Participant Bios and Pictures

Shankkar Aiyar

Shankkar Aiyar is a prominent India-based political economy analyst, columnist, and author. As a political economy analyst, Aiyar specializes in the interface of economics and politics. He has covered every election since 1984 and the political economy since 1991. A journalist for over three decades, he has won awards and been at the helm of a national newspaper and newsweekly. Aiyar is a Visiting Fellow at IDFC Institute where he writes on how politics impact economics and is invited to decode the interface of politics and economics for Indian and international audiences. Aiyar is currently researching the trifecta of disruptions triggered by demographic, technological and climate change.

Abdi Aynte

Abdi Aynte is the co-founder and the Managing Director of Laasfort Consulting Group (LCG). He has nearly 20 years of senior leadership and executive management experience across many fields and disciplines. He was most recently a senior official with the United Nations responsible for external relations, resource mobilization and strategic planning.

Louise Baird

Louise Baird is the Assistant Deputy Minister, Intergovernmental Affairs at the Privy Council Office (PCO) in the Government of Canada. Prior to joining PCO, Louise worked at the Treasury Board Secretariat, another Government of Canada central agency. She spent several years in a variety of senior leadership roles in Canada’s federal Industry department. Before joining the federal public service, Louise worked in the high-tech sector. Ottawa, Canada

Pinaki Chakraborty

Pinaki Chakraborty is Director at the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy New Delhi. Prior to this, he was the Chief-Social Policy, and the Chief of Field Office-UNICEF Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Chakraborty has critical domain knowledge of the public finances of the national and state governments and has served on the advisory committees of various research institutions in India.

Rupak Chattopadhyay

Rupak Chattopadhyay has been President and CEO of the Forum of Federations since 2011. He was previously a member of the Consultative Group on the Study of Intergovernmental Relations and Dispute Resolution Mechanisms, Inter-State Council, Government of India. In 2004/5 he was Advisor to the Chairman of the Observer Research Foundation. He is on the editorial board or the Indian Journal of Public Administration and is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Federal Studies at the University of Kent.

Degefa Tolossa Degaga

Degefa Tolossa Degaga is a Professor of Geography and Development at the College of Development Studies (CDS), Addis Ababa University. He authored 4 books and 50 articles in local and international journals, and received a number of awards, grants and fellowships. Prof. Degefa is currently serving as a Board member for Bule Hora University (BHU).

Jennifer Ditchburn

Jennifer Ditchburn is Editor-in-Chief of Policy Options, the award-winning online magazine of the Institute for Research on Public Policy (IRPP). A longtime journalist, she spent more than two decades covering national and parliamentary affairs for The Canadian Press and for CBC Television.

Jean-François Gibeault

Jean François Gibeault est sous-ministre adjoint au Bureau d’électrification et de changements climatiques au ministère de l'Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques (MELCC) depuis novembre 2020. Entre 2018 et 2020, il a occupé les fonctions de directeur de la recherche à l’Agence QMI et Bureau d'enquête du Journal de Montréal. M. Gibeault cumule également près de 15 années d’expérience en cabinet parlementaire et ministériel.

Kathryn Harrison

Kathryn Harrison is a Professor of Political Science at the University of British Columbia. Before entering academia, Harrison worked as a policy analyst for both Environment Canada and the United States Congress. She also has served as Senior Associate Dean and Acting Dean in the UBC Faculty of Arts. Professor Harrison has published widely on federalism and Canadian and US climate policy. She has advised governments from the local to international level, and is a frequent media and social media commentator on climate policy.

Muluneh G. Hedeto

Muluneh G. Hedeto is Senior Technical Advisor, Commission of Climate Change, Forest and Environment, Government of Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. He has more than 12 years of experience as a university lecturer, researcher, and climate and environmental negotiator. Mr. Hedeto holds an MA in International Relations and a BA in Political Science and International Relations (PSIR) from Addis Ababa University.

Hans Hofmann

Hans Hofmann is Director-General at the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community at the Federal Government of Germany. He is also a part-time lecturer at the Law Faculty of the Humboldt-Universität Berlin. Among the various positions he has occupied in public service, he served as Deputy director-general/head of directorate at the Federal Chancellery. Prof. Dr. Hofmann is also a Chairman of Advisory Council of the Hertie School of Governance. He has authored several publications on issues relating to governance, and public and international law.

Ruth Huber

Ruth Huber assumed her position as Vice-Director of the Swiss Agency for Cooperation and Development (SDC) and Head of Department Cooperation with Eastern Europe in Berne in March 2018. From 2011-2015, Mrs. Huber was Regional Director of the SDC program in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. From 2015-2018, she served as Ambassador of Switzerland to Zimbabwe and Malawi.

Julius Ihonvbere

Julius Ihonvbere is currently an elected member in Nigeria's National Assembly representing Owan Federal Constituency in the Federal House of Representatives, where he is also Chairman, House Committee on Basic Education and Services.

