Leadership

Steering Committee

The Steering Committee sets the vision and strategic direction for the Alliance.

Jørgen Abildgaard tile-image

Jørgen Abildgaard

Executive Climate Project Director, City of Copenhagen

 

Since 2010 Jørgen has worked as Project Director for the 2025 Carbon Neutral strategy and plan for the City of Copenhagen. Jørgen is an experienced project manager and strategic adviser. He has worked on several projects in Denmark, Nordic Countries and internationally for companies, organizations and governmental administration. Jørgen has worked with a wide range of energy and climate change tasks, development and implementation of strategies and plans, strategic energy planning, green growth, sustainability, energy efficiency and retrofitting of buildings, research and development and new financial models. From 2002 to 2010 Jørgen was director in the Nordic consultancy companies ECON and Poyry Management Consulting Denmark. Before that, Jørgen worked 2 year as special adviser for the former Danish Minister for Environment and Energy, Mr. Svend Auken and before that as adviser in several positions in the Danish Ministry for Energy. Jørgen have an extensive national and international network in cities, companies, universities and organizations. Jørgen holds a master in Urban Planning from The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts Schools of Architecture and a B.sc. Commerce in Organization and Management from Copenhagen Business School. LinkedIn.

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Susan Anderson

Director of Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability

Susan Anderson is the director of Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. She is responsible for long range planning, zoning, urban design, and a host of programs and policies focused on energy efficiency, solar and other renewable energy sources, green building, waste reduction and recycling, urban agriculture, ecodistricts and promoting healthy, walkable neighborhoods. Recent efforts include 1) a once in a generation – new comprehensive land use plan, 2) a new Climate Action Plan, and 3) a new vision and strategy for development of the Central City. Susan has presented at dozens of venues nationally and internationally on sustainable urban development. She has held director-level positions in the public and private sector, and holds degrees in Economics and Environmental Science, and a Masters of Urban and Regional Planning. She was honored as a Distinguished Alumnus at both the University of Oregon and the University of California-Santa Barbara. In the past, she owned a wholesale tree nursery, and she has three charming, smart, well-behaved children.

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Vicky Barmby

Acting Team Leader of the Low Carbon Future Team at City of Melbourne

Vicki is acting Team Leader of the Low Carbon Future Team at City of Melbourne. She is a sustainability professional with over 17 years of experience in delivering sustainability strategies and policies with a particular focus on climate change adaptation, mitigation and integrated water management. The Low Carbon Future Team are working on a number of projects including a refresh of our Zero Net Emissions Strategy, increasing the uptake of renewable energy for the municipality, working with residential and commercial building owners to reduce emissions and looking for opportunities to reduce emissions in our own operations.

Prior to her role in the Low Carbon Future Team, Vicki led City of Melbourne’s climate change adaptation response including a complete refresh of the Climate Change Adaptation Strategy. Vicki drew on the experience of experts in climate change adaptation and other cities such as Rotterdam, New York, Copenhagen, Washington, Toronto, Amsterdam, Singapore to name a few to ensure that our work is regarded as best practice. Vicki is an active member of C40 Adaptation Networks.

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Jessica Finn Coven

Director of Seattle’s Office of Sustainability & Environment

Jessica Finn Coven serves as the Director of Seattle’s Office of Sustainability & Environment. The Office collaborates with a wide range of stakeholders to develop innovative environmental solutions that foster equitable, vibrant communities and shared prosperity.

Jessica previously served as the Washington State Director of Climate Solutions where her work focused on developing legislative and policy strategies to reduce global warming pollution and grow an equitable clean-energy economy in Washington State. Jessica first joined Climate Solutions in 2007 as a policy specialist and worked to further clean energy policy in Washington through the state’s Energy Independence Act, Climate Action and Green Jobs law and others.

Jessica also worked as the program director for the U.S. Climate Action Network. From 2002- 2005, she was a global warming campaigner for Greenpeace in Washington DC. She also spent several months working in Beijing as a policy advisor for Greenpeace China.

