Dame Amelia Chilcott Fawcett DBE, CVO

Chair

Dame Amelia is Lead Director of State Street Corporation in Boston, Massachusetts. She was a Governor of the Wellcome Trust from 2019 – 2023, a Non-Executive Director and then Chairman of Kinnevik AB in Stockholm from 2011 – 2021 and of the Guardian Media Group plc from 2007 – 2013. She worked for Morgan Stanley for 20 years, joining in London in 1987 and becoming Chief Operating Officer and Vice Chairman of the European, Middle East and Africa operations in 2002. Dame Amelia started her career at the US law firm of Sullivan & Cromwell, first in New York and then in Paris.

Dame Amelia is Co-Chair of the International Advisory Panel for Biodiversity Credits, Chairman of Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and a Trustee of Project HOPE UK. Until recently, she was Chairman of the Standards Board for Alternative Investments, a Non-Executive member of the Board of HM Treasury, Chairman of The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Foundation, Deputy Chairman and a Governor of the London Business School and a Commissioner of the UK-US Fulbright Commission. She also has been a member of the Court of the Bank of England and Deputy Chairman of the National Portrait Gallery. 

Dame Amelia was appointed a Commander of The Royal Victorian Order (CVO) in the Queen’s 2018 Birthday Honours List, an honour solely in the gift of the Queen. She was appointed a Dame Commander of the British Empire (DBE) in the 2010 Queen’s Birthday Honours List and a CBE in 2002, in both cases for services to the financial services industry. She received The Prince of Wales’s Ambassador Award in 2004. 

Dame Amelia, a British and American citizen, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, USA in 1956. She has a degree in History from Wellesley (1978) and a law degree from the University of Virginia (1983).  She was admitted to the New York Bar in 1984.

Dame Amelia is a keen fly fisherman, hiker, sailor and lavender farmer in the foothills of the Brecon Beacons in Wales. 

Professor Hans Joachim Schellnhuber

Hans Joachim (‘John’) Schellnhuber studied physics and mathematics at the University of Regensburg, where he also completed his doctorate in quantum physics. Following a postdoctoral position at the Institute for Theoretical Physics, Santa Barbara, he held full professorships at the Universities of Oldenburg and Potsdam, as well as at the University of East Anglia in Norwich. Additionally, he was engaged in numerous visiting professorships, including positions at the University of California, Santa Cruz, Oxford University, Stockholm University, and the Santa Fe Institute. Schellnhuber received honorary doctorates from the University of Copenhagen (2011), the Technical University Berlin (2012), and the University of Exeter (2022). He has published some 300 scientific articles and books in fundamental physics, complex systems analysis, climate change research, sustainability science, and more. Schellnhuber is listed as a Highly Cited Researcher (Cross Field) by Clarivate.

As the founding director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), Schellnhuber led the institute from 1992 to 2018. He also served as research director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research in Great Britain from 2001 to 2005. Since December 2023, Schellnhuber has been appointed as the Director General of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Laxenburg, Austria. He is member of numerous learned societies, including the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the German National Academy Leopoldina, the US National Academy of Sciences, the Academia Europaea, and the Academy of Athens. Throughout his career, Schellnhuber has received several notable awards, such as the German Environmental Prize (2007), the Volvo Environmental Prize (2011), the Blue Planet Prize (2017), and the Ratio et Spes Prize (2021). In 2022, Schellnhuber was also awarded the Honorary Edition of the German Sustainability Prize for his “enormous influence on science, politics, and business by developing and communicating sustainable solutions to the global environmental crisis”.

He acted as a scientific advisor to a number of eminent public and religious leaders, including the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, European Commission Presidents José Manuel Barroso and Ursula von der Leyen, and Pope Francis. For 28 continuous years, he has served as a member and chair of the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU) since its establishment in 1992. He contributed in various ways to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.

Since 2019, Schellnhuber has been focusing his scientific work and communication skills on the transformation of the built environment, with a specific emphasis on the climate restoration potential of regenerative architecture. In this context, he established Bauhaus Earth as a not-for-profit company and became a member of the High-Level Roundtable of the New European Bauhaus initiative. In recognition of his achievements, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber received several prestigious honors, including being named a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II (2004). He was also awarded the Order of Merit of the State of Brandenburg (2008), the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (2011) and the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon, of the Japanese Government (2020). In 2021, Schellnhuber received the Grand Cross of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany from President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and became Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur of the French Republic.

Professor Nathalie Seddon

Nathalie Seddon is Professor of Biodiversity and Founding Director of the Nature-based Solutions Initiative in the Department of Biology at the University of Oxford. She is also Director of the Agile Initiative, co-lead of the Biodiversity and Society Programme and Leverhulme Centre for Nature Recovery, and is a Senior Research Fellow at Wadham College.

In 2021, she co-founded the Oxford University Social Venture, Nature-based Insights of which she is non-executive Director.

Nathalie trained as an evolutionary ecologist at Cambridge University and has over 25 years of research experience in a range of ecosystems across the globe. As a University Research Fellow of the Royal Society, she developed broad research interests in understanding the origins and maintenance of biodiversity and its relationship with global change. Her work now focuses on determining the ecological and socioeconomic effectiveness of nature-based solutions to societal challenges, and how to increase the influence of robust biodiversity science on the design and implementation of climate and development policy.

Nathalie advises governments, UN agencies, and the private sector on nature-based solutions. She is a member of the Adaptation Committee of the UK Climate Change Change Committee, leading on nature; a member of DEFRA’s Science Advisory Council Biodiversity Expert Committee; serves on the Science Advisory Boards of Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew and sits on the Science & Knowledge Committee of the IUCN Global Standard for Nature-based Solutions. In 2022-2023, Nathalie is Academic Lead for the UK’s first People’s Assembly for Nature.

Tanya Steele, CBE

Tanya Steele (CBE) leads the UK office of WWF, the world’s largest independent conservation organisation. She heads up WWF-UK at a critical time in which she is leading the delivery of an ambitious strategy to tackle the catastrophic decline in species and habitats across the world. From climate change to wildlife recovery, the food system to clean oceans – Tanya sees WWF as a critical force for influencing change.

Tanya began her career in the tech industry working in product development, marketing and communications in senior roles for Siemens and BT.

After nearly 15 years in the private sector, and inspired by a volunteering assignment with the Red Cross, Tanya brought her corporate experience to the charity sector joining Save the Children in 2004 as Executive Director of Marketing, Fundraising and Communications, and later led the organisation as interim Chief Executive.

Whilst working in international development, Tanya saw first-hand the impact the environment has on people’s daily lives, particularly in communities which are less resilient to environmental pressures. Fusing her passion for, and experience of, human development and the environment, Tanya joined WWF-UK in January 2017 as its first female Chief Executive; its sixth since 1961. Tanya is married and has a teenage son. She lives in North London and is a trustee of the Disasters Emergency Committee.