Keynote Speakers

H.E. Minister Amadou Ba

Minister of Economy and Finance, Dakar, Senegal

Amadou BA, actuel ministre de l’Economie et des Finances est né il ya 52 ans à Dakar. Monsieur Ba obtient son baccalauréat série G2 Technique en 1980, il suit des études économiques à l’Université Cheikh Anta DIOP de Dakar d’où il sort, quatre ans plus tard, avec un diplôme de Maîtrise ès Sciences économiques, Option Gestion des Entreprises. A 27 ans, il est breveté de l’Ecole Nationale d’Administration et de Magistrature (ENAM). Amadou BA est également titulaire d’un Diplôme supérieur en Comptabilité et a eu à enseigner cette matière, à plusieurs promotions d’élèves d’inspecteurs de la section « Impôts et Domaines » de l’Ecole Nationale d’Administration et cela depuis 1992. Entre 1995-2000, il est chargé de d’enseignements au Centre Ouest Africain de Formation et d’Etudes Bancaires (COFEB) de la Banque centrale des Etats de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (BCEAO). Sur le plan professionnel, l’actuel ministre de l’Economie et des Finances débute sa carrière à Diourbel avant d’être ensuite affecté au Centre des Services fiscaux (CSF) de Dakar Plateau. Entre 1992 et 1994 il occupe le poste de Commissaire Contrôleur des Assurances à la Direction des Assurances avant de revenir à la Direction Générale des Impôts et Domaines en tant qu’Inspecteur Vérificateur à la Direction des vérifications et Enquêtes jusqu’à 2002. A partir de 2002, Monsieur Amadou Bâ va diriger successivement le Centre des Grandes Entreprises et la Direction des Impôts avant d’être promu Directeur général des Impôts et Domaines en novembre 2006, poste qu’il occupe jusqu’au lundi 02 septembre 2013, date de sa nomination au poste de ministre de l’Economie et des Finances du Sénégal. M. Amadou BA est marié et père de trois enfants.

Michael Gerber

Ambassador and Swiss Special Representative for Global Sustainable Development, Swiss Development and Cooperation Agency SDC, Berne, Switzerland

In 2012, the Swiss Federal Council appointed Michael Gerber Ambassador and Special Representative for Global Sustainable Development, entrusting him to lead Switzerland’s engagement in the international process of the Post-2015 UN Development Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as chief negotiator. In this function, he also leads the national consultation in view of a new global framework on sustainable development, and heads Switzerland’s Inter-ministerial Task Force as well as SDC’s Core Team on the succession of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).      

Prior to his current position, he was Head of SDC’s Policy & Analysis Division, which he joined in 2009. In this function, Michael Gerber was responsible for positioning Swiss development policy and leading key strategic processes, thus contributing to shaping orientation and strategy of Switzerland’s international cooperation. From 2006 to 2009, he was responsible for the Swiss development programmes in Afghanistan and Sri Lanka. While serving in this function, he completed the post-graduate Programme on Developing Countries (Centre for Development and Cooperation, NADEL) at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. Michael Gerber joined the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs in 2002, as Head of Communication for SDC’s Domain Bilateral Cooperation and later Programme Manager for Ecuador. Before, he pursued several project assignments in Ecuador, Colombia and Mexico.

Michael Gerber studied Political Philosophy, Ethics, History and Social Anthropology at the University of Bern. In addition to his work for the FDFA, he occasionally gives lectures at the University of Zurich in the field of Development Ethics.

Nivedita P. Haran

Secretary Home Department, Government of Kerala, India

Dr. Nivedita P. Haran holds Post Graduation in Economics and Doctorate in Philosophy. She has worked through the ranks of Indian Civil Service leading revenue, land management, energy and institutional capacity building activities in the state. Ms Haran was actively involved in the rescue and recovery operations after the Indian Ocean Tsunami. She was also part of institutionalization of disaster management in Kerala being involved in establishment of the Kerala Land and Disaster Management Institute as well as the State Disaster Management Authority.

Barry B. Hughes

Director, Frederick S. Pardee Center for International Futures, Denver, USA

Dr. Barry B. Hughes is John Evans Professor at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver. Dr. Hughes earned a B.S. in Mathematics from Stanford and his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Minnesota. He has taught at Case Western Reserve University, University of Denver, and internationally. His principal interests are in (1) global change, (2) computer simulation models for economic, energy, food, population, environmental, and socio-political forecasting, and (3) policy analysis. The fundamental concerns that synthesize these interests are (1) developing effective response to long-term global change and (2) improving the long-term human condition. He has developed International Futures (IFs), the widely-used computer simulation for study of long-term national, regional, and global issues (see Dr. Hughes has supported the U.S. National Intelligence Council's reports to the President on Mapping the Global Futures 2020, Global Trends 2025, and Global Trends 2030. He provided long-term global forecasting for the United Nations Environment Programme's Global Environment Outlook 4. He provided background research papers and forecasting content used in the United Nations Human Development Reports (2011 and 2013). He was a principal researcher in European Commission projects on the New Economy and on Information and Communications Technology.  He has contributed research to projects of RAND, the Central Intelligence Agency, United States Institute of Peace, and many other organizations. Dr. Hughes has written or co-authored The Domestic Context of American Foreign Policy (Freeman 1978), World Modeling (Lexington 1980), World Futures (Johns Hopkins 1985), Disarmament and Development (Prentice-Hall 1990), Continuity and Change in World Politics (Prentice-Hall 1991, 1994, 1997, 2000), International Futures (Westview 1993, 1996, 1999), Exploring and Shaping International Futures (Paradigm 2006), Reducing Global Poverty (Paradigm and Oxford University Press, 2009), Advancing Global Education (Paradigm and Oxford University Press, 2010), Improving Global Health (Paradigm and Oxford University Press, 2011), Building Global Infrastructure  (Paradigm and Oxford University Press, 2013), Strengthening Governance Globally (Paradigm and Oxford University Press, 2014) as well as articles in publications including World Politics, International Organization, International Studies Quarterly, Futures, L'Express, Energy Policy, Policy Studies Review, International Political Science Review, Simulation and Gaming, Economic Development and Cultural Change, Bulletin of the World Health Organization, Sustainability, Climatic Change, and Technological Forecasting and Social Change.

