Our Leadership

Steering Committee

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

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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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Gavin Slater

Head of Sustainability, Glasgow City Council

Gavin Slater worked in a variety of environmental consultancies until 2009, when he joined Glasgow City Council. In March 2020 Gavin was appointed as the Head of Sustainability at the Glasgow City Council. In his previous role, Gavin served as the City Energy & Carbon Manager for seven years, where he was responsible for delivering the councils carbon management strategy and developing a business case for an Energy Services Company for Glasgow whilst ensuring Glasgow City Council met its Sustainable Glasgow carbon reduction targets. In his role as Project Lead for the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) Future Cities project, Gavin was responsible for ensuring the delivery of the Energy Efficiency demonstrator projects that form part of the TSB Future Cities initiative: a public-private partnership that combined expertise and technology to enhance daily life in the City of Glasgow. In addition, Gavin is the Chief Responsible Officer for the Glasgow component of the EU Horizon 2020 RUGGEDISED project, a Smart Cities and Communities project design to showcase innovation in sustainable living in cities. Gavin holds a BSc (Hons) in Environmental Science & Environmental Management from Strathclyde University in Glasgow.

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Karine Hertzberg

Special Adviser for International Climate Cooperation, City of Oslo

Karine Hertzberg is special adviser for international climate cooperation for the city of Oslo. She came to this position in 2020 from the Norwegian ministry for climate and environment, where she had worked on climate change issues for 12 years. Karine was a member of the Norwegian delegation to the international climate negotiations, leading negotiations on mitigation and transparency and deputy head of delegation in 2010-2013. She also worked on Norway’s domestic climate policies and prepared Norway’s targets under the Paris Agreement. During 2016-2019, she was counselor for climate and environment at Norway’s embassy to the US. Before joining the ministry, Karine had positions as special adviser at the Norwegian Research Council, and at the Norwegian Environment Agency working on climate mitigation analyses and long range transboundary air pollution agreements. Her early career was in research at the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research. Karine has a PhD in ecology.

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Jaimes Valdez

Portland Clean Energy Works, City of Portland, Oregon

Jaimes Valdez works for the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, leading the launch of the groundbreaking Portland Clean Energy Community Benefits Fund. Before this position, Jaimes worked for Spark Northwest, where he covered regulatory, market and legislative policy issues and worked to create communities powered by affordable, locally-controlled clean energy.

He has more than 15 years of experience in energy issues, including in project development, energy planning, utility marketing and public advocacy towards an equitable, clean energy economy. In 2012, he spent a year as a Robert Bosh Fellow in Germany researching cooperatively-funded renewable development, community energy planning, and distributed energy integration. He holds a bachelor’s degree in physics and environmental studies from Whitman College.

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Pedro Rolim

Manager of Sustainability and Resilience, City Hall Executive Office of the City of Rio de Janeiro

An Architect and Urbanist, Pedro has developed numerous urbanization works in Rio de Janeiro, Bahia and Paraíba (Brazil).

At the Municipal Secretariat of Urbanism (2008-2018), he worked on the review of the City Master Plan, the Rio 2016 Urban and Environmental Legacy Plan and was Head of Social Interest Programs, working with social and urbanistic orientations in favelas and informal communities. He also acted as Coordinator of Qualiverde Qualification, a city hall program to encourage sustainable construction in the municipality, and managed the elaboration of the Sustainable Building Code.

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Chris Derksema

Sustainability Director, City of Sydney, 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 environmental and climate change goals within Sydney. 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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Doug Smith

Director of Sustainability, 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.

Game Changer Fund Committees

In 2021, CNCA launched the Game Changer Fund, which aims to fund the development, adoption and implementation of game-changing climate policies in cities and Indigenous People’s governments around the world.

There are five Game Changer categories, each with their own committee composed of CNCA members. Committee members identify funding priorities and make funding decisions.

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Carbon Neutral Districts

  • Helsinki
  • London
  • Rio de Janeiro
  • Helsinki (Laura Walin)
  • London (Simon Wyke, James Hardy, Jazmin Burgess)
  • Rio de Janeiro (Aline Xavier and Pedro Rolim)


More details on the Game Changer Fund are available here.