Sébastien Jodoin

Sébastien Jodoin is an Assistant Professor in the McGill University Faculty of Law, where he holds the Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in Human Rights, Health, and the Environment. He is the founding director of the Disability-Inclusive Climate Action Research Program, a pioneering initiative to generate, co-produce, and translate knowledge at the intersections of disability and climate justice.

Grant Kippen

Grant Kippen has spent the past 35 years involved in electoral politics and democracy strengthening activities internationally as well as in Canada. He is currently Chief Electoral Advisor for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) based in Kabul since March 2018.

Sabine Kropp

Sabine Kropp is a scientist and Professor at the Free University of Berlin. In 2000/2001 she was chief of staff of the Minister for Infrastructure of the Government of Saxony-Anhalt. She was also managing director of the journal Politische Vierteljahresschrift (PVS) from 2006 to 2010. In 2013 she accepted the professorship for the Political System of the Federal The Republic of Germany at the Free University of Berlin.

Muna Luqman

Muna Luqman is a Yemeni activist, peace builder, founder of the organization Food4Humanity and co-founder of the Women in Solidarity Network. Luqman's career includes social work in the areas of health care, water projects and demining with the Adventist Development and Relief Agency.

Jonathan E. Malaya

Jonathan E. Malaya is currently the Undersecretary for Plans, Public Affairs and Communications and Official Spokesperson of the Department of the Interior and Local Government. He is also Chair of the Task Group on Governance, Sub-Task Group on Risk Communications, and member of the Vaccine Cluster, National Task Force COVID-19.

Georg Milbradt

Georg Milbradt is Chairman of the board of the Forum of Federations. Recently he has been appointed as Vice-President of the independent advisory Committee of the German Stability Council. His political career includes holding the office of Minister-President of the Federal Free State of Saxony and the chairmanship of Saxony's Christian Democratic Union. He has been a member of the German Bundesrat as well as the Parliament of Saxony.

Bob Rae

Bob Rae is the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Canada to the United Nations in New York. In 1997, Mr. Rae became a founding board member of the Forum of Federations. He went on to serve as Chairman and President of the Forum and advised many governments and groups on issues of constitutional change, the rule of law, federalism, and devolution. He remains a Senior Fellow of the Forum.

Alejandra Reyes

Alejandra Reyes is Assistant Professor of Urban Planning and Public Policy at UC Irvine’s School of Social Ecology. Her research analyzes multifaceted matters – most notably the relationships between governance, housing production, and issues of access – and highlights the critical influence of political and economic factors on urban development.

Georg Häsler Sansano

Georg Häsler Sansano, born 1972 in Berne (Switzerland), studied Classical Philology in Berne and Basel, stepped into journalism in 1999 (reporter in crisis regions, investigative journalism), became an editor at Swiss public TV (SRF) 2009, went first to Belgrade later to Berne as a correspondent for SRF. Since 2020, he is analyst on Security and Defence at Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ). He serves as a lieutenant-colonel in Swiss Armed Forces.

Joana Setzer

Joana Setzer is an Assistant Professorial Research Fellow at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, at the London School of Economics and Political Science, where she leads the Climate Change Laws of the World project. Joana regularly advises a range of international, governments and non-governmental organizations.

Jeffrey Simpson

Jeffrey Simpson was national affairs columnist at The Globe and Mail for nearly three decades. The author of eight books, he has won all three of Canada's leading literary prizes – the Governor-General's award for non-fiction book writing, the National Magazine Award for political writing, and the National Newspaper Award for column writing (twice).

Enid Slack

Enid Slack is the Director of the Institute on Municipal Finance and Governance (IMFG) at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Toronto. Enid has been working on municipal finance issues for 40 years and has been retained by agencies such as the World Bank, IMF, CIDA, UN Habitat, Asian Development Bank, and Inter-American Development Bank in countries such as Brazil, China, Colombia, India, Mexico, Mongolia, the Philippines, and South Africa.

Nidhi Srivastava

Nidhi Srivastava is a Law and Policy Consultant based in New Delhi, India. A lawyer by training, she has over fifteen years of experience in legal and policy research on issues relating to the environment, natural resources, energy and climate change. Previously Nidhi worked with The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and WWF India. She has also worked on environmental federalism for the Inter State Council Secretariat, the Finance Commissions of the Government of India, and various multilateral agencies. Nidhi is Fellow at the Centre for Multilevel Federalism, Institute of Social Sciences, India.

Nico Steytler

Nico Steytler is the South African Research Chair in Multilevel Government, Law and Development at the Dullah Omar Institute of Constitutional Law, Governance and Human Rights of the University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa.

The Forum brings the world’s leading experts together with the “practitioners” of government: elected officials, civil servants, and political operatives. The Forum’s direct relationship with governments on each continent makes it uniquely placed to promote intergovernmental learning by working in tandem with its partner governments.

Alongside its work with key governance practitioners, the Forum also supports civil society stakeholders, enhancing understanding and building the capacity of citizens to operate in multilevel systems. Working through its extensive network of local partners, the Forum provides learning and knowledge to facilitate the participation of civil society in the multilevel governance processes which impact their lives.