After a successful business career (1979-1987), José María Figueres Olsen served as Minister of State and was later elected President of Costa Rica (1994-1998) at the age of 39. As President he created a comprehensive national development strategy based on the tenets of sustainability: sound economics, investment in human development, and a strong alliance with nature.
José María pioneered the linkage between sustainable development and technology, which he continued after government by helping create and then leading the United Nations ICT Task Force as its first Chairperson (1999).
He was the first person to become CEO of the World Economic Forum (2003), where he strengthened global corporate ties to social and governmental sectors. Later he was named CEO of Concordia 21 (2006), dedicated to supporting organizations that promote development and democratic values around the world.
Figueres joined the Carbon War Room in 2009, currently serving as its President. The organization accelerates the adoption of business solutions that reduce carbon emissions at gigaton scale and advance the low-carbon economy.
In 2013 Figueres helped launch the Global Ocean Commission to formulate politically and technically feasible recommendations that address key issues facing the high seas. He serves as co-Chair.
José María holds an Engineering Degree from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and a Masters in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Peter Boyd served as Launch Director of the Carbon War Room from initial concept by Richard Branson and fellow founders in early 2009, and now focuses his time on developing and implementing the strategy in the three elements of Carbon War Room - Research & Intelligence, Network Engagement, and Operations. The projects span accelerating profitable climate change solutions in Energy Efficiency in Buildings, Shipping, Aviation, Island Nations and more.
He brings over 15 years of private-sector experience in strategy, marketing, operations, and general management to his role as COO at Carbon War Room.
He previously served as CEO of Virgin Mobile South Africa, leading the first and only Virtual Mobile Operator on the African continent, tripling its size over the period. Prior to that, he was VP of Marketing for Virgin Mobile USA in New York, which followed various managerial and marketing roles in the Virgin Group - totaling over 11 years in Virgin.
Parallel to his current role at the Carbon War Room, Peter is Chair of the UK’s Energy Efficiency Deployment Office (part of UK Department of Energy & Climate Change, appointed in May 2012). Within this role he provides strategic guidance and support to Ministers, DECC Management and liaising with the corporate sector on how best to accelerate energy efficiency across the UK economy.
Peter is also on the advisory board of a variety of non-profit /corporate organizations including the Corporate Responsibility Officers Association , Fenix, Climate Nexus and the World Bank’s external advisory group for the leadership of the Sustainable Development Network. Peter’s started his career at McKinsey & Company (working in London, India and South Africa) after graduating from Oxford University with BA Honours in Philosophy, Politics & Economics.
Ginna Newton has more than 15 years of leadership experience organizing and streamlining companies. Her significant quality systems training, ISO and TQM training and HAACP training offer additional layers to her knowledge and understanding of the complexities of the corporate entity. Her achievements have been featured in Smart Money magazine, as well as other industry and business media.
Her strategic approach to growing a business is reflected in her work as President of Old Dominion Enterprises, Inc. and as Quality Systems Manager of the Louis Dreyfus Corporation, where her system development and process improvement delivered impressive bottom-line results. She also successfully completed the merger and acquisition of Old Dominion Enterprises, Inc. with a large public entity at the end of 2006. Her turnaround capabilities are also highlighted by her accomplishments as CFO of Old Dominion Enterprises, Inc., where she led a company to record profitability through complete corporate restructuring that included major shifts in financial strategy, financial planning, operations, marketing communications, and training.
Ginna also served as a telecommunications manager for ESI, a division of Southwestern Bell Telephone and Southwestern Bell Mobile Systems (Currently SBC) where she focused on brand building and increased market share in both the B2B and B2C arenas.
Ginna received her BA from Saint Louis University.
Ann Davlin has made a career out of working for the environment. She brings to the Carbon War Room over 20 years of experience that includes capital raising, event organizing, environmental policy work and brownfields development.
As Director of Development Ann has oversight for the fundraising operation, which encompasses raising capital from individuals, foundations and corporations, while also managing relationships with the Founders Circle and Board of Advisors.
Prior to her position at the Carbon War Room, Ann was the managing director of Bayberry Green Fund and also started Davlin Development Group, a consulting firm that worked with individuals and institutions to source and develop brownfield real estate opportunities around the world.
Now based in New York City, Ann began her career as an environmental researcher and conference organizer in Washington, DC during the infancy of the national climate change movement. Ann was the special assistant for environmental projects to then-Senator Al Gore, and served in both the White House and the Department of Defense creating and implementing environmental policy across the public and private sectors.
Ann received an MPA in Environmental Policy from Columbia University, School of International and Public Affairs. To this day she is active member of the environmental community. She has lectured at both Yale and New York University, and holds board and advisory committee appointments with groups that include NYS League of Conservation Voters and Clean Economy Network.
Mark Grundy joined the Carbon War Room in September 2012. He brings 15 years of communications and media expertise from both sides of the Atlantic. As Communications Officer at the EC’s European Environment Agency in the 2000s, Mark helped drive communications of EU environment milestones, such as annual performance towards Kyoto; the Emissions Trading Scheme; and the 5-year, pan-European ‘State of the Environment’ report to European policy makers and public. In 2007, Mark moved to the US to work for the international public relations firm, Edelman. Within the New York Corporate Social Responsibility Practice, Mark provided counsel and led global and nation media campaigns on climate, carbon and clean-tech for FORTUNE 500 firms, governments, IGOs and NGOs, including campaigns on UAE’s MASDAR, REDD+ and climate science findings.
Mark earned his bachelor’s, master’s and MBA degrees in Manchester, UK.
Hilary McMahon is the Director of Research at the Carbon War Room. Hilary joined the CWR after working at the United Nations in New York as an adviser on Climate change and technology issues. Previously, Hilary spent four years working as a Senior Associate on the Energy and Climate team at the World Resources Institute (WRI), leading their work in support of Low Carbon Development Plans in many developing countries and managing a large research team. Hilary also led the WRI's work in support of the UNFCCC's climate negotiations. Hilary has published extensively on issues relating to climate mitigation in developing countries, mitigation technologies and energy access. Hilary recently acted as a reviewer for the World Energy Outlook and has traveled extensively with her work. Previous to the WRI, Hilary managed a climate change related program at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development in Geneva, Switzerland. Before moving to Switzerland Hilary worked on environmental issues in Brussels for an industry association, UNIFE, followed a semester teaching at a University in Spain, setting up the climate group for the Institute of European Affairs and researching policy approaches for the Institute for International Integration Studies.
Hilary received her degree in Politics and French from the University College Dublin, Ireland and her Masters in Politics from the College of Europe in Brugge, Belgium. Hilary also studied Chinese Politics for a year in Lausanne, Switzerland.