Keynote Speakers & Panelists
4 - 6 July 2022

Keynote Speakers and Panelists of the INTOSAI WGEA Assembly

Shobha Maharaj

Dr. Shobha Maharaj is an independent researcher whose work focuses on investigating ways to increase resilience by using climate projections to inform adaptation and planning strategies — for especially global biodiversity hotspots and Small Island States. She is also exploring ways to enhance existing forest mitigation strategies by assessing little known (but significant) bottlenecks to scaling native, biodiverse reforestation from local to global levels. Another major area of her work involves developing novel methods of integrating biodiversity with financial instruments towards promotion of sustainable long-term native forest conservation.

She has served as an author on several recent international reports including: the IPCC’s 6th Assessment Report (AR6 Working Group II): as a Lead Author for both the Small Islands Chapter and the Biodiversity Hotspots Cross-Chapter Paper as well as a Summary for Policy Makers author. She was also one of 50 international scientists who developed the recently released IPBES-IPCC Report on Biodiversity and Climate Change and is currently serving as Coordinating Lead Author of the Climate Resilience chapter within the ongoing WCMC’s National Ecosystem Assessment for Grenada in support of the IPBES.

Her greatest concern for island nations with respect to climate change is a chronic paucity of data within many sectors. “The lack of communication and dialogue on this issue continues to perpetuate a paucity of critical data — and this hinders our capacity to develop the robust assessments and projections needed to effectively increase our adaptive and resilience potentials”. 

Elisa Tonda, UNEP

Elisa Tonda is the Head of the Consumption and Production Unit in UNEP Economy Division, whose main goal is the promotion of sustainable production and consumption policies, practices and initiatives through the engagement of governments, the business community and civil society organizations. The Unit is the organizational focal point for circular economy initiatives and projects. Prior to that, Elisa worked in UNEP Office for Latin America and the Caribbean and in the UN Industrial Development Organization. Before joining the UN, she worked in the private sector in the promotion of environmental solutions. Elisa has a Master degree in Environmental Engineering from the Polytechnic of Turin, Italy, and in Sustainable Development from the University of London, UK.

Ricardo Mena Speck, UNDRR

Ricardo Mena has served in the United Nations system since 1993, occupying positions in the United Nations Department of Affairs (UNDHA), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the Department of Management and with the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR).

In 2009, Mr. Mena joined UNDRR as head of its Regional Office for the Americas and the Caribbean based in Panama. In 2017, he took on the position of UNDRR Chief of Branch in charge of Supporting and Monitoring the Implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction based in Geneva. He served as Director ad interim of the organization from December 2019 to May 2020, and was appointed as Director on 1 June 2020.

Mr. Mena has ample experience in all the facets of disaster risk reduction and its links with sustainable development, climate change and humanitarian crisis. He led 16 UN disaster relief missions, worked extensively in disaster preparedness and recovery, coordinated the implementation of national disaster mitigation projects in various countries and led the formulation of a preparatory assistance for the development of a disaster mitigation strategy for Latin America.

He led the establishment of the Business Continuity Management Unit at the UN Headquarters andoversaw the implementation of the corporate Avian Flu Preparedness Plan in New York and offices away from Headquarters.

Prior to his engagement with the United Nations, Mr. Mena held managerial positions in the private sector in Ecuador and worked with the organization Partners of the Americas as Deputy Director of an Emergency Preparedness Program for Ecuador and neighbouring countries.

Mr. Mena holds a master’s degree in Risk, Crisis and Disaster Management from the University of Leicester, United Kingdom.

H.E. Aminath Shauna

H.E. Aminath Shauna was sworn in as the Minister of Environment, Climate Change and Technology on May 5, 2021. Her portfolio includes, protecting the natural environment, action and advocacy on climate change, science and technology development, and the implementation of policies on energy, telecommunications, water, and waste management. She also provides policy direction to the Ministry's affiliated agencies, namely, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Biosphere Reserve Office. Prior the her appointment Shauna served as the Policy Secretary to H.E President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. Previously, Shauna served as Under Secretary at the Policy Office of the President's Office from 2008-2012, where she was responsible for the coordination of all government policy matters, including climate change. She oversaw the secretariat of the Climate Change Advisory Council, the expert body providing climate change policy advice to the President.

