2023 Practical ESG Conference

Presented by PracticalESG.com


Erik AutorOf Counsel Barlow & Company LLC

Erik Autor

Of Counsel, Barlow & Company LLC

Mr. Autor was formerly President of the National Association of Foreign-Trade Zones (NAFTZ), where he organized and directed a wide-range of initiatives on issues of critical importance to stakeholders in the U.S. Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) Program. Prior to joining NAFTZ in 2016, he was President of Autor Global Strategies, LLC, a consultancy providing public policy, advocacy, legal/regulatory, and strategic communications services to business clients with a focus on international trade and investment, customs, corporate social responsibility, and global supply chain management.

Mr. Autor’s experience also includes fifteen years as Vice President and International Trade Counsel at the National Retail Federation (NRF), the world’s largest retail trade association. At NRF he represented and advised member companies in the retail industry on international trade, corporate social responsibility matters, supply chain and transportation, and customs issues. Among his responsibilities were developing and advocating policy-position issues before Congress, the Administration, foreign governments, and international organizations such as the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Prior to joining NRF, Mr. Autor served as International Trade Counsel and Senior International Trade Counsel to the United States Senate Committee on Finance from 1992-1998 for Senator William Roth (R-DE) and Senator Bob Packwood (R-OR), assisting in Congressional consideration of major trade agreements such as NAFTA and the Uruguay Round and legislation, including the Customs Modernization Act. He began his career as a law clerk to a federal judge at the U.S. Court of International Trade and an associate attorney in the trade practice at the law firm of Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom where he worked on customs classification/valuation and antidumping/countervailing duty cases.

Mr. Autor received a J.D. and LL.M. from Duke University School of Law, an M.Sc. (Econ.) from the London School of Economics, and a B.A. (magna cum laude) from UCLA.

Zachary BarlowAssociate EditorPracticalESG.com

Zachary Barlow

Associate Editor, PracticalESG.com

Zachary Barlow is a licensed attorney. He earned his JD from the University of Mississippi and has a bachelor’s in Public Policy Leadership. He practiced law at a mid-size firm and handled a wide variety of cases. During this time he assisted in overseeing compliance of a public entity and litigated contract disputes, gaining experience both in and outside of the courtroom. Zachary currently assists the PracticalESG.com editorial team by providing research and creating content on a spectrum of ESG topics, focusing on legal aspects of those issues.

Rhonda BrauerPresident and FounderRLB Governance

Rhonda Brauer

President and Founder, RLB Governance LLC

Rhonda Brauer is the President and Founder of RLB Governance LLC, where she provides strategic environmental, social and governance (ESG) consulting services to investors, companies, non-profits and NGOs. She combines her more recent experience spearheading investor engagement campaigns with over two decades of directly advising public company boards and management on ESG issues across a wide range of industries.

Most recently, Rhonda served as the Associate Program Director, Climate & Environmental Justice, for the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), where she helped to launch and manage their Climate Lobbying Initiative. She also served nearly two years as Director of Corporate Engagement for the Bureau of Asset Management in the Office of New York City Comptroller, where her strategic initiatives included spearheading the Boardroom Accountability Project 2.0, which focused on improving board quality and diversity in order to create long-term sustainable growth for the NYC pension funds.

Rhonda is a securities lawyer, who has provided strategic advice to boards and management teams on ESG and shareholder engagement issues, as Secretary & Corporate Governance Officer for The New York Times Company and as Senior Managing Director for Corporate Governance at Georgeson (a leading proxy solicitation firm). At both firms, she was also a member of the senior leadership team. Rhonda began her career with Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton as a cross-border transactional corporate lawyer in New York, NY and Brussels, Belgium.

Rhonda has been a Senior Fellow at The Conference Board’s ESG Center (formerly the Governance Center) and served four years on the Board of Directors of the Society for Corporate Governance (formerly the Society of Corporate Secretaries & Governance Professionals).

She received her AB, magna cum laude, in History from Cornell University, and her JD, magna cum laude, from Indiana University School of Law—Bloomington.

Charmaine BrownDiversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Thought LeaderInnovator

Charmaine Brown

Vice President and Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Officer, United Way Worldwide

Charmaine Brown is the Vice President and Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Officer at United Way Worldwide. In this role, she is responsible for advancing the organization’s DEI commitment by leading the development and implementation of equitable and inclusive strategies that leverage the power of diversity both internally and externally. Prior to joining United Way Worldwide, Brown was Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Finance of America Companies where she was Chair of the ESG committee and President of the Finance of America Foundation.

Brown was also appointed as one of three Co-Chairs of the Maryland Commission on Climate Change, (MCCC) where she leads the Climate Justice Steering Committee to ensure that equity the lens is applied to the Commission’s recommendations for State’s Green House Gas reduction goals.

Previous roles include Director of DEI at the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). Before her time with the MBA, Charmaine spent 24 years at Fannie Mae. Here she helped to increase access to affordable housing for underserved communities and played a major role in standing up the organization’s Office of Community and Charitable Giving. She also served as Director of DEI at Fannie Mae’s Office of Women and Minority Inclusion (OMWI) for ten years.

