The UNEP FI Banking Board is the governance body for the UNEP FI Banking Membership and the Principles for Responsible Banking. Under the overall direction of the Global Steering Committee, the Banking Board oversees the effective implementation of the Principles for Responsible Banking. For details on its mandate, please refer to section 1 of the UNEP FI Banking Governance Framework.

North America Representative

Christine Bergeron
President & CEO, Vancity, Canada

As interim President and Chief Executive Officer of Vancity, Canada’s largest community credit union, Christine believes that banking plays a vital role in developing a healthy society—building the well-being of people and, at the same time, ensuring the long-term sustainability of the communities in which they live and work.

Christine has worked at Vancity for over nine years during which she’s held several leadership roles including VP of Impact Investing, Wealth Management & Community Real Estate, and VP of Community Business Banking. Her achievements in fostering community impact, social justice and environmental sustainability have earned her accolades from Business in Vancouver magazine, which included her in its 2007 “Top 40 Under 40” list. In 2012, the Association of Women in Finance gave her the Rising Star award, and in 2017 Clean50 awards recognized her for her dedication to sustainability.

Prior to joining Vancity, much of Christine’s career involved working with entrepreneurs, financing innovative companies and building financial firms – all focused within the cleantech, sustainability and impact investing sectors. This included being a co-founder of Shoreline West Asset Management Inc. and being a founding team member at Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital. Christine was an Adjunct Professor and Lecturer at the Sauder School of Business and is a board member of Aviso Wealth.

Christine chairs the board of the Women’s Enterprise Centre and lectures on finance and impact investing at various universities, in addition to other advisory roles at community organizations and social enterprises.
She is personally committed to issues related to women, impact financing, and community, with a particular focus on equality and empowerment.

Christine pursued post-secondary education at the University of Guelph and UBC, earning a B.A. in sociology and MBA in Strategic Management

Central America Representative

Celina Padilla Meardi
President, Banco Hipotecario de El Salvador, El Savador

Celina Padilla Meardi has a vision to create better opportunities and make the economy of the country grow through banking services.

In 2002 she graduated with a law degree from the Universidad Dr. José Matías Delgado of El Salvador and in 2004 she obtained her license to practice law in the Republic of El Salvador. In 2005 she earned the authorization from the Supreme Court of Justice of El Salvador to be a notary under the Civil Law System. Celina continued her postgraduate studies achieving a master’s degree in International Transactions and Comparative Law, at the University of San Francisco, California, United States in 2005. She has advanced studies on legal aspects of technology, blockchain having gained her diploma in December 2018 through the Options & Future Institute, in association with Colade and Felaban.

With a 19 year experience in the Banking sector, at Banco Agricola, a subsidiary of Grupo Bancolombia, and a strong commitment to her country and with ethical values as a professional, Celina Padilla Meardi takes the lead of Banco Hipotecario in June 2019, under the administration of the President of El Salvador, Nayib Armando Bukele, to bring a refreshment to the banking business with more products and services to offer, creating efficiency within the bank and a strengthening of the national banking service by contributing with an inclusive way to offer banking products and services.

With a vision focused on clients and modernization, Celina has based its management on four pillars: trust, transparency, respect and communication, which has generated an environment of innovation and development for the entire institution.

South America Representative

Ricardo Cuesta
CEO, Produbanco Grupo Promerica, Ecuador

Graduated from FIU – Florida International University in Economics and Latin American Studies. His proficient training is complemented by international seminars on Digital Transformation Strategy, Strategic Planning, Marketing, Management, Treasury, Corporate and Consumer Credit, among others.

His professional career has been connected to the financial sector, holding positions of high responsibility at a national and international level in institutions of recognized trajectory: Citibank, N.A. (Mexico, Panama, Ecuador); Banco Aserval (Ecuador); Sociedad Financiera and Banco MM Jaramillo Arteaga (Ecuador); Chief Executive Officer for Banco Promerica Ecuador and, for the last six years as Chief Executive Officer for Banco de la Producción – Produbanco, member of Grupo Promerica (PFC – Promerica Financial Corporation).

He has actively participated in boards of organizations related to the financial sector: Chairman of the Board of ASOBANCA, Private Banking Association of Ecuador; Senior Director of the Fondo de Liquidez de la Banca Privada del Ecuador, Private Bank´s Liquidity Fund; Chairman of the Board of AIFE – Asociación de Instituciones Financieras del Ecuador, Association of Financial Institutions of Ecuador; Credit Rating Committee, Thompson Bankwatch Credit Agency; Administrative Council of CICSA – Central de Informes de Crédito y Cobranzas de México, Credit Bureau of Mexico.

In addition, Ricardo has been awarded the Banking CEO of the Year Ecuador Award for two consecutive years (2017 – 2018) by The European Global Banking & Finance Awards of London, UK.

Scandinavia Representative

Anders Langworth
Group Head of Sustainable Finance, Nordea, Sweden

Anders Langworth is Head of Group Sustainable Finance at Nordea, where integrating sustainability in the Groups entire offering – investments, financing, advice and internal operations is the main objective.

Anders has worked in the financial industry since 2006, at Citibank, Genworth Financial and joined Nordea in 2011, where he has led several business development units. He started working full time with sustainable finance in 2016 and have had previous roles such as Head of Strategy & Implementation and Deputy Head of Group Sustainable Finance. He is based Sweden and holds a Masters in Business Administration from Stockholm School of Business and the Certificate of Management Excellence from Harvard Business