Tag: CAN Staff

Pooja Dave - Junior Policy Coordinator

Pooja has seven years of experience in climate change education, awareness raising and communication. After completing her post-graduate studies in Climate Change Impact Management from Gujarat University, Pooja worked passionately for to improve climate literacy and enhancing community engagement for building a low-carbon climate resilient society. While working at Centre for Environment Education India, she has been involved in several national and international projects, giving her the opportunity to interact with vulnerable communities as well as decision makers.

For effective implementation, she believes, communication and community engagement are necessary, which drew her interest to policy advocacy.  Since then, she has worked on issues related to policy convergence, sustainable development and international collaboration. Since 2015 she has also organised the Local Conference of Youth (COY) for the South-Asia region in cooperation with YOUNGO.

Pooja was also one of the authors for a UNFCCC-UNESCO-CEE joint publication titled “Good Practice in Action for Climate Empowerment: A compilation and analysis of case studies” launched on Education Day during COP 23.

Outside of work Pooja enjoys spending time with her family, cooking and travelling

Tasneem Essop - Executive Director


Tasneem Essop is an expert on climate, energy, poverty and social justice issues and is the Founding Director of the Energy Democracy Initiative in South Africa. 

South African born and based, Ms. Essop has significant experience in the climate movement. She has held various senior government positions in South Africa. She was a global climate policy and strategy leader for environmental NGO WWF International and served as the Head of Delegation for the organisation at the UNFCCC including at the Paris COP. During this period she also served on the Board of the Global Call for Climate Action (GCCA) and was an active participant in the work of CAN International.

Tasneem is also serving her second term as Commissioner in the National Planning Commission of South Africa. She was also recently appointed to the Board of Sanparks, the leading conservation authority in South Africa.

Before joining WWF in 2008, she held the positions of Provincial Minister for the Environment, Planning and Economic Development and Provincial Minister of Transport, Public Works and Property Management in the Western Cape.

Before becoming a Member of the Western Cape Provincial Legislature in 1994, she was a trade unionist in COSATU Western Cape. She is a qualified teacher.

Her vast management and leadership experience includes convening and building consensus around common goals amongst stakeholders from government, labour, business and communities, building collaborative partnerships, working in virtual teams across cultures, and building strong organisational governance, with an emphasis on finance. 

Santiago Lorenzo - Head of Sustainable Finance

Hosted in the Programs Division, the Head of Sustainable Finance is part of the Senior Management Team of CAN International Secretariat and leads the Sustainable Finance Department. They oversee all aspects of the CAN sustainable finance programs and campaigns including planning, coordinating, staffing, leading, monitoring and reporting. The Head of Sustainable Finance reports directly to the Program Director.

About Santiago

Santiago LORENZO ALONSO is an economist and has an MSc in environmental assessment and evaluation in the London School of Economics and Political Science. Currently, he.is a PhD candidate for the Autonomous University of Barcelona on environmental sciences / ecological economics. He is Member of the GGKP Fiscal Instruments Research Committee since November 2014. He is a LEAD fellow since 2003 (Mexico Program, cohort 10).

His previous appointment was as Climate & Finance Expert for WWF Global Climate and Energy Practice from 2012 to 2018. During this period, he also was appointed as the Advocacy Lead for the WWF Seize your power global campaign (2013-15).

Formerly he was the Deputy General Director of Multilateral Environmental Agreements in the International Affairs Unit of the Mexican Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources.

From 2001 to march 2007, he was Director of the Legal and Environmental Analysis in the Mexican Ministry of Finance. He coordinated the development of environmental fiscal instruments and the review of perverse subsidies.

Previously, his former appointment was at the Mexican National Institute of Ecology as Director of Environmental Economics. He also was vice-chairman in the OECD working group on economics aspects of biodiversity (1999-2001). Through this period, three handbooks were edited.

He also has worked as an independent consultant in environmental economics, particularly regarding economic instruments for environmental protection, environmental tax reform, economic valuation of biodiversity, finance for environmentally sustainable development and GMOs.