Charmaine holds a master’s degree in communications from Johns Hopkins University. She completed the Diversity Management Program at Cornell’s ILR School, as well as the Education, Diversity, and Inclusion Leadership Program at the Harvard Kennedy School for Executive Education.

Charmaine has been lauded for her success as a leader in business development, corporate social responsibility, and community relations.

Doug ChiaOwner and President, Soundboard Governance LLCFellow, Rutgers Center for Corporate Law and Governance

Doug Chia

Owner and President, Soundboard Governance LLC

Fellow, Rutgers Center for Corporate Law and Governance

Douglas K. Chia is President of Soundboard Governance LLC and Fellow at the Rutgers Center for Corporate Law and Governance.

Mr. Chia was previously Executive Director of The Conference Board ESG Center and continues to contribute to The Conference Board as an ESG Center Fellow. He is also an Adjunct Professor at Fordham University School of Law, Fellow at The Aspen Institute Business & Society Program, Advisor to Foresight BoardOps, and Advisory Board Member of the ESG Professionals Network and PracticalESG.com.

Before joining The Conference Board, Mr. Chia served as Assistant General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Johnson & Johnson. Previously, he served as Assistant General Counsel, Corporate of Tyco International and practiced law at the global firms Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Clifford Chance in New York and Hong Kong.

Mr. Chia has held a number of central leadership positions in the corporate governance field, including Chair of the Board of the Society for Corporate Governance, President of the Stockholder Relations Society of New York, and member of the New York Stock Exchange Corporate Governance Commission. He is currently a member of the Corporate Laws Committee of the American Bar Association, American Law Institute, National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, and Ascend Pan-Asian Leaders. Mr. Chia has received numerous awards and recognitions in corporate governance and has frequently appeared in the news media, including CNN, NPR Marketplace, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Fortune, and The New Yorker.

Mr. Chia received an A.B. degree from Dartmouth College and a J.D. degree from the Georgetown University Law Center. Mr. Chia is a Trustee and Vice President for Governance of the Historical Society of Princeton and member of the Dartmouth College Fund Committee. He lives with his family in Princeton, New Jersey.

Tamara CloseFounder and Managing Director, Close Group Consulting

Tamara Close

Founder and Managing Director, Close Group Consulting

Tamara Close is the Founder and Managing Director of Close Group Consulting, which is a boutique ESG strategy advisory firm that uses in-depth capital markets and ESG expertise to assess, design and implement tailored end-to-end ESG integration practices across asset classes for asset managers, asset owners and corporates. She was previously the Head of ESG Integration for KKS Advisors, a global ESG Advisory firm and has over 20 years of combined experience in capital markets and ESG strategy. Tamara has held various investment management positions for the Bank of Montreal and Credit Lyonnais in the global derivatives and foreign exchange markets and was previously the head of research and risk for a start-up fixed income asset management firm in Montreal. Before founding Close Group Consulting, she spent 10 years in senior management roles within the risk and public markets investment groups of PSP Investments. She is also the founder and creator of the Sustainable Risk Assessment Framework.

Tamara holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) certification and is a council member of the Canadian Advocacy Council for CFA Societies Canada. She is also a Board director for CFA Montreal and Chair of the ESG Committee as well as a member of the Investment Committee for the JGH Foundation. Tamara is an Advisor to the Veristell Institute, a globally focused think-tank on ESG and Corporate Purpose, as well as PracticalESG, a source for ESG thought leadership. She earned a Bachelor in Economics from McGill University and a Master of Science degree in Finance from the John Molson School of Business. She is fluent in French and English.

Susan DoeringHead of Climate Risk Management Solutions, WTW

Susan Doering

Head of Climate Risk Management Solutions, WTW

Ms. Doering joined WTW in 2016 after building an industry leading Environmental Underwriting practice. Beginning her career as an Environmental Consultant developing Risk Assessment modeling, Susan went on to leadership roles in Environmental Risk Underwriting, Coverage Innovation and Business Development.

Until her recent appointment as Leader of Climate Risk Management Solutions, she served as a Global Client Advocate for large multi-national organizations in a variety of industries, working with her broking and service teams to deliver fit for purpose risk solutions for clients with challenging risk profiles. Client industries include Public Entities, Life Sciences, Government Contractors, and Financial Services.

Presently, Susan leads Climate Risk Management Solutions in North America where she oversees development and delivery of Climate Risk Evaluation, Quantification, Mitigation and Transfer strategies for large complex clients. This innovative solution set provides a means to navigate uncertainty around climate, and a path forward for clients across all industry sectors. Specializing in Climate Liability, Susan is also actively engaged with insurers and reinsurers, helping them to evaluate their risks and find opportunities for profitable innovation that supports a just and equitable transition to a low carbon economy.