Ms. Rauhath Hussain

Ms. Rauhath Hussain joined Auditor General’s Office (AGO) in November 2012, gaining over 8 years of experience till today. She currently holds the position of Director of Performance Audit. Ms. Rauhath oversees the function of conducting performance audits of relevant topics for the public and stakeholders and ensuring the knowledge share of relevant performance audit areas with the stakeholders and staff.

She previously assumed several positions at AGO including Manager of Performance Audit from 2017 to 2021 and Senior Auditor from 2012 to 2017. Prior to joining AGO, she worked at Maldives Islamic Bank.

Ms. Rauhath is a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants since the year 2018. In addition, she has participated and successfully completed the SAI Young Leaders program by INTOSAI Development Initiative (IDI), a widely recognized program to create positive change that transforms a Supreme Audit Institution through young leaders.

Mr. Akram Waheed

Mr. Akram Waheed had been serving the government in the energy sector since 2003, with a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons.) in Mechatronic Engineering from Curtin University, Australia, as well as various short-term training attained over the course of his service. His contribution to the sector spans from policy, regulatory and project implementation aspects throughout the energy sector of the Maldives. His current primary roles in the government includes supporting the Utility Regulatory Authority in regulatory aspects as the Engineer/Assistant Director, and oversight of the implementation of the World Bank-supported ASPIRE project as the Senior Energy Specialist, aimed at commercial scale-up of solar PV, as well as the more recent ARISE project aimed to supplement additional solar PV projects, by deploying Battery Energy Storage Technologies & grid modernization and major infrastructure development planning works in Greater Male’ region.

Shaahina Ali

Shaahina Ali is the Executive Director of Parley Maldives, designing and implementing Parley AIR Strategy (Avoid. Intercept. Redesign.) to reduce single use plastic footprint on the ocean environment. The Parley AIR Strategy has become the most expansive interception programs that has changed plastic waste management across the country.

She is currently serving on the EPA Governing Board and is also a member in the National Committee for Single Use Plastic Phaseout. As a passionate diver and a professional photographer in the water and above, Shaahina has travelled to all inhabited islands.

Mr. Hassan Mohamed

Mr. Hassan Mohamed, the Managing Partner of Crowe Maldives LLP, has more than 20 years of professional experience specializing in Audit, Accounting and Advisory services.

He has worked extensively with clients providing audit, accounting and advisory services in private and public sector of the Maldives. He is also the Chairperson of the State Internal Audit Committee of the Government of Maldives and Vice President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Maldives.

He is a Board member of Maldives Islamic Bank nominated by Government of Maldives.

Mr. Hassan is a Fellow Member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (FCCA)

Shimhaz Wafir

Project Assistant at Integrated Sustainable and Low Emission Transport in the Maldives Project. Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Technology.

Shimhaz Wafir acquired his first Degree in Information Technology at Villa College in affiliation with Open University Malaysia. He has attained a second degree in Environmental Management at Maldives National University.

He started his employment career at Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Technology in September 2013. During this period, he worked at the Waste Management and Pollution Control Department, and was involved in Monitoring and Evaluation of Waste Management situation at local islands, and Education and Awareness on sound waste management practices. 

Mariyam Samha

Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Technology

Ms. Mariyam Samha holds a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Management. She is currently working as an Environment Analyst in charge of leading the Implementation of Single-use plastic phaseout plan in the Maldives. In addition, her work is also focused on educating and creating awareness regarding best practices of waste management and reducing single use plastic consumption to promote sustainable lifestyles. She also represents Maldives at UNEP's Plastic Treaty formulation as a technical expert.

Ibrahim Rasheed Aboobakuru

Ibrahim Rasheed Aboobakuru was appointed as State Minister for Tourism on 16th March 2022. Ibrahim Rasheed Aboobakuru holds a Master of Business Administration from Bolton University, United Kingdom.

Ibrahim Rasheed Aboobakuru previously served as the Managing Director of the Greater Malé Industrial Zone Ltd. He also held the positions of Deputy to the Minister of State for Home Affairs and State Secretary to the Secretariat of the North Central Province. State Minister also worked in Villa Hotels as Marketing Manager. Furthermore, he worked in several resort development projects in various positions.