Jessica received her MA in economics and energy policy from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and her BA in Mandarin from Barnard College, Columbia University. She lives in Seattle with her husband and two young children

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Brett KenCairn

City of Boulder’s Senior Climate and Sustainability Coordinator

Brett serves as the city of Boulder’s senior climate and sustainability coordinator. His primary responsibility is the ongoing evolution of the city’s climate action initiatives. He is also a team member on the city’s renewable energy strategy and action team. He currently manages a number of program areas including the city’s energy resilience project portfolio and the Building Electrification initiative. Prior to working for the city, Brett worked across the western US in community-based sustainable development, working in both rural, Native American and other communities in transition across the western US. He also is the founder or co-founder of four non-profits and two for-profits including the Rogue River Institute for Ecology and Economy, Veterans Green Jobs, and Community Energy Systems.

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Morten Nordskag

City of Oslo’s Special Adviser, International Climate Cooperation

Morten Nordskag is Special Adviser – International Climate Cooperation for the City of Oslo, Department for Environment and Transport. His responsibilities includes managing the the City Administration’s international climate and environment engagement, including representing Oslo and managing participation in CNCA, C40, ICLEI, and Eurocities. As part of the Climate Unit, he is also closely involved in developing climate mitigation and adaptation policies and measures. He has previously held positions with the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment as Policy Director for Multilateral cooperation on REDD+, served as Chief of Staff to the Minister of the Environment, and senior adviser on trade and environment. He was also Environment Counsellor and Deputy Permanent Representative of Norway to UNEP and UN-HABITAT at the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Nairobi, and has been involved in developing government policy on CSR for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He has a background in environmental policy and international relations from the University of Oslo.

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Doug Smith

Director of Sustainability for the City of Vancouver

Doug Smith is the Director of Sustainability for the City of Vancouver and his portfolio includes the Greenest City Action Plan, the Renewable City Strategy, the Green Operations Plan and the Climate Change Adaptation Strategy. Doug represents the City of Vancouver internationally through many networks including the USDN, CNCA, C40, ICLEI and other partners. He has managed many areas in his 26 years at the City of Vancouver including Emergency Management, Structures, Greenways and Equipment Services. This broad municipal experience allows Doug to support Vancouver’s sustainability goals across many of Vancouver priority sectors such as Healthy Cities, Emergency Planning and Resiliency.

Innovation Committee

The Innovation Committee oversees the review and selection of projects funded by the CNCA Innovation Fund.

Jørgen Abildgaard tile-image

Jørgen Abildgaard

Executive Climate Project Director, City of Copenhagen

 

Since 2010 Jørgen has worked as Project Director for the 2025 Carbon Neutral strategy and plan for the City of Copenhagen. Jørgen is an experienced project manager and strategic adviser. He has worked on several projects in Denmark, Nordic Countries and internationally for companies, organizations and governmental administration. Jørgen has worked with a wide range of energy and climate change tasks, development and implementation of strategies and plans, strategic energy planning, green growth, sustainability, energy efficiency and retrofitting of buildings, research and development and new financial models. From 2002 to 2010 Jørgen was director in the Nordic consultancy companies ECON and Poyry Management Consulting Denmark. Before that, Jørgen worked 2 year as special adviser for the former Danish Minister for Environment and Energy, Mr. Svend Auken and before that as adviser in several positions in the Danish Ministry for Energy. Jørgen have an extensive national and international network in cities, companies, universities and organizations. Jørgen holds a master in Urban Planning from The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts Schools of Architecture and a B.sc. Commerce in Organization and Management from Copenhagen Business School. LinkedIn.

Flavia Beatriz Azevedo Carloni tile-image

Flavia Beatriz Azevedo Carloni

Advisor at the Planning Office of Rio de Janeiro Municipality

Advisor at the Planning Office of Rio de Janeiro Municipality, supporting the city in the establishment of institutional partnerships and technical and academic cooperation, national and international, seeking the introduction of new management models, considering sustainability and resilience. For more than 10 years, she has been supporting the city of Rio, first developing studies at the Centro Clima Laboratory, focusing on GHG emission inventories, scenarios and action plans. Then as a consultant for the World Bank, in the design and implementation of the Rio Low Carbon City Development Program, including assistance in projects management and coordination among institutions.