Santiago has also been involved in several researches and publications, as author, co-author or reviewer mostly in the issues of economics & policies in biodiversity and climate change from sustainable development approach. Participating as keynote speaker, panelist and negotiator in many meetings, conferences and multilateral negotiations.

Leanna Dakik - Executive Officer

The Executive Officer works with the Director’s Office to aid the Executive Director and the CAN Network by providing on the ground support for the Executive Director, while assisting with governance including liaising with the Board, and coordinating the General Assembly.

About Leanna

Leanna joined CAN in June 2018. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sciences from American University of Beirut and a Master of Public Administrations Degree from Columbia University in the City of New York.

Prior to joining CAN, she worked at the UNDP managing a Ramsar site in the South of Lebanon and post receiving her Masters she joined the private sector. She has over 6 years of experience in consulting and vast knowledge in developing strategies and policies for various public-sector stakeholders in the Middle East and across several industries, mainly energy and public policy.

Leanna is excited to be part of the CAN-International team and has a particular interest in advocacy, renewable energy and the relationship between sustainable development and the economy. 

She currently lives with her family in Lebanon and enjoys watching her two girls discover the world.

Amira Al Lakki - Executive Assistant

The Executive Assistant works with the Director’s Office to aid the Executive Director and the CAN Network by booking travel, scheduling meetings, and providing on the ground support for the Executive Director, and planning the yearly CAN Party.

About Amira

Amira Al Lakki and joined CAN in June 2018 as an Executive Assistant. She an educational background in Business Administration and 8 years of experience. She has been involved with a wide range of employers from diverse industries such as public health, automotive, engineering, investment management and civil society. Her involved identifying and addressing the needs of senior managers and performing other various administrative tasks to ensure the company’s workflow runs smoothly.

She is confident that working with CAN will give her the chance to enrich her knowledge and utilize her skills, energy and dedication while working on the deserving critical issue of human impact on climate change and ways to limit it.

Janet Kachinga - Network Development Officer

The Network Development Officer is part of the Network Development and Outreach Department, and works with existing CAN nodes to strengthen and enhance node governance, node management, capacity and collaboration within and across regions. Amongst others, this position also helps to coordinate the Leadership Development Programme with nodes, and oversees the work of the NDO Intern.

About Janet

Janet joined CAN-International in 2016 as a Leadership Development Programme fellow, and also served as Node Coordinator for South Africa CAN in 2017. She studied international relations and political science at the University of Pretoria in South Africa.

Before joining CAN, Janet worked at South Africa Institute of International Affairs promoting education, capacity development and advocating for youth engagement in governance processes. She worked on creating awareness of and developing implementation programmes for SDGs, and thematic issues such as sustainable urban development, climate change, and humanitarian affairs.

Eager to play a role in the development of policy and strategies that take into account both environmental and developmental needs, Janet is excited to be part of CAN, a network of organisations engaging communities on sustainability issues, and influencing decision makers and governance processes.

Andreas Sieber - Policy Coordinator

The Policy Coordinator works with the Policy Department to help support the CAN Network by carrying out coordination around international fora that treat climate change such as UNFCCC, Agenda 2030, G20 and develops and coordinates new work streams particularly around long-term decarbonisation strategies and air pollution, as well as climate finance. 

About Andreas

Andreas first set his foot in the UNFCCC negotiations at the age of 17 and has not left since then. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in media research and political science from Dresden University and worked for Greenpeace, various other NGOs, and as the coordinator of press analysis at the Saxon State Chancellery.

In 2015, the Guardian called him one of the top young climate campaigners to watch. After the Paris Agreement, Andreas became the Program Manager at Climate Tracker and helped to build and lead a network of more than 7.000 journalists in over 150 countries.

Andreas is based in Berlin and if he doesn't work, he is probably hiking or climbing.

Marianne Toftgaard - Head of Climate Ambition and Action

Marianne Toftgaard holds a master degree in human geography and has worked on international policy, environmental and climate change issues most of her professional live. In particular, she has worked intensively with the UNFCCC process during her years with WWF Internationals Global Climate and Energy Initiative. Feeling the urge to understand financial flows better her most recent position has been with a Danish Bank, where she worked on developing sustainable financial products for commercial and private customers. Prior to working for WWF International, Marianne spent 3,5 years in Uganda working with a network of Southern NGOs on policy advocacy in the field of environment and poverty; and 3,5 years in Geneva working on international trade policy and sustainable development.