A graduate from The University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Biology, Susan has served on the following boards:
– The Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation
– Insurance Society of Philadelphia
– The Nature Conservancy
– Pennsylvania Environmental Council

Sarah ForttGlobal Co-Chair, ESG PracticeLatham

Sarah Fortt

Global Co-Chair, ESG Practice, Latham

Sarah is the Global Co-Chair of the ESG practice at Latham & Watkins. Before joining Latham, Sarah was the mind behind the creation of one of the first cross-functional ESG groups at a U.S.-based global law firm, where she also served as the firm’s dedicated corporate governance expert.

Sarah is a key thought leader in U.S. corporate governance and on matters regarding environmental and social corporate risks and opportunities, including those relating to climate change, human rights and corporate culture. She regularly helps clients create consistent, effective and meaningful stakeholder communications (both required and voluntary). Sarah has worked with companies across multiple industries in times of calm and in times of crisis, as well as during key strategic transactions.

Sarah has created a unique perspective on and approach to corporate cultural wellness that connects an in-depth understanding of leadership, governance, the ethics and compliance functions, employee incentives and initiatives, and corporate risk and crisis management. She has a sophisticated understanding of incentive structures and how they function across various levels of an organization given an organization’s strategies, goals and “sacred cows.”

Daniel GoelzerFormer Partner, Baker McKenzieFormer Chair, PCAOB

Daniel Goelzer

Former Partner, Baker McKenzie

Former Chair, PCAOB

Daniel Goelzer is a retired partner in the law firm of Baker McKenzie. He is a member of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board and advises one of the Big Four accounting firms on audit quality issues. He prepares a bi-monthly newsletter, Audit Committee and Auditor Oversight Update, which focuses on regulatory issues affecting audit committees.

In 2002, the Securities and Exchange Commission appointed Mr. Goelzer as a founding member of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, the body responsible for oversight and regulation of independent auditors of US public companies and securities broker-dealers. He served as Acting PCAOB Chair from August 2009 through January 2011. In 2012, at the conclusion of his term, he left the Board to return to Baker McKenzie.

From 1983 to 1990, Mr. Goelzer served as General Counsel of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Before his appointment as General Counsel, he held a variety of positions in the Office of the Commission’s Chairman and in the Office of the General Counsel. He joined the Commission’s staff in 1974.

In 2017, Mr. Goelzer was appointed to the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board, the independent standard-setting arm of the SASB Foundation. SASB’s mission is to establish and maintain disclosure standards on sustainability matters that facilitate communication by companies to investors of decision-useful, material information that is relevant, reliable and comparable across companies on a global basis. Members of the Standards Board are appointed by the SASB Foundation Board of Directors.

Mr. Goelzer also serves on the Board of the SEC Historical Society and is a former member of the Board of the Capital Area Chapter of the National Association of Corporate Directors. He has authored a variety of articles concerning federal securities law topics.

Rich GoodePrincipal, ESG ServicesPwC

Rich Goode

Principal, ESG Services, PwC

Rich is a seasoned leader with over 25 years of experience in starting, growing and leading organizations of all sizes, from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. With experience in both consulting and industry, he is a multi-disciplinary leader with a strong understanding of environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, helping companies identify, mitigate and respond to the new risk landscape facing all organizations. Rich works closely with chief executive, chief financial and chief risk officers to develop innovative ESG strategies to explore new opportunities and manage risk. He works with companies across all industries, including: pharmaceutical, heavy manufacturing, automotive, steel, banking and private equity, real estate and consumer products.

Rich serves as one of the leaders of PwC’s Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Services practice. As part of this role, Rich is tasked with building the practice, identifying, hiring and leading a team of professionals to deliver services that help companies execute on their core business strategy. Prior to PwC, Rich was one of the founding members of EY’s Climate Change and Sustainability Services practice, growing it from under a dozen to over 140 people.

Rich is an adjunct member of the teaching staff at Harvard University where he teaches courses on sustainable management, the effects of climate change and how companies can use innovation to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and boost profitability. He is also a member of the Advisory Board at Harvard University Extension School’s Sustainability and Environmental Management program and has also taught sustainable product development at the Tufts University Graduate School of Engineering’s Gordon Institute.

John Graham Jr.DEI Marketing LeaderPublished Author of Plantation Theory

John Graham Jr.

DEI Marketing Leader

Published Author of Plantation Theory

VP, Employer Brand, Diversity & Culture, Shaker Recruitment Marketing

John Graham’s professional passion is helping global companies uncover who they are at their core. Through award winning employer brand and employee value proposition development, Graham has discovered innovative ways to bring the humanity of employee stories to life. As a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) practitioner, and culture transformation consultant, his work centers on improving the lived experiences of marginalized employee populations through bleeding-edge approaches that disrupt the status quo and create equitable and inclusive environments. Graham has been featured in publications such as Forbes, USA Today, and the New York Times for his work in advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and is listed in the Canvas 2021 Top 100 DEI Leaders to follow. His best- selling book, Plantation Theory: The Black Professional’s Struggle Between Freedom & Security has been featured in fireside chats, book clubs, and made required reading by executives at companies such as Google, LinkedIn, Panasonic, and more.

