Maja Groff is an international lawyer based in The Hague, assisting in the development and servicing of multilateral treaties in the area of private law, also working at various international criminal tribunals (ICTY, STL) and teaching at the Hague Academy of International Law. She has worked on a wide range of existing and potential global treaties addressing, contemporary human rights issues and cross-border legal cooperation. She has drafted a wide range of international legal policy documents and published academically on private and public international law, human rights and global governance. She holds degrees from McGill (civil law and common law), Oxford and Harvard Universities, and is an attorney admitted to practice in the state of New York, formerly working in corporate law. She has served on the International Law and UN Committees of the New York City Bar Association, and the (Advisory) Boards of BCorp Europe and ebbf, organisations devoted to ethical business. She was a co-winner of the 2018 New Shape Prize for global governance innovation, and is a co-author of the 2020 book, Global Governance and the Emergence of Global Institutions for the 21st Century, published by Cambridge University Press.
Augusto Lopez-Claros is a former World Bank Senior Fellow at the Edmund Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. Between 2011 and 2017 he was the Director of the World Bank’s Global Indicators Group, the department responsible for the Bank’s Doing Business report and other international benchmarking studies. Previously he was Chief Economist and Director of the Global Competitiveness Program at the World Economic Forum in Geneva, where he was also the Editor of the Global Competitiveness Report, the Forum’s flagship publication, as well as a number of regional economic reports. Before joining the Forum he worked for several years in the financial sector in London, with a special focus on emerging markets. He was the International Monetary Fund’s Resident Representative in the Russian Federation during the 1990s. Before joining the IMF, Lopez-Claros was a Professor of Economics at the University of Chile in Santiago. He was educated in England and the United States, receiving a diploma in Mathematical Statistics from Cambridge University and a PhD in Economics from Duke University. He is a much-sought-after international speaker, having lectured in the last several years at some of the world’s leading universities and think tanks. In 2007 he was a coeditor of The International Monetary System, the IMF, and the G-20: A Great Transformation in the Making? and The Humanitarian Response Index: Measuring Commitment to Best Practice, both published by Palgrave. He was the editor of The Innovation for Development Report 2009–2010: Strengthening Innovation for the Prosperity of Nations, published by Palgrave in November 2009. More recent publications include: “Removing Impediments to Sustainable Economic Development: The Case of Corruption” (2015), “Fiscal Challenges After the Global Financial Crisis: A Survey of Key Issues” (2014) and “The Moral Dimension of the Fight Against Corruption” (2017) (augustolopezclaros.com).
President, International Environment Forum
I have always been a Bahá’í, loved nature since I was taught about it in children’s classes, and set my goal to become a Bahá’í pioneer at the conference launching the Ten-year Crusade in 1953. I was finishing my Ph.D. in marine biology in 1969 when the Santa Barbara oil spill covered my research material and I was doing pollution studies by default. While doing coral reef research at the Smithsonian Institution, I lectured at the first Earth Day in Washington, DC in 1970, and represented the Bahá’í International Community at the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm in 1972. I was finally able to pioneer to New Caledonia in 1974, becoming the Regional Ecological Adviser to all the Pacific Island Countries at the Pacific Community, where I organized the Pacific Regional Environment Programme. I then joined the UN Environment Programme in Nairobi, Kenya, as Deputy Director of the Oceans and Coastal Areas Programme, before serving in the Secretariat of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit to prepare Agenda 21, the global action plan for sustainable development, and then coordinating the UN System-Wide Earthwatch from Geneva, Switzerland, where I am still based. I have been President of the International Environment Forum, a Bahá’í-inspired organization for environment and sustainability, since 1997, and am also on the governing board of another Bahá’í-inspired organization, ebbf – Ethical Business Building the Future. I teach sustainability in several academic programmes, participate in international research projects on values-based indicators and education for sustainability, and have been Visiting Professor at the University of Brighton, UK, and the European Center for Peace and Development in Belgrade, Serbia. I have been a consultant to the World Bank, the World Economic Forum, and other international organizations. Among my many many scientific papers and books are: “Unless and Until: A Bahá’í Focus on the Environment”, “The Eco Principle: Ecology and Economics in Symbiosis,” “In Pursuit of Hope: A Guide for the Seeker” and (with two co-authors) “Global Governance and the Emergence of Global Institutions for the 21st Century,” based on proposals that won the New Shape Prize of the Global Challenges Foundation in 2018. My personal web site includes a complete CV and bibliography.See Faculty Bio
June’s conversation with Rainn Wilson has been rescheduled to Wednesday, 10 June. The reason is in order to have a conversation about the national crisis (racial justice this time, not coronavirus).