November 18th to the 21st will see ACT playing host to 4 international experts in the field of climate change for meetings, a public dialogue, and classroom visits at Simon Fraser University.

The visiting experts includ:

Their expertise includes meteorology, natural resource management, engineering, international policy and economic geography. To learn more about these distinguished guests, please see their biographies below, and please keep checking back for information about the upcoming public dialogue.

Speaker Biographies:

Dr. Wendy Craik, Chief Executive, Murray-Darling Basin Commission (Australia)
Dr Wendy Craik took up her position as Chief Executive of the Murray-Darling Basin Commission (MDBC) on 26 August 2004.

Prior to this Wendy was President of the National Competition Council, Chair of the Australian Fisheries Management Authority and Chair of the National Rural Advisory Council. Other former positions include Chief Executive Officer of Earth Sanctuaries Ltd, a publicly listed company specializing in conservation and eco tourism, Executive Director of the National Farmers Federation, Australia’s peak farm lobby group, and Executive Officer of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, responsible for the conservation and management of the Great Barrier Reef. She has also worked as a consultant for AcilTasman Consulting.

Wendy is a member of the Board of the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal, and of the Minter Ellison National Government Advisory Board. She has been a member of a variety of other Boards and advisory councils.

Wendy has extensive experience in organizational and natural resource management. She completed a Bachelor of Science (Honours) from the Australian National University, a PhD in Zoology at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, and has a Graduate Diploma of Management from the then Capricornia Institute of Advanced Education.

Wendy was awarded Executive Woman of the Year for the Rural Sector in 1998, and Telstra Ansett Australia Private Sector Business Woman of the Year for the ACT in 1999. She was awarded a Federation medal in 2003.

Dr. Allan Lavell, Coordinator, FLACSO (Costa Rica)
Professor Allan Lavell, a British citizen and resident of Costa Rica, is Coordinator to FLACSO for the Program Social Studies, Risks and Disasters (LA RED), and Central America and Caribbean Coordinator for the Latin American Network for Social Studies and Disasters.

A PhD in Economic Geography from the London School of Economics and Political Sciences, Professor Lavell is a Principal Researcher and Coordinator of ENSO and Risk Patterns in Latin America (IAI-LA RED) involving 8 countries.

Professor Lavell is a former Coordinator for Latin America and the Caribbean of the Program of Social Studies in Disasters at the General Secretariat of FLACSO in Costa Rica (1992-2005); Director Central-American Research Program, CSUCA in San Jose, Costa Rica (1986-1991); Associated Professor at the Demographic and Urban Studies Center, Colégio de Mexico in México and Associated professor and researcher at the Environmental Studies Center (CEMA) of the Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana, Atzcapotzalco, México

Author of 92 academic publications Professor Lavell’s main works are on risks and natural disasters.

Dr. Anand Patwardhan, Professor, Shailesh J Mehta School of Management at IIT-Bombay (India)
Professor Anand Patwardhan has recently returned to the Shailesh J Mehta School of Management at the IIT-Bombay after serving as the Executive Director at the Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC), an autonomous organization in the Department of Science & Technology of India. He also holds an adjunct faculty position at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA.

Professor Patwardhan has a B.Tech in Electrical Engineering from IIT-Bombay (1987), a MS in Civil Engineering (Environmental Science) (1991) from Carnegie Mellon University and a PhD in Engineering and Public Policy (1993), also from Carnegie Mellon University. He was a Marine Policy and Ocean Management Fellow at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution from 1994-1995. His research interests are in the broad areas of technology policy; and his work has been in two broad domains: environment & climate change and information & communication technology.

Professor Patwardhan has been actively involved with international scientific assessments in the climate change area, as a lead author for the third and fourth assessment reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. He is a member of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP) of the Global Environment Facility (GEF). He has worked extensively with industry and government, as a consultant, and as a mentor and advisor for a number of new economy ventures.

Dr. Hassan Virji, Director, International START Secretariat, Washington (Tanzania)
Hassan Virji has served as the Executive Secretary of the U.S. Interagency Subcommittee on Global Change Research while based at the U.S. National Science Foundation; as the Deputy Executive Director of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme based at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm; and as the Associate Program Director for the Climate Dynamics Program of the U.S. National Science Foundation. He has also held academic and research positions at the University of Nairobi and the University of Wisconsin. Hassan obtained his Ph.D. in meteorology from the University of Wisconsin.