Graham earned a bachelor’s degree in African Studies and master’s degree in Education from Lincoln University. He holds an executive certificate in Fostering Diversity and Inclusion from the Yale School of Management and a certificate in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion from the University of South Florida Muma College of Business.

Jason HalperCo-Chair, Global Litigation Group & ESG PracticeCadwalader

Jason M. Halper

Co-Chair, Global Litigation Group & ESG Practice, Cadwalader

Jason Halper is the co-chair of Cadwalader’s Global Litigation Group, head of the Corporate and Financial Services Litigation Practice, and a member of the firm’s Management Committee. He also leads the firm’s climate change litigation and advisory practice. In three decades of practicing in the areas of financial services and securities law, complex commercial disputes and corporate governance, clients consistently return to engage Jason because of his track record of obtaining results that meet each client’s unique needs — as described in Chambers USA, he “takes the time and energy to really understand the client” and “focuses on what is important.”

Jason also is an experienced trial lawyer. A member of the Trial Bar of the Northern District of Illinois, he has tried cases to jury verdict or other decision in federal and state courts, regulatory tribunals and arbitrations around the country, including among others, the Southern District of New York, the District of Columbia, the District of New Jersey, the Southern District of Ohio, and the Western District of Oklahoma; the Delaware Court of Chancery; state courts in California, Connecticut, Maryland and New York; and arbitration panels under the auspices of FINRA, NYSE, AAA, JAMS and others.

Jason is a Lecturer in Law, focusing on corporate governance, climate change, compliance and ethics, at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School, and a frequent speaker and author. He is a member of the Advisory Board of Harvard Law School’s Program on Corporate Governance and a regular Guest Contributor to the Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation. He has published there as well as in, among others, Bloomberg, Thomson Reuters, The New York Law Journal, Law360, Columbia Law School’s Blue Sky Blog on Corporations and the Capital Markets, The Review of Securities & Commodities Regulation, Insights: The Corporate and Securities Law Advisor, The M&A Lawyer and Transaction Advisors.

His clients include public and private companies, underwriters, lenders, professional services firms and their partners, corporate directors and other individuals in a variety of industries, including financial services, professional services, insurance, energy, defense, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, real estate, supermarkets and telecommunications.

Jason represents these clients in securities, derivative, ERISA and RICO class actions, SEC, FINRA and stock exchange investigations and arbitrations, internal investigations, suits claiming breaches of fiduciary duty, insider trading or other misconduct by corporate directors, substantial financial instrument and other contract disputes, bankruptcy-related proceedings, and litigation arising from M&A or other transactions involving changes in or contests for corporate control in Delaware Chancery Court and elsewhere.

Jason is or has been a member of the Securities Litigation and Federal Courts Committees of the New York City Bar Association, the Programming Committee of the Federal Bar Council and various American Bar Association Committees focused on business law. Jason’s community service work includes serving on the Executive Committee, and as a past Chair, of the New York/New Jersey Regional Board of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). In 2019, he received the ADL’s Edward Brodsky Founder’s Award. Jason also is on the Board of Directors of the Legal Aid Society, the Board of Directors of Volunteers of Legal Service, the Executive Board of the GlamourGals Foundation, and he Chairs Cadwalader’s Pro Bono Advisory Committee.

Jason received his undergraduate degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and graduated cum laude from Fordham University School of Law, where he was the Articles & Commentary Editor of the Fordham Law Review. Following graduation, he served as a law clerk to the Honorable David N. Edelstein of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Jason is admitted to practice in New York and before the U.S. Courts of Appeal for the District of Columbia and Second and Third Circuits and the U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, the District of the District of Columbia, the Northern District of Illinois and the District of Colorado.

Lawrence HeimEditor, PracticalESG.comAuthor of Killing Sustainability

Lawrence Heim

Editor, PracticalESG.com

Author of Killing Sustainability

Lawrence Heim is Editor of CCRcorp’s ESG platform, PracticalESG.com, where he shares insights based on over 35 years of supporting companies in environmental, health & safety compliance and management. He’s led various types of non-financial audits, designed corrective action programs and helped implement sustainability programs. He spent nearly a decade in-house at a Fortune 150 manufacturer and went on to help create the Global Environmental Risk Consulting Practice at Marsh USA. Later, Lawrence founded & led the Sustainability practice at Elm Consulting Group, and most recently, he led development of supply chain due diligence standards at the Responsible Business Alliance/Responsible Minerals Initiative. When the SEC’s conflict minerals rules were under consideration, Lawrence was the only non-financial auditor selected to give testimony to the Commission. In 2018, he published the book “Killing Sustainability.” Lawrence is also an Advisor to the board of ASSET, a non-profit anti-slavery organization.