Stephan Lechner

Director, European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for the Protection and the Security of the Citizen, Ispra, Italy

Dr Stephan Lechner, born 1964, is the Director of the Institute for the Protection and the Security (IPSC) of the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC). The JRC acts as the scientific service of the European Commission, giving advice to European policy makers, and the IPSC institute based in Ispra, Italy, employs roundabout 300 scientific and technological experts in six different units.  Topics covered by the institute include financial system stability, safe and secure building structures, network security, crisis management, maritime security and the security of the future “digital citizen”.

Before being appointed Director at the European Commission in 2007, Dr Lechner spent 18 years in industry research and operations. Dr Lechner holds a degree in mathematics and computer sciences and a PhD degree in cryptography. He is member of the Scientific Programme Committee of Security Research of Germany and member of the Programme Committee for the annual D-A-CH security conference.

Satoru Nishikawa

Vice-President, Japan Water Agency (JWA), Saitama, Japan

Satoru Nishikawa joined the Japanese Government service in 1982. In 1988, he was appointed visiting research scholar at MIT. In 1992, he took the position of Senior Disaster Relief Coordination Officer at UN Department of Humanitarian Affairs where he coordinated international assistance to numerous disaster stricken countries. In 2001, he was appointed as the Executive Director of the Asian Disaster Reduction Center. After resuming Japanese government service in 2004, he held senior positions in the Cabinet Office and Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. At the wake of the Indian Ocean Tsunami in December 2004, Nishikawa coordinated the Japanese Government technical assistance to the affected countries. He hosted and coordinated the 2005 UN World Conference on Disaster Reduction where the Hyogo Framework for Action was adopted. He proposed the Japanese BCP guideline in 2005. Nishikawa initiated the long term regional recovery planning for Tohoku after the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011. Presently, he is the Vice-President of Japan Water Agency. He is an academic board member of the Institute of Social Safety Science. He is a board member of Business Continuity Advancement Organization. Nishikawa is the previous Chair of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Catastrophic Risk.

Ortwin Renn

Environmental Sociology and Technology Assessment, Dean of the Economic and Social Science Department, University of Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany

Ortwin Renn serves as full professor for Environmental Sociology and Technology Assessment and as Dean of the Economic and Social Science Department at the University of Stuttgart, Germany. He directs the Stuttgart Research Center for Interdisciplinary Risk and Innovation Studies at the University of Stuttgart (ZIRIUS) and the non-profit company DIALOGIK, a research institute for the investigation of communication and participation processes in environmental policy making. Renn also serves as Adjunct Professor for “Integrated Risk Analysis” at Stavanger University, Norway and as Affiliate Professor for “Risk Governance” at Beijing Normal University. He co-directs the German Helmholtz-Alliance, “Future infrastructures for meeting energy demands towards sustainability and social compatibility,“ with Armin Grunwald.

Ortwin Renn has a doctoral degree in social psychology from the University of Cologne. His career has included teaching and research positions at the Juelich Nuclear Research Center, Clark University (Worcester, USA), the Swiss Institute of Technology (Zurich) and the Center of Technology Assessment (Stuttgart). He is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of EU President Barroso, the Scientific and Technical Council of the International Risk Governance Council (IRGC) in Lausanne, the National Academy of Disaster Reduction and Emergency Management of the People’s Republic of China and several national and international Academies of Science. In 2012, he was elected president of the International Society for Risk Analysis (SRA).

Renn's honours include an honorary doctorate from the Swiss Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich), an honorary affiliate professorship at the Technical University Munich, the “Distinguished Achievement Award” of the Society for Risk Analysis (SRA) and several best publication awards. In 2012, the German Federal Government awarded him the National Cross of Merit Order in recognition of his outstanding academic performance. Renn is primarily interested in risk governance, political participation, as well as technical and social change towards sustainability. Renn has published more than 30 books and 250 articles, most prominently the monograph “Risk Governance” (Earthscan: London 2008).

Margareta Wahlström

Special Representative of the Secretary-General For Disaster Risk Reduction, Geneva, Switzerland

In November 2008, the United Nations Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki-moon announced the appointment of Margareta Wahlström as his first Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction.

Ms. Wahlström has extensive experience in both disaster relief operations and disaster risk management, with the United Nations system and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

Her broad experience spans conflict and non-conflict emergencies, and addressing long-term issues of sustainable development.

Ms. Wahlström is also the head of UNISDR, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, that is the focal point in the United Nations system for the coordination of disaster reduction. Under the SRSG’s leadership, UNISDR is in charge of supporting the implementation of the "Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015: Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters" throughout the world and to facilitate the process of developing a post-2015 framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.

Margareta Wahlström’s previous appointments include Coordinator of the Independent Panel on Safety and Security of UN Personnel and Premises, chaired by Mr. Lakhdar Brahimi, 2008; Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator and Assistant-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 2004-2008, and United Nations Special Coordinator for Humanitarian Assistance to the Tsunami-Affected Communities, 2004-2005; Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Relief, Recovery and Rehabilitation, United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, 2002-2004; Under-Secretary-General for Disaster Response and Operations and Deputy Director Operations, and International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, 1995-2000.