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Matt Horne

Climate Policy Manager, City of Vancouver

Matt Horne is the City of Vancouver’s climate policy manager. He is responsible for delivering on the City’s commitment to have 100% of the energy used in Vancouver come from renewable sources by 2050. He also advises senior management, and mayor and council on climate change policy issues. Prior to joining the City, Matt worked for the Pembina Institute helping to advance climate change policy in B.C. and across Canada. He has a Master of Resource Management degree from Simon Fraser University, and a Bachelor of Industrial Engineering degree from Dalhousie University.

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John Lee

Deputy Director for Buildings and Energy Efficiency at the NYC Mayor’s Office of Sustainability

John Lee is the Deputy Director for Buildings and Energy Efficiency at the NYC Mayor’s Office of Sustainability. In this capacity, he is leading the city’s policy and legislative efforts driving the built environment to unprecedented energy efficiency standards and reduced carbon emissions towards the City’s climate action goals. John’s previous public sector service was with the NYC Department of Buildings and the NYC Department of City Planning. He is a licensed architect with years of experience on major infrastructure projects for transportation networks, university master planning, and urban park systems. John is a graduate of Rice University and Harvard University.

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Nik Midlam

Manager Carbon Strategy, City of Sydney

 

Nik Midlam is Manager of Carbon Strategy having worked with the City of Sydney since 2002. Nik was involved in developing, and now delivering on the City’s ambitious targets for climate change and renewable energy. Emissions today are 19 per cent below 2006 levels (while economic growth and other prosperity indicators continue to grow).

Nik is an advocate for energy sufficiency and energy from the sun, wind or water that keeps on replenishing itself without pollution. He is part of a growing cohort world-wide that is supporting the technological advancements, regulations, innovations and incentives toward zero emissions across all sectors of our economy.

Game Changer Committee

The Game Changer Committee guides the development of CNCA's new Game Changer Project.

Flavia Beatriz Azevedo Carloni tile-image

Flavia Beatriz Azevedo Carloni

Advisor at the Planning Office of Rio de Janeiro Municipality

Advisor at the Planning Office of Rio de Janeiro Municipality, supporting the city in the establishment of institutional partnerships and technical and academic cooperation, national and international, seeking the introduction of new management models, considering sustainability and resilience. For more than 10 years, she has been supporting the city of Rio, first developing studies at the Centro Clima Laboratory, focusing on GHG emission inventories, scenarios and action plans. Then as a consultant for the World Bank, in the design and implementation of the Rio Low Carbon City Development Program, including assistance in projects management and coordination among institutions.

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Chris Derksema

Sustainability Director, City of Sydney Council, Australia

Chris played an integral role in the development of Sustainable Sydney 2030, a vision for Sydney’s future, and is now responsible for developing and implementing strategy and actions to achieve ambitious environmental and climate change goals. Chris is a strong believer in the ability to create broad community value through environmental action and that cities as the home to the majority of people in the world, are critical to achieving global climate goals. Under Chris’s direction, City of Sydney was Australia’s first carbon neutral government organization. Prior to working at the City, Chris was the founding Technical Manager at the Green Building Council of Australia. Chris has an Environment Engineering Degree, and Executive MBA and is a recipient of the Vincent Fairfax Leadership and Ethics Award.

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Björn Hugosson

Head of the Climate Unit at the City of Stockholm Executive Office

Björn Hugosson works since 2016 as Head of the Climate Unit at the City of Stockholm Executive Office. His main responsibility is the management of all climate related action within the municipal administrations and companies. This includes mitigation of greenhouse gases as well as adaption to a changing climate. Before that, Björn Hugosson has had positions as consultant and group manager at WSP Sweden as well as international project manager at the City of Stockholm Environment Administration. He has a Master of Science degree in Engineering from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. Björn Hugosson often acts as speaker, moderator, writer and thought-leader in the field of sustainable development, with special focus on cities, transport and climate action.