John JenkinsManaging EditorTheCorporateCounsel.net, CompensationStandards.com, DealLawyers.com, The Corporate Counsel Newsletter, Deal Lawyers Newsletter

John Jenkins

Managing Editor, TheCorporateCounsel.net, CompensationStandards.com, DealLawyers.com, The Corporate Counsel Newsletter, Deal Lawyers Newsletter

John Jenkins is Managing Editor of The Corporate Counsel newsletter, TheCorporateCounsel.net, CompensationStandards.com, DealLawyers.com and the Deal Lawyers newsletter. For over 35 years, he directly advised clients on capital markets, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate matters, in the Cleveland office of Calfee, Halter & Griswold LLP.

John’s experience includes representing issuers and underwriters of debt and equity securities in more than 100 underwritten public and Rule 144A offerings; negotiation of mergers, stock and asset acquisitions and divestitures involving private and public companies; counseling directors on fiduciary obligations in connection with proposed change of control transactions and disclosure obligations under the federal securities laws; and counseling investment bankers in connection with mergers and acquisitions, fairness opinions, financings and other engagements. He has also represented targets of SEC, SRO and stock exchange investigations and enforcement proceedings, and has served as counsel to corporations and board committees conducting internal investigations involving allegations of misconduct.

He has taught mergers and acquisitions law at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, and has been a guest lecturer at The Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University. John also has served as chair of the Securities Law Section of the Cleveland Bar Association, and as a member of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland Budget Committee and the Canisius College Board of Regents. He is also on the Board of Directors of the Western Reserve Historical Society.

John has been recognized as one of The Best Lawyers in America for Corporate law, as well as one of America’s Leading Lawyers by Chambers USA. He is a frequent author and speaker on securities and corporate law topics. His articles have appeared in publications such as Deal Lawyers, The Business Lawyer, Business Law Today, and The Corporate Governance Advisor. He has a BA from Canisius College and a JD from The University of Virginia.

Michael LittenbergPartnerRopes & Gray

Michael Littenberg

Partner, Ropes & Gray

Michael Littenberg is a partner at Ropes & Gray. Michael is the global head of the firm’s ESG, CSR and Business and Human Rights practice. As part of his practice, for more than 30 years, Michael has been active in advising leading public and private companies on ESG, corporate social responsibility and business and human rights compliance matters, and he is widely viewed as one of the leading practitioners in this emerging area.


Dave Lynn

Partner, Morrison Foerster

Senior Editor, TheCorporateCounsel.net

Dave Lynn is a Partner of Morrison Foerster. Dave’s practice is focused on advising a wide range of clients on SEC matters, securities transactions and corporate governance. Dave is well known in the area of executive compensation disclosure, having co-authored, “The Executive Compensation Disclosure Treatise and Reporting Guide” for CompensationStandards.com. While serving as Chief Counsel of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Corporation Finance, Dave led the rulemaking team that drafted sweeping revisions to the SEC’s executive compensation and related party disclosure rules.

Dave re-joined the SEC as Chief Counsel shortly after adoption of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, and served in that position until 2007, providing interpretive advice, formulating policy decisions and publishing the Division’s Compliance and Disclosure Interpretations. Dave initially served on the SEC staff from 1995-2000 as an Attorney-Advisor and subsequently a Special Counsel in the Division of Corporation Finance. While in private practice from 2000-2003, he advised clients on SEC investigations, securities transactions, mergers and acquisitions and corporate governance.

Dave serves as Senior Editor of TheCorporateCounsel.net, CompensationStandards.com, The Corporate Counsel and The Corporate Executive.

Dave has served as the chair of the ABA Business Law Section’s Federal Regulation of Securities Committee, co-chair of the Practicing Law Institute’s Annual Institute on Securities Regulation and chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Securities and Exchange Commission Historical Society. Dave is also an adjunct professor at the Georgetown University Law Center, where he teaches a course about exempt securities offerings.

Rob MainManaging Partner and COOSustainable Governance Partners

Rob Main

Managing Partner and COO, Sustainable Governance Partners

Rob Main, CFA is managing partner and COO at Sustainable Governance Partners (SGP). Rob specializes in strategy development, board related matters, investor engagement, and executive compensation. He is a thought leader in the industry and a frequent participant on panels and roundtables.

Rob was previously the Head of Investment Stewardship for the Americas and Asia at Vanguard. His responsibilities included company engagement, ESG research, proxy voting, and policy development. Rob played a leadership role in analyzing and evaluating contentious and complex situations, including proxy contests and mergers & acquisitions. He spoke regularly at industry conferences and events, and actively contributed to thought leadership discussions and publications. Rob’s prior asset management industry experience included roles as a director within Vanguard’s investment manager due diligence team, head of active equity product management, and leader of the firm’s new product development.

He earned a B.S. from the University of Richmond, and an M.B.A. from Villanova University, where he graduated as part of both the Phi Kappa Phi and Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Societies. He is a CFA charterholder and is a member of the CFA Society of Philadelphia. He currently serves as adjunct faculty in Villanova University’s M.B.A. program and has guest lectured at Harvard University, Drexel University, and at Villanova’s Charles Widger School of Law. Rob previously served on the Corporate Governance Advisory Council of the Council of Institutional Investors (CII). Rob lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and three children. He enjoys reading, racquet sports, and is active in the Unionville youth sports community.