Marianne is thrilled to join the CAN International network and is looking forward to bringing the network together to create a global movement on increasing ambition for climate action nationally and internationally.

In her spare time Marianne spends time with her two children and her husband, preferably in her urban garden allotment or foraging in the woods surrounding Copenhagen, or as a true Viking – vinter bathing in the Baltic Sea which she claims promotes a healthy body and mind!

Hala Kilani - Senior Communications Officer

The Communications Coordinator - Campaigns delivers strategy to effectively promote 100% renewable energy campaigning and other network priorities. The coordinator works with CAN members, nodes and other allies to deliver internal coordination and alignment around key narratives, they also work with the CAN network and media to deliver impactful campaign interventions.

About Hala

Hala joined CAN as Senior Communications Officer in October 2016. Previous to that, she worked as Outreach and Public Engagement Director at the Qatari Presidency of the 18th Session of the Parties (COP18) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 8th session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties (CMP8) to the Kyoto Protocol. She led the Presidency’s legacy programme for a year after the conference. Her work consisted in engaging all Observers to the convention including ENGOS, BINGOS, RINGOS, and Indigenous and Gender groups, which gave her deep insight into their work. Hala played a key role in integrating Observers’ asks in COP18’s final outcome.

Prior to this, she served as the West Asia and Middle East region’s Poverty, Equity and Gender Programme Coordinator at the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) where she worked closely with members and global partners such as UNEP, UNDP, UNOCHA, the Italian Cooperation and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation to advance conservation of natural resources relying mainly on indigenous methods and focusing on conflict and the environment. She led a task force that assessed the impact of the 2006 on Lebanon’s natural resources and contributed to restoration efforts especially in the clean-up of the Lebanese shoreline from the polluting oil spill.

In between, Hala has engaged in International Consultancies with the EU, the UK Department for International Development (DFID), IUCN and Dubai Municipality on respectively strengthening the capacity of civil society organizations and combatting illegal logging in the Congo Basin and developing conservation strategies for the Middle East region. She therefore actively worked in Central and North Africa namely Cameroun, Tunisia, Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Dubai. Her background also includes development as she served as Senior Economic Development Officer with Mercy Corps and other USAID funded programmes to create jobs and economic opportunities through ecotourism.

Hala also worked as a journalist with the Guardian covering the early years of the Arab Spring and as an environmental reporter with the English language Lebanese daily newspaper The Daily Star.

She holds an MA in Anthropology from the University College London, a BA in International Affairs from the Lebanese American University and a BS in Nursing from the American University of Beirut. 

Barbara Rubim - Campaign Coordination Officer

The Campaign Coordination Officer helps to coordinate the campaigns between CAN´s members and partners. The role provides campaigns advice to local and regional groups, mentors renewable energy initiatives and provides technical insight into energy issues. This position also develops tools and briefings to help increase campaign engagement on 100% renewable energy across CSOs.

About Bárbara

Bárbara Rubim holds a degree in law and is an experienced renewable energy expert who have worked and engaged with Greenpeace in Brazil and Internationally for almost 10 years, as a Renewable Energy Project Leader and a volunteer, helping develop their overall climate and energy strategy and implement it. As a solar industry advocate and adviser, she has actively lobbied MPs and has been consulted by the government for policy and law-making, being involved in the drafting and approval of energy-related Federal, State and Municipal legislation in Brazil, including the new virtual net metering policy and the creation of the "solar schools" program withing the Federal Government and its budget. Previously, she also worked as a parliamentary legal adviser, a researcher for the Cities Ministry and helped consolidate energy-related projects within the UN Habitat sector. Among other things, she has launched successful crowdfunding campaigns to “solarize” schools; has developed on and off-grid solar installations, assisted with documentary filming in the Amazon; and coordinated events, renewable energy reports and campaigns. To promote a transition to a 100% renewable world, she advocates, lobbies, works closely with partners, and even climbs onto rooftops to install solar panels.


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