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Decarbonizing Buildings & Renewable Energy

  • Amsterdam
  • Boulder
  • Hamburg
  • Helsinki
  • Melbourne
  • New York City
  • Sydney
  • Amsterdam (Juliane Kürshner)
  • Boulder (Jonathan Koehn)
  • Hamburg (Anselm Sprandel and Ramazan Kokmaz)
  • Helsinki (Petteri Huuska)
  • Melbourne (John Griffiths)
  • New York City (Ross MacWhinney)
  • Sydney (Nik Midlam)


More details on the Game Changer Fund are available here.

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Transformative Governance

  • Glasgow
  • Minneapolis
  • Oslo
  • Sydney
  • Washington, DC
  • Glasgow (Gavin Slater and Duncan Booker)
  • Minneapolis (Kim Havey and Luke Hollenkamp)
  • Oslo (Astrid Ståledotter Landstad)
  • Sydney (Chris Derksema)
  • Washington, DC (Maribeth DeLorenzo)


More details on the Game Changer Fund are available here.

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Decarbonizing Transport

  • Adelaide
  • Copenhagen
  • London
  • New York City
  • Oslo
  • Portland
  • Seattle
  • Stockholm
  • Toronto
  • Washington, DC
  • Adelaide (Lara Daddow)
  • Copenhagen (Jørgen Abildgaard)
  • London (Claire Jamieson)
  • New York City (Jen Roberton)
  • Oslo (Audun Garberg, Karine Hertzberg)
  • Portland (Art Pearce)
  • Seattle (Andrea Pratt)
  • Stockholm (Björn Hugosson)
  • Toronto (Linda Swanston)
  • Washington, DC (Kate Johnson)


More details on the Game Changer Fund are available here.

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Regenerative Systems & Economies

  • Boulder
  • Copenhagen
  • Glasgow
  • Melbourne
  • Portland
  • San Francisco
  • Stockholm
  • Vancouver
  • Boulder (Bret KenCairn)
  • Copenhagen (Jørgen Abildgaard, Bo Gottlieb, Kathrine Warberg)
  • Glasgow (Gavin Slater)
  • Melbourne (Jorja Pindor)
  • Portland (Kyle Diesner)
  • San Francisco (Eden Bruckman)
  • Stockholm (Björn Hugosson)
  • Vancouver (Doug Smith)


More details on the Game Changer Fund are available here.


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Trude Rauken

Interim Director

Prior to joining CNCA in 2018, 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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Tracy Morgenstern

Climate Justice Program Manager

Tracy Morgenstern is the Climate Justice Program Manager for the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance where she leads efforts to advance the vision and goals established in the CNCA Climate Justice Statement through the Alliance’s programming. Tracy also serves as the Equitable Mobility Program Director for the Urban Sustainability Directors Network. Prior to joining CNCA, she worked for the City of Seattle Office of Sustainability & Environment for twenty years, most recently as the Climate Protection Program Manager where she worked increasingly at the nexus of climate mitigation, adaptation, and equity. She has a Bachelor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies.

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Michael Battista

Member Services Program Manager

Michael Battista is the Member Services Program Manager for the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance where he provides support for communications, media, events, operations, and research. In his previous role as Project Coordinator in the School of Graduate Studies at the Fashion Institute of Technology, he supported the programs of Global Fashion Management and Sustainable Interior Environments, producing media, and managing student and alumni relations, special events, and international seminars. Prior to joining FIT, he was the Executive Assistant and Engagement Manager for All Out, a digital campaign advocacy organization for LGBT equality operating in rapid response to the news cycle, and served in roles for the Offices of Protocol and Climate Protection Initiatives of San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. He holds an AA in Communications and Media Arts from the State University of New York at Rockland, and a BA in Liberal Studies from San Francisco State University.

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Irene García

Embodied Carbon Project Manager

Irene García is the CNCA Project Manager for the “Dramatically Reducing Embodied Carbon in Europe” project. Prior to joining CNCA, Irene led the Sustainable and Livable Cities program at German Marshall Fund (GMF) Cities. While at GMF she also served on the Advisory Board of REN21 for their Renewables in Cities Global Status Report. Prior to joining GMF, Irene worked as policy officer at the World Future Council in Hamburg, where she advised policymakers on the transition to 100% renewable energy. Before that Irene was at ESADEgeo Barcelona and served as research analyst and speechwriter to Former EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, Javier Solana, and as a research analyst working on research projects for The Brookings Institute and the Barcelona Metropolitan Region. Irene holds a MS in Urban Affairs from the Paris Institute of Political Studies and a MA in International Relations from the Barcelona Institute of International Studies. She speaks Spanish, English and French. Irene is based in Berlin.