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Chairman

Rt Hon Lord Paul Boateng

Message from the Chairman:

Rt Hon Lord Paul Boateng is a leading figure on Africa and its development and a member of the UK House of Lords, having been raised to peerage in July 2010. Appointed Chief Secretary to the Treasury in May 2002 under Prime Minister Rt Hon Tony Blair, he then took the office of the British High Commissioner to South Africa from March 2005 to May 2009. In March 2012 he was invited to become a Trustee of the Planet Earth Institute and was appointed Chairman in February 2017. He remains a strong voice for Africa and beyond.

CEO and Trustees

Dr Alvaro Sobrinho

Dr Alvaro Sobrinho

Dr Álvaro Sobrinho is a prominent Angolan businessman and philanthropist, and Founder and Trustee of the PEI. Born and raised in Angola, Álvaro has been at the forefront of the rise of one of Africa’s most powerful economies and is now devoted to his mission to empower the continent through investment in science, technology and advanced academic training. Following the completion of the United Nations sponsored International Year of the Planet Earth in 2009, Álvaro was one of the key founding members of the PEI as a means to bring academia, governments and the private sector together to develop innovative, locally-led projects to train a new generation of African scientists.

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Mauricio Fernandes

Mauricio Fernandes

Mauricio Fernandes is the Chief Executive Officer of the Planet Earth Institute. Following his work with the United Nations International Year of the Planet Earth and the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, Mauricio was fundamental in launching the PEI as an independent NGO. Appointed to CEO in 2012, Mauricio now leads all PEI global operations and promotes the Institute’s vision of scientific independence for Africa to international governments and policy-makers.

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Prof Paul Younger

Prof Paul Younger

Prof. Paul Younger is Rankine Chair of Engineering and Professor of Energy Engineering (Systems Power and Energy) at the University of Glasgow and one of the world’s leading hydrogeologists. A former Director of the Newcastle Institute for Research on Sustainability (NIReS), during his time he founded the award-winning Hydro Geochemical Engineering Research & Outreach (HERO) group and the Sir Joseph Swan Institute. Also the Chair of the Planet Earth Institute’s group of advisory scientists, the Global Scientific Committee, Prof. Younger has been at the heart of the Planet Earth Institute since its creation and remains a passionate supporter of pioneering scientific projects across the Global South.

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Sir Christopher Edwards

Sir Christopher Edwards

Sir Christopher Edwards is a highly distinguished academic, knighted in 2008 in recognition of his contribution to science, academia and the medical sector in the United Kingdom, as well as chairman of the PEI's Academic Panel. Sir Christopher was previously Chairman of both the Chelsea & Westminster Hospital NHS Trust and of Medical Education England, and the first Principal of Imperial College School of Medicine from 1995 to 2000. Sir Christopher was also the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, leading a transformation programme that saw it become one of the UK’s finest higher education institutions. Sir Christopher has long had a personal and professional passion for the African continent, and joined the PEI Trustee board in 2012. In 2017, he was made Chairman of the PEI's Academic Panel.

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Prof. Sir Magdi Yacoub

Prof. Sir Magdi Yacoub

Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub is Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London and Founder and Director of Research at the Harefield Heart Science Centre (Magdi Yacoub Institute). Born and raised in Egypt, he established the largest heart and lung transplantation programme in the world where more than 2,500 transplant operations have been performed. Sir Magdi has an active interest in global healthcare delivery, and a strong interest in accelerating scientific and technological advancement in Africa.

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Executives

James Knight

James Knight

James is the PEI's Policy and Communications Director, responsible for the advocacy and campaigning work of the charity on science, technology and innovation. With a background in political campaigns in the UK, US and Africa, James joined the PEI from a leading communications consultancy in 2012.

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Kelly Taylor

Kelly Taylor

Kelly is the PEI's Administration Director, having joined in 2012. With a strong background in corporate and not for profit organisational development in Toronto, Kelly supports the overall management of the charity and the Board.

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Nick Staite

Nick Staite

Nick is the PEI's Operations Director, having joined in early 2011 to help establish the charity's core private sector partners. With a background working with businesses across Africa's frontier markets, Nick co-ordinates the PEI Partners Forum activities and all additional PEI operations, while studying for his MBA at the Open University.