Chris McClurePartner, ESG Services LeaderCrowe

Chris McClure

Partner, ESG Services Leader, Crowe

Christopher McClure is a partner in the advisory services group at Crowe and is the leader of the firm’s environmental, social, and governance (ESG) services team. He has more than 25 years of experience in regulatory and compliance matters, including:

  • Developing strategies for compliance and management
  • Conducting fraud investigations and control assessments for SEC registrants and private enterprises across a wide variety of industries, domestically and globally
  • Implementing and managing regulatory programs for conflict minerals, anti-human trafficking, and other responsible sourcing measures
Ngozi OkehDirector of DEI, NextRollEditor, PracticalESG.com

Ngozi Okeh

Director of DEI, NextRoll

Editor, PracticalESG.com

Ngozi Okeh is an experienced leader with a history of driving efforts to conceptualize, define, assess and promote diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) as strategic business processes.

Ngozi is currently the Director of DEI at a leading marketing technology company where she develops and executes enterprise-wide DEI initiatives through rigorous strategic planning efforts, community partnerships, leadership collaboration, strategy evaluation, and careful management of communication and buy-in as well as policies and procedures. Previously, she worked at an independent mortgage bank, where her work resulted in a significant increase in the recruitment, engagement, and retention of employees from underrepresented communities, in addition to increased production of over 10 million dollars by empowering communities of color.

As a consultant, Ngozi also partners with associations and companies to develop clear and actionable strategies that drive internal and external DEI objectives. She develops, implements, and monitors programs to attract, engage, and retain diverse teams and communities by leading organization-wide initiatives. She is also a dynamic educator with extensive experience developing training curriculum for all audiences.

Ngozi has a master’s in human resources management with an emphasis in diversity and inclusion from Georgetown University. She has a bachelor’s degree in political science and a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of California, San Diego. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling and running half marathons.

Kelsey OwensPartner, People Programs | Human Sustainability | ESG, Aon

Kelsey Owen

Partner, People Programs | Human Sustainability | ESG, Aon

Kelsey Owen is a Partner at Aon with over 15 years of advisory experience. Kelsey’s career has included rewards design, partnering with founders and investors on private company glidepaths to IPO, and broader ESG program and stakeholder engagement. She’s now a leader within Aon’s recently developed Human Sustainability Practice, focusing in on Human Capital Management (HCM), DEI and wellbeing.

Doug ParkerCo-founder & CEOEcolumix

Doug Parker

Founder & CEO, Ecolumix

Doug Parker is the Founder & CEO of Ecolumix an environmental data company that uses mandated reporting data to measure corporate environmental performance for the ESG sector. Ecolumix provides its insights to companies benchmarking their operations, the financial sector, and anyone who needs to accurately assess companies’ environmental performance and risk. Doug has also advised Fortune 500 companies and leading law firms on environmental risk and compliance.

He previously served as a Special Agent and Director of the EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division where he oversaw a nationwide team of criminal investigators as well as matters ranging from the investigation into the Deepwater Horizon disaster to the Volkswagen emissions cheating scandal.

Madhuri PavamaniSustainability & ESG Advisory Practice DirectorPaul Weiss

Madhuri Pavamani

Sustainability & ESG Advisory Practice Director, Paul Weiss

Madhuri Pavamani is the Director of the Sustainability & ESG Advisory Practice at Paul, Weiss. She advises leading companies in the private equity, transportation, technology, and insurance industries on their public disclosures, corporate governance practices, and diversity and inclusion initiatives. Prior to joining the ESG practice, Madhuri was a senior staff attorney in Paul, Weiss’s litigation department, where she focused on regulatory and employment investigations and anti-trust matters. A graduate of Barnard College and Brooklyn Law School, Madhuri was a recipient of the Edward V. Sparer Public Interest Law Fellowship and an editor for the Journal of Law and Policy. She volunteered for several years for Leonard Weinglass as he worked on the Mumia Abu-Jamal death penalty case, is a published poet, certified yoga instructor, and an Advisory Board member at practicalESG.com and The Elisabeth Haub School of Law’s Sustainable Business Law Hub.
Ken PuckerProfessor of the Practice – Tufts Tufts Fletcher School; former Chief Operating Officer - Timberland

Ken Pucker

Professor of the PracticeTufts Fletcher School; former Chief Operating Officer – Timberland

Ken Pucker is currently a Professor of the Practice at Tufts Fletcher School. Previously, Ken served as Chief Operating Officer of Timberland where he assumed multiple roles during his 15-year tenure. Ken serves as an investor and board chair of Timbuk2 Designs and is an investor and board member of Quinn Foods. He began his career at Goldman, Sachs & Co., was a research associate at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., received a B.A. from Middlebury College and an M.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management.

