SOAS University of London

Centre for Sustainable Finance

Advisory Board

The SOAS Centre for Sustainable Finance’s Global Advisory Board has been created to guide our work. The members of the Advisory Board are:

  • Shamshad Akhtar, Chair of the Board of Directors, Karandaaz Pakistan
  • Ben Caldecott, Director of the Oxford Sustainable Finance Programme & Associate Professor and Senior Research Fellow, Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, University of Oxford
  • Naoko Ishii, CEO and Chairperson, Global Environment Facility
  • Ekhosuehi Iyahen, Secretary General, Insurance Development Forum
  • Yao Wang, Director General of the International Institute of Green Finance, Central University of Finance and Economics
Shamshad Akhtar

Shamshad Akhtar is a development economist and diplomat. She is Chair of the Board of Directors of Karandaaz Pakistan, a collaborative innovative finance and digital financial inclusion platform which is supported by DFID and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. She was the 14th Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan, Pakistan’s central bank, the first woman to assume this position. She also served as Finance Minister of Pakistan, holding several economic portfolios during the last interim government. Shamshad served as Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and was the 10th Executive Secretary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, leading global work on the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, climate change, and financing for development. As Senior Special Economic and Finance Advisor to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, she was the UN Sherpa for the G20. Shamshad was the World Bank’s Vice President for the Middle East and North Africa Region, Director General at the Asian Development Bank, and Special Senior Advisor to the ADB President. She was a post-doctoral Fulbright Fellow at Harvard University, holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Paisley, a Master in Development Economics from the University of Sussex, and an MSc in Economics from Quaid-i-Azam University. She serves on a few key global and regional advisory councils and boards. She was listed among the ‘Ten Women to Watch in Asia’ by the Wall Street Journal and received the ‘Central Bank Governor of the Year in Asia’ award in 2008.

Ben Caldecott

Dr Ben Caldecott is the founding Director of the Oxford Sustainable Finance Programme. He is an Associate Professor and Senior Research Fellow at the University of Oxford Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, a Supernumerary Fellow at Oriel College, Oxford, a Visiting Researcher at The Alan Turing Institute, and a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University. Ben is also Senior Advisor to the Chair and CEO of the UK Green Finance Institute and the COP26 Strategy Advisor for Finance based out of the Cabinet Office. He has conceived and initiated a number of initiatives related to sustainable finance. Ben founded and co-chairs the Global Research Alliance for Sustainable Finance and Investment (GRASFI), an alliance of global research universities promoting rigorous and impactful academic research on sustainable finance. He established and leads the Sustainable Finance Theme at The Alan Turing Institute and initiated the Spatial Finance Initiative, which aims to mainstream geospatial capabilities enabled by space technology and data science into financial decision-making globally. He co-founded the Commonwealth Climate and Law Initiative (CCLI), which is examining the legal basis for directors and trustees to consider, manage, and report on climate change-related risk, and the circumstances in which they may be liable for failing to do so. Ben chairs the International Green Finance Coordination Group on behalf of the UK Green Finance Institute and the UK Government. He currently serves on the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Climate-Related Market Risk Subcommittee and the UK Department for International Trade’s Export Guarantee Advisory Council. In his capacity as a Member of the UK Green Finance Taskforce, he chaired its Workstream on Task Force on Climate-related Disclosures (TCFD) Implementation.

Naoko Ishii

Naoko Ishii is the CEO and Chair of the Global Environment Facility since 2012. She previously served as Japan’s Deputy Vice Minister of Finance, and represented the Japanese Government during the design of the Green Climate Fund. She worked as a Country Director for the World Bank, and has held positions at the IMF and Harvard Institute for International Development. Naoko is co-chair of the World Economic Forum’s Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy, and co-chair of the Advisory Network of the High-Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy. She is a Special Advisor to the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development, a Commissioner for the Global Adaptation Commission, Member of the Leadership Council of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, and of the Advisory Committee of Future Earth. She also serves on the Global Advisory Board of the University of Tokyo. Naoko has published numerous papers and several books, two of which were awarded the Suntory Prize (1990) and Okita Memorial Prize for International Development Research (2004). She is the inaugural recipient of the 2006 Enjoji Jiro Memorial Prize. Naoko holds a B.A. and a Ph.D. from the University of Tokyo.

Ekhosuehi Iyahen

Ekhosuehi Iyahen is the Secretary General of the Insurance Development Forum which is a public-private partnership led by the insurance industry and supported by the World Bank and the United Nations, aiming to enhance the use of insurance to build greater resilience against disasters and to help achieve the United Nations Global 2030 Agenda. Ekhosuehi has extensive experience in a range of finance and private and public sector areas and was directly involved in establishing and operationalizing two globally pioneering initiatives – the African Risk Capacity Agency and the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility. She is a graduate of Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government and the London School of Economics and Political Science and was selected as a 2018 Rockefeller Foundation Resident Practitioner Fellow. She has published several papers exploring both technical and policy issues that inform how governments in developing countries are increasingly leveraging risk transfer instruments in innovative ways to match their risk financing needs. A citizen of both Nigeria and Barbados, she also serves as an advisor to a number of Governments, international development agencies, private sector entities and academic institutions on catastrophe/climate risk and loss and damage and the role of insurance. She is also a member of the Experts Advisory Group to the Centre for Global Disaster Protection.

Wang Yao

Yao Wang is the Director General of the International Institute of Green Finance at the Central University of Finance and Economics (CUFE). She is also professor at CUFE’s Research Institute of Finance and Economics; Deputy Secretary General of the Green Finance Committee of the China Society for Finance and Banking; and Secretary General of the Green Securities Committee at the Securities Association of China. Since 2006, Professor Wang has published more than 80 papers in high-level journals, taken charge of more than 30 domestic and foreign research projects funded by organisations such as the National Social Science Fund of China. She has published six books, including Climate Finance and Carbon Finance: Global Vision and Distribution in China. She was a Visiting Fellow at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and has seven years of experience working in investment banking. She holds a PhD in Finance from CUFE. In 2019, Professor Wang named “The outstanding contributor to China’s green finance” by Asiamoney.