferences and events all over the world; and she has built a worldwide social media and web following