Mr. Mohamed Ibrahim Jaleel

After having completed Bachelor’s Degree in the field of Environmental Management, Mr. Mohamed Ibrahim Jaleel has been serving in the governance of environmental sector since 2015. During this time, he has contributed significantly to the development of policy, legal structure, strategic planning, project formulation, project implementation and utility management in the water and sanitation sector of the Maldives. He has also acquired a Master’s Degree in Social Research Studies and contributed to multiple technical publications of the water sector. He is currently working as an audit manager in the Performance Audit Department of SAI Maldives.

Karoliina Pilli-Sihvola

Dr Karoliina Pilli-Sihvola is a senior expert on climate change adaptation at the Finnish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. She is on a leave of absence from the National Audit Office of Finland, where her position is a senior performance auditor. Previously, she has worked for over 11 years as a researcher at the Finnish Meteorological Institute. She has a PhD from the University of Helsinki, Finland, with a focus on disaster risk management and climate change impacts and adaptation.

Nadir A. Mohammed

Nadir Abdellatif Mohammed is the EFI Regional Director, Middle East and North Africa (MNA) region of the World Bank. Prior to this, he was the Director of Strategy and Operations in the Human Development Practice Group of the Bank overseeing human capital project and the education, health nutrition and population and social safety nets, Labor and migration. During 2014-2018, Mr. Mohammed was the Country Director of the GCC Countries in the MENA region of the World Bank.

Dr. Mohammed joined the World Bank in 1998 as country economist (Egypt and then Yemen). He joined the ECA region as Country Manager (Albania) and returned to the MNA region as Operations Director in 2007. During 2010-2012, Dr. Mohammed was on external assignment from the Bank where he served as Acting Director of Strategy, Prime Minister Office, State of Kuwait. He also served as Senior Advisor in the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management (PREM) network during 2009-2010 and also from 2012-1013.

Before joining the Bank, Mr. Mohammed worked in two multilateral development banks (African Development Bank, 1994-1996) and the Islamic Development Bank (1996-1998). Mr. Mohammed started his career in academia as lecture and research officer in universities of Khartoum (Sudan), Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), Cambridge (UK), and Oxford (UK).  

Mr. Mohammed is a graduate of the University of Khartoum (BSs in Economics) and has two post-graduate degrees in Economics from the University of Cambridge (M. Phil and Ph. D). Mr. Mohammed published widely on issues of economic growth and development, public finance, human capital, conflict and civil wars, natural resource management, poverty reduction, governance and defence economics.

Anna Piccinni

Anna Piccinni is a policy analyst in the OECD’s Policy Coherence for Sustainable Development Unit (PCSD Unit) of the Public governance Directorate. She is incharge of implementing PCSD’s in-country work in Malta, Romania, Italy, Portugal and Luxembourg. She is also teaching faculty at the Public Affairs School of Sciences Po Paris on migration and integration. She first joined the OECD in 2015, after several years as governance expert in several Sub-Saharan and Caribbean countries for EU Delegations, UN agencies (UNDP, UNIDO) and NGOs (IRC). She is public governance and migration lead expert and specialised in governance tools and practices for sustainable development across levels of government. She holds a Master degree at Sciences Po Paris (France) on International security and a Master degree at Bocconi University (Italy) on Economics and management of public administration.

Ali Shareef

Ali Shareef served the Government for more than 15 years with the Maldives Meteorological Services and at the Ministry of Environment at the Climate Change Department. Coming from a scientific background with a profession in Meteorology and Climatology, he has a wealth of information on the needs and use of data for climate change adaptation. He has experience in program and project implementation related to climate change adaptation and mitigation.

He also played a key role in the formulation of the Maldives Climate Change Policy Framework, Maldives first Biennial Update Report (BUR) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Second National Communications, the Maldives first and second Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC).

He was also a member of the national delegation to the UNFCCC negotiations, as well as a Lead Author (LA) to the Working Group III (WG III) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to the 6th Assessment Report.

Sabra Ibrahim Noordeen

Appointed under the Climate Emergency Act , Her Excellency Sabra Ibrahim Noordeen is the first Special Envoy for Climate Change in the Maldives. Ms. Noordeen graduated from the University of London, United Kingdom, with a Master of Science in State, Society, and Development. She previously served as the Secretary, Foreign relations at the President’s Office.

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