Dr. Sam RaeDEI Strategist & System Analyst and CEODSRD Consulting

Dr. Sam Rae

DEI Strategist & System Analyst and CEO, DSRD Consulting

Dr. Sam is a DEI Strategist & Systems Analyst, and CEO of DSRD Consulting. She’s used her analytical and strategy development skillset to bring diversity, equity, and inclusion to business operations and development for over 10 years.

She’s led DEI for companies like Goodwill, where I worked with over 150 CEOs across North America, Save the Children, and NIH, with over 10,000 workers. She also worked with directors and chancellors of over 50 universities to integrate DEI into their recruitment, hiring, and promotion processes.

She has a Bachelor’s in Biology, a Master’s in Public Health, and a Doctorate in leadership & organizational management.

In 2022 Dr. Sam founded DEI Offload™, the first app and centralized ecosystem for DEI practitioners with over 450 members. DSRD Consulting has partnered with change agents across the globe at over 30 different companies, including AWS, Meta, Uniswap, Lyft, Intel, Offbase, and Udemy, to enhance their workplace culture through strategy development. We have also supported over 500 DEI practitioners across the world.

Carsten ReichelPartnerNorton Rose Fulbright US LLP

Carsten Reichel

Partner, Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP

Carsten Reichel is an experienced former federal prosecutor with the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) and a partner in Norton Rose Fulbright’s antitrust and competition group. In over fourteen years at DOJ, he prosecuted complex white collar and economic crimes, including price-fixing, bid-rigging, market allocations, conspiracy and fraud, across a wide range of industrial sectors, within the criminal enforcement program of the Antitrust Division. Before joining DOJ, Carsten worked at an international law firm in its antitrust and litigation groups, where he defended clients in both criminal and civil antitrust investigations and private civil litigation.

As a federal prosecutor, Carsten spearheaded some of the DOJ’s most significant criminal cartel matters, including in the shipping, pharmaceuticals, auto parts, air cargo and foreign currency exchange industries, investigating and prosecuting both corporations and individuals. He also led investigations of domestic cartels involving procurement violations and other related fraud and criminal offenses, such as bribery, fraud and obstruction of justice. He negotiated and oversaw the first-ever corporate antitrust compliance monitor imposed pursuant to an Antitrust Division plea agreement. Carsten also led the efforts to expand the DOJ’s Procurement Collusion Strike Force initiative to detect and deter criminal cartel activity by federal and state contractors, both internationally and into additional domestic districts. He has worked extensively with numerous corporate applicants under the Antitrust Division’s Leniency Program. Carsten received the Antitrust Division Assistant Attorney General’s Award of Distinction six times for his work on various criminal investigations and also received the Council of Inspector General on Integrity and Efficiency Award for Excellence.

Carsten also advised on key policy developments and initiatives in the Antitrust Division’s International and Competition Policy and Advocacy sections. As international counsel, he worked with competition enforcement agencies – including those in Japan, Korea, Mexico, Brazil, South Africa, COMESA and throughout Europe – to advise and train on cartel investigation practices and policies and to facilitate international cooperation in cartel enforcement. He also worked with in the US government to advise on the implementation of the Criminal Antitrust Anti-Retaliation Act and oversaw competition compliance in multi-agency efforts to implement the Defense Production Act responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Carsten also served as Special Assistant United States Attorney for the United States Attorney’s Office in the District of Maryland, where he investigated and prosecuted federal crimes, including bank fraud, identity theft and violent crimes. He has litigated federal jury trials, as well as numerous pre- and post-trial issues, including sentencing and evidentiary issues.

Julian RichardsonCUOParhelion

Julian Richardson

CEO, Parhelion

Julian Richardson started his career in the re/insurance sector in 1992. He was a producing broker at Marsh focusing on oil and gas business in the Middle East and Africa. He helped lead the development of products and business opportunities within the carbon market for the wider MMC group of companies which included Marsh, Mercer & Putnam. In 2004 he joined GE Insurance Solutions and was a senior underwriting risk manager responsible for the energy and marine portfolio of the Global Markets business. He was a member of the Global Market executive committee and was the FSA approved person for the London legal entity. In 2006 Julian founded Parhelion.

Julian has an MBA from Cranfield School of Management where his dissertation was on Carbon Trading Risk. He is a Research Associate at Texas A&M University, Geochemical and Environmental Research Group. See: http://gerg.tamu.edu/people/science-team/index.html

He has spoken at numerous international conferences on risk management and climate change insurance.

