The demand for sustainability in business is driven by broad awareness of the danger of climate change. But also, corporate decision-makers are beginning to recognize the business benefits sustainability practices can provide.
Leadership teams now have a responsibility to prioritize sustainability in their sourcing, operations, and partnerships. This is driven by customer expectations, a changing regulatory environment and pressures from investors.
As sustainability continues to be a critical factor in leadership decisions, the role of the chief sustainability officer (CSO) and the creation of sustainability committees are also gaining prominence.
Our expert panel led by David Callaway, founder and editor-in-chief, Callaway Climate Insights, will explore the external pressures driving the need to find board members and C-suite leaders with sustainability experience and focus.
Founder and Editor-in-Chief
Callaway Climate Insights
David Callaway is Callaway Climate Insights’ founder and editor-in-chief. David directs this publication’s reporting on the intersection where the world’s financial markets meet innovation, science and public policy. He draws on his experience as an award-winning journalist and commentator, former president of the World Editors Forum, former editor-in-chief of USA Today and MarketWatch, and as chief executive officer of TheStreet Inc.
Global Head of ESG
Heidi DuBois is the Global Head of Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG”) at AEA. In her role, Heidi oversees the creation and implementation of ESG policies and procedures across AEA’s portfolio companies as well as at the management company level.
Before joining AEA, Heidi was global head of ESG at Edelman, a global public relations consultancy firm, where she worked with boards and senior executives to design, execute, and communicate their ESG strategies with investors and other stakeholders, including employees, regulators, and non-governmental and civil society organizations.
Prior to her role at Edelman, Heidi was ESG director for the Society for Corporate Governance, where she developed new programs and managed thought leadership and engagement on emerging ESG trends for boards of directors, business leaders, and corporate governance professionals. Prior to that, she oversaw the corporate social responsibility and philanthropic functions at BNY Mellon. Earlier in her career, Heidi practiced law at Debevoise & Plimpton before serving in positions in governance and ESG at Assurant and PepsiCo.
Heidi holds an A.B. from Harvard College and a J.D. from Columbia Law School.
Global Head, Sustainable Infrastructure & Energy Funds
Jennifer Skylakos is a Managing Partner and Global Head of the Sustainable Infrastructure and Energy Funds (SIEF) Practice at DHR. Jennifer and her team recruit investment, fundraising and asset management professionals, and portfolio companies’ C-suites and Boards. With over a decade of experience in sustainability and ESG initiatives, Jennifer also leads the ESG Practice, working with our clients across industries to hire leaders and develop ESG capabilities to meet their specific goals. In addition to recruitment, the team provides organizational review, design and implementation services and makes strategic introductions for funds or management teams seeking GP sponsorship. Headquartered in New York, the practice has team members based in London, Munich, Sao Paulo, and Singapore.
Jennifer started her career as an Attorney through the Attorney General’s Honors Program at the Department of Justice, and then as an Associate at Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP in New York City, specializing in corporate immigration law. Prior to joining DHR, Jennifer served as a Managing Partner with a boutique executive search firm, where she was Head of Infrastructure and Energy for the Americas. Before that, she was the Manager of Special Events for the Starlight Children’s Foundation, where she helped raise millions of dollars for critically and chronically ill children in the tri-state area.
Director of ESG Research and Engagement
DSC Meridian Capital
Paula Luff is the Director of ESG Research and Engagement at DSC Meridian Capital where she is responsible for integrating ESG within the investment process and leading DSC Meridian’s engagement with portfolio companies on ESG matters.
Prior to her role at DSC Meridian, she served as Director of Sustainability and Impact for Inherent Group from 2017 until January 2020. She worked across the investment team to integrate ESG into the firm’s investment process and engaged with companies on financially-material ESG issues.
From 2007 through 2015, Paula was vice president of Corporate Social Responsibility for Hess Corporation where she established and led the global social responsibility function for the company and integrated key ESG issues into operations. She also led engagement efforts on a range of sustainability issues with host governments, NGOs, investors and other external stakeholders.
Akiba Smith-Francis, based in New York, belongs to Egon Zehnder’s Consumer, Sustainability and Public and Social Sector practices. Within Consumer she focuses on the Retail and Consumer Packaged Goods industries. Akiba is also active in the Supply Chain Officers Practice and does considerable leadership development work, specifically executive coaching.
Prior to joining Egon Zehnder, Akiba was a Director and Partner at leadership advisory firm YSC Consulting. There, she led the Executive Coaching Practice for the Americas and served as a member of the Americas Leadership Team. Before that, she served as a Senior Consultant with The Exetor Group, helping strengthen the integration of people leadership and business impact for long-term organizational success. She began her career at McKinsey & Company before transitioning to brand management at The Clorox Company.