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Telma Almeida

Telma Almeida

Telma is PEI's Marketing & Africa Relations Director, joining from UNESCO's International Year of the Planet Earth initiative where she led co-ordination of private sector partnerships in Africa and was responsible for establishing a network of regional scientific committees across the continent. Telma is now responsible for the institute's overall marketing strategy and for the implementation of the Partners Forum in Africa. Telma graduated with a BA in Communications in Portugal, during which she also completed the Erasmus programme in Italy. She is now undertaking her post-graduation studies through the Oxford College of Marketing, in affiliation with Chartered Institute of Marketing.

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Global Scientific Committee Members

Dr Janusz Brzeszczynski

Dr Janusz Brzeszczynski

Prof. Janusz Brzeszczynski is a Professor of Accounting and Financial Management in the Newcastle Business School (NBS) at Northumbria University in Newcastle upon Tyne. Before joining NBS, Janusz worked at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh and held a number of visiting positions at the universities abroad in the USA, Germany, Switzerland and Poland. He was awarded Fulbright scholarship (Senior Grant) at the Arizona State University in the USA, Humboldt Fellowship for Experienced Researchers at the University of Münster in Germany, ESKAS federal scholarship at the Swiss Institute of Banking of Finance at the University of St.Gallen in Switzerland and DAAD research scholarship at the Kiel University in Germany. Janusz published in such top journals as: “Journal of International Money and Finance”, “Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money”, “European Journal of Finance”, “Applied Financial Economics“, “Journal of Business Ethics”, “Emerging Markets Finance and Trade”, “International Journal of Finance and Economics” and “Journal of Financial Stability”, among others. He acted also as a consultant for Reuters and did research projects for various banks and other financial institutions. His research interests and fields of expertise cover such areas as: finance, financial markets, financial econometrics, sustainable investing, SRI stocks and business ethics.

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Dr Jamie Amezaga

Dr Jamie Amezaga

Dr. Amezaga is a Senior Lecturer in Environmental Policy and Sustainability at Newcastle University. He is a member of the Association of Chemical Engineers IQS and of the International Mine Water Association. Dr. Amezaga previously worked as a consultant for the Environment Agency of England and Wales. He worked closely with UNESCO and the IYPE (International Year of Planet Earth), the predecessor of the PEI.

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Prof Jerry Kuma

Prof Jerry Kuma

Prof. Jerry Kuma is a Professor and Pro Vice Chancellor at the University of Mines and Technology, Tarkwa, Ghana. As an expert in sustainability issues relating to the use of water in the African mining sector. Prof. Kuma provides the PEI with scientific support and guidance relating to a number of the Institute’s key projects on the African continent.

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Professor Mariela Garcia Vargas

Professor Mariela Garcia Vargas

Prof. Garcia Vargas is an Associate Professor of the Universidad del Valle, Cali, Colombia and a member of the Institute for Research and Development in Water Supply, Environmental Sanitation and Water Resource Conservation at the University. She provides crucial expert advice and guidance within the parameters of PEI initiatives on sustainable water management, one of the most important themes within the PEI’s sustainable development agenda, as well as broader initiatives based in Latin America.

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Prof Mukesh Khare

Prof Mukesh Khare

Dr. Mukesh Khare is Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, India, and member of the PEI Global Scientific Committee. Professor Khare received his PhD in Faculty of Engineering (Specialized in Air Quality) from the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne in 1989. He has published to date more than 140 refereed articles in refereed professional journals and conferences/seminars; 4 books ("Modelling Vehicular Exhaust Emissions", WIT Press, UK; "Artificial Neural Networks in Vehicular Pollution Modelling", Springer, USA; "Aluminum Smelting: Environmental, Health and Engineering Perspectives", Ian Randle, Jamaica); 6 contributed chapters in books/handbooks, published by WIT Press, UK and Elsevier, USA. Additionally, he has published about 40 technical reports on research/consultancies conducted for government agencies and private industries. Prof. Khare continues to serve as peer reviewer for several government ministries grants programs and state programs and consultant/advisor to the Government of NCT Delhi and Central Pollution Control Board.

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Professor José Octávio Van-Dúnem

Professor José Octávio Van-Dúnem

Prof. José Octávio Van-Dúnem has a PhD in Human Sciences, specialising in Sociology, from the Research Institute of Rio de Janeiro (IUPERJ/IESP), University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He is the Director for the Centre of Social and Legal studies at the University Agostinho Neto and was the Dean of the Faculty of Law. Prof. Van-Dúnem is currently focused on CESSAF, managing the scientific and governmental relations as well as the guaranteeing the necessary funding for the Centre’s implementation.

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