Puvan SelvanathanFounder & CEOBluenumber

Puvan Selvanathan

Founder & CEO, Bluenumber

Puvan J Selvanathan is an expert in business and human rights and risk management. He created Bluenumber to promote a rights-based approach to digital identity, data and property rights, especially in global networks and supply chains. He was formerly a UN Special Mandate Holder on Business and Human Rights appointed by the UN Human Rights Council (Geneva), Head of Food & Agriculture at the UN Global Compact Office (New York), and then Head (New York Office) of the International Trade Centre, a joint agency of the UN and WTO. Before joining the UN, Puvan was Group Chief Sustainability Officer at Sime Darby, a Malaysian diversified conglomerate. An Architect by profession, Puvan has an MBA and DBA in Corporate Strategy and Sustainability.
Mark TrexlerCo-Founder, The Climate WebDirector Climate Change Advisory, The Climatographers

Mark Trexler

Co-founder, The Climate Web

Director Climate Change Advisory, The Climatographers

Dr. Mark C. Trexler founded the first business climate risk consultancy in the United States in 1991, working with companies around the world on all aspects of the evolving climate change problem, from Boards of Directors on down. He is Director of Climate Change Advisory at The Climatographers and is Co-founder of The Climate Web – a knowledge management solution for climate risk decision-support. He has extensive legal and expert witness experience on climate change and energy topics.

Mike WallaceChief Decarbonization OfficerPersefoni

Mike Wallace

Chief Decarbonization Officer, Persefoni

Mike Wallace is an internationally recognized expert in the ESG/sustainability field with over 25-years of experience advising corporations, non-profits, and government agencies on the development and implementation of sustainability, environmental, social, and governance (ESG) strategies. He works regularly with corporate executive teams to help them understand sustainability risks and turn them into ESG opportunities. He has helped launch a range of sustainability programs inside existing organizations, helped create new initiatives, and helped organizations expand into new markets.

Mike is a regular speaker at leading sustainability and ESG conferences, has authored numerous articles on sustainability and ESG issues, and was a contributor to “Climate Change – a Guide to Carbon Law & Practice”. He has given expert testimony to the European Commission, the US SEC, EPA and GSA, as well as business associations like the US Business Roundtable, National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD), The Society for Corporate Governance Professionals, Financial Executives International (FEI), and the National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI).

Mike serves on Board of NIRI’s Virtual Chapter – https://nirivirtual.org/about/leadership/default.aspx

Advisory Board Positions:
– GreenFin – https://www.greenbiz.com/events/greenfin/2023/advisory-board
– VerdeXchange (LA) – https://www.verdexchange.org/advisory
– CSO Strategic Task Force of Pando Populus (LA) – https://pandopopulus.com/networks/cso-strategic-taskforce/
– LA Community Leaders – https://lacommunityleaders.com/members
– Center for Business Leadership of Miami University – https://www.miamioh.edu/fsb/centers/cbl/partners/board/index.html

He served as a Special Advisor to the Center for Safety and Health Sustainability and the Capitals Coalition (2014-2020). He has been recognized for his expertise with his inclusion NACD Directorship 100, and in Trust Across America’s Top 100 Thought Leaders.

Ashley WalterPartnerOrrick

Ashley Walter

Partner, Orrick

Ashley Walter advises technology and life sciences companies on strategy, oversight and compliance with respect to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) measures. He approaches sustainability from a governance perspective, helping clients to develop an appropriate framework in which to advance their ESG programs.

As Partner-in-Charge, ESG, Ashley assists public and private companies and their boards in establishing effective oversight of ESG matters, preparing ESG disclosures, addressing ESG commercial requirements, managing investor engagement with respect to ESG matters, and ensuring compliance with ESG laws and regulations. He also works with investment funds to develop fund-level and portfolio company ESG programs that address the full investment cycle, that are responsive to limited partner expectations, and that are appropriate for the stage, industry and business model of portfolio companies. He leverages a firm grounding in ESG substantive issues, significant experience in the design and implementation of ESG policies and procedures, and sector-specific knowledge to develop practical ESG solutions for clients in the tech sector and beyond.

Ashley is a co-founder and past chair of the Corporate Social Responsibility Law Committee of the ABA Business Law Section, has taught the course “Corporate Social Responsibility” as a Lecturer in Law at Stanford Law School, and is a co-editor of The Lawyer’s Corporate Social Responsibility Deskbook, a resource for legal departments and outside counsel to address ESG performance and risk. He has co-chaired the Practicing Law Institute’s annual full-day ESG program for the last two years, has served as a moderator at the Stanford Directors’ College, and has spoken on private company ESG for a workshop delivered by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research.

Kristina WyattDeputy GC, SVP Global Regulatory Climate DisclosurePersefoni

Kristina Wyatt

Deputy GC, SVP Global Regulatory Climate Disclosure, Persefoni

Kristina is Persefoni’s Deputy GC and SVP of Global Regulatory Climate Disclosure. She joined Persefoni from the Securities and Exchange Commission where she was Sr. Counsel to the Director of the Division of Corporation Finance, focused on climate and ESG. There, she helped lead the drafting of the SEC’s climate disclosure rule proposals, and worked closely with other US regulatory agencies and the Financial Stability Oversight Council, and foreign regulatory agencies on climate disclosure policy issues. Before joining the SEC, Kristina was Director of Sustainability at the law firm Latham & Watkins. While at Latham, she built the firm’s sustainability program and co-led its ESG practice.

Kristina holds a BA from Duke University, a JD from the University of Colorado, and an MBA in Sustainability from Yale University.


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