Charles Nouhan – Chairman and Representative to the United Nations in New York

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Charles is a sustainability leader advancing governance for sustainable development, stakeholder engagement,  renewable energy technologies, and sustainable waste management. From 2002 until 2018, he worked in the UK local government waste and resource sector developing and managing recycling, composting, and waste minimization services for communities and businesses, and he continues to advance similar national and local efforts in The Americas.

From 2000 to 2002, Charles was Stakeholder Forum’s Deputy Director and UK Co-ordinator, where he worked alongside then Executive Director Felix Dodds and Co-Chairs Margaret Brusasco-MacKenzie and Derek Osborn in the run-up to the 2002 Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development.  From 1999 to 2000, he worked on sustainability and stakeholder engagement at the then Prince of Wales Business Leaders Forum.

Now US-based in the New York Metropolitan area, Charles is SF’s Representative to the United Nations where he supports SF’s work with the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) and Member states to realize the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.  At the end of October 2021, the Stakeholder Forum Board appointed him to be SF’s Interim Executive Director when Ruben Zondervan chose to step down due to health-related issues.  Charles stepped down as Executive Director when Irena Zubcevic took on the role of Director in August 2022.

His most recent SF project was Towards Stockholm+50, a joint initiative by Stakeholder Forum for a Sustainable Future and Forum for utvikling og miljø (the Norwegian Forum for Development and Environment) ForUM. Towards Stockholm+50 was a stakeholder-led initiative funded by the United Nations Environment Programme’s Civil Society unit with support from the Government of Sweden. Past projects include the Global Forum for National SDG Advisory Bodies, with partners the German Council for Sustainable Development (RNE), the Finnish National Commission on Sustainable Development, the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, and members from more than forty National Councils for Sustainable Development and similar bodies.  Charles also lead SF’s Global Partnership for Ocean Wave Energy Technology initiative from 2018 to 2021, a sustainable development multistakeholder partnership to transform the energy supply of Small Island Developing States and other coastal communities with zero-emissions electrical power generation from ocean waves.

Derek Osborn – Stakeholder Forum President & Chairman Emeritus

A former Chair and a former President of Stakeholder Forum, Derek has been a driving force at Stakeholder Forum for nearly 20 years. He served 30 years in the UK Civil Service, the latter 6 years as Director-General for Environmental Protection within the Department of the Environment until he retired from the Civil Service in 1996. Derek represented the United Kingdom and was Chair of the Management Board of the European Environment Agency (1995-1999) and was on the Board of the Environment Agency for England and Wales (1996-98), having been involved with its planning and creation. He has been a non-executive director of Severn Trent PLC, and chair of Jupiter Global Green Investment Trust.

In addition to his work with Stakeholder Forum, Derek continuities to share his knowledge and experience as a Board Member of several other prominent environmental organizations.

Claudia M. LaRue – Senior Advisor on Governmental Affairs and Partnerships

Claudia La Rue is a Counsellor at the Permanent Mission of the Dominican Republic to the United Nations, where she focuses on environmental, economic, and social issues. She has been responsible for negotiating resolutions to improve transparency and accountability in strategic UN partnerships and was part of the UN Expert Working Group on Partnerships. During her time at Montclair State University as Sustainability Specialist, Claudia developed initiatives and programs aimed at strengthening the University’s commitment to the United Nations and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the Sustainable Development Goals.

She has ample experience in sustainable development and communications, and her work spans the public, private, and non-profit sectors. While living and working in Norway, Claudia worked in the telecoms industry and managed IT contracts for corporate customers. In the Dominican Republic, she stewarded a social investment fund in partnership with the Inter-American Foundation which benefited over 50,000 low-income individuals through community development projects.

Claudia has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, and a Master’s Degree in International Marketing from Strathclyde University, and was a recipient of a United Kingdom Chevening Scholarship. She is also a Board Member of Granito de Arena, a non-profit organization that promotes transparency and information-sharing in the Dominican Republic.

Jan-Gustav Strandenaes – Senior Adviser on Governance

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Jan-Gustav began working with the United Nations on environment and governance in the 1970s, and his first assignment brought him to Latin America.

He has taught about the UN for four decades, worked with the UN Commission for Sustainable Development for 15 years, worked as an NGO liaison officer at the UN HQ, worked for the Norwegian Foreign Office as a diplomat at embassies in Botswana and Uganda, and for 15 years was the director of a Norwegian aid-NGO with projects in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

He has extensive stakeholder experience through 50 years of work on all continents, speaks several languages, is a seasoned university lecturer, and has guest-lectured all over the world on UN issues.  Jan-Gustav has also evaluated projects and organizations in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, advised governments, chaired UN meetings, facilitated UN processes, and translated and authored books and numerous articles on governance, the environment, and sustainable development.

In 2018, he was appointed by the German Government to be on a peer group assessing their national Sustainability Strategy. Chaired by the former prime minister of New Zealand and UNDP Executive Director Helen Clark, the final report was handed to the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel.

For decades, Jan-Gustav has delivered projects for the United Nations Environment Programme on stakeholder engagement issues and had assignments for UNDESA, one of which had him coordinating civil society input for the entire Rio+20 process, the open working group for the Sustainable Development Goals, and the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.

Jan-Gustav has worked with Stakeholder Forum for more than 20 years and now advises the private sector, NGOs, and municipalities on implementing the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs. An independent researcher on the environment, governance, and sustainability issues, he is a keen traveler – he once crossed the Kalahari Desert in a Land Rover, and when not traveling he works out of his home outside Oslo, Norway.