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Debbie Raphael

Director of the San Francisco Department of the Environment

Debbie Raphael is the Director of the San Francisco Department of the Environment and believes that cities can take bold action to address environmental harm. A scientist by training and public servant by profession, Debbie has spent more than twenty years working in government to ensure that everyone has an equal right to a safe and healthy environment.  As Director of the San Francisco Department of the Environment, Debbie sees herself as both a leader and a collaborator around environmental issues. She works in close partnership with other City agencies and community stakeholders to implement San Francisco’s ambitious greenhouse gas reduction goals while advancing policies and programs that are inclusive of diverse communities and build on the city’s innovative and pioneering spirit. Debbie holds a Bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of California, Berkeley and a Master’s Degree in Physiological Plant Ecology from UCLA.

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Simon Wyke

Principal Policy and Programme Officer, Greater London Authority, City of London

Simon has been working in the environmental field since 1997 and has considerable experience of working across a range of environmental issues and sectors. He moved to the Greater London Authority in 2010 where he is now. He is currently a Principal Policy and Programme Officer at the Greater London Authority working on Energy and Climate Change Mitigation from a policy, strategic and programme development perspective. His main areas of work are currently in decentralised energy and district heating and he leads on the EU CELSIUS project but he continues to be involved in work around energy efficiency, spatial planning and the low carbon, resource efficient economy. Previously, he worked for the London Development Agency on Climate Change Mitigation, the Government Office for London where he lead on the integration of sustainable development into economic development programmes in support of London’s transition to a low carbon economy, and before that for the Environment Agency on environmental protection and regeneration. Simon has an MSc in Aquatic Resource Management from Kings College, London, and a BSc in Marine and Freshwater Biology from Queen Mary, University of London.

Staff

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Johanna Partin

Director

Prior to joining USDN in January 2015, Johanna served as North America Regional Director for the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group. Prior to that, Johanna served as Senior Policy Advisor on Environment to San Francisco Mayors Gavin Newsom and Ed Lee, where she developed and implemented policy on sustainable energy, climate, transportation, green building, and other programs. She also served on the Board of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District and is a Faculty Member for the Climate Leadership Academy. She has a Master’s degree in Energy & Environmental Policy from the University of Delaware and a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies and Anthropology from UC Santa Barbara.

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Trude Rauken

Strategic Initiatives Director

Trude Rauken in the director of the strategic initiative for the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance where she leads the implementation of key Alliance strategies and programs. Prior to joining the CNCA, Trude worked as a senior policy advisor on climate to the City of Oslo, and prior to that she was a senior researcher at CICERO – Center for Climate Research. Trude brings expert knowledge on the role of local government in solving climate issues and the opportunities coming from network collaboration across local government. She holds a Master’s degree in Political Economy from BI Norwegian School of Management and a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Communication from University of Oregon.

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Michael Shank

Communications Director

Michael Shank is the communications director for the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance and the Urban Sustainability Directors Network. In this role, Michael supports alliance and network members’ efforts to communicate ambitious climate action to the public, the press and other policymakers. As a climate communicator, Michael’s past clients include the United Nations and its member states, the U.S. Congress and Administration, and the Vatican, as well as leaders in the subnational space, such as the B Team, We Mean Business, Under 2 MOU and The Climate Group. Michael’s Ph.D. is in climate conflict; he teaches sustainable development and climate security graduate classes at NYU’s Center for Global Affairs.

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Peyton Siler Jones

Communications and Member Services Assistant

Peyton Siler Jones joined USDN and CNCA in November 2016. Prior work experience includes serving as Political Associate for Cultivating Resilience and as Program Associate for the Intentional Endowments Network. She received her B.A. in Environmental Policy from Green Mountain College in 2015 and currently lives in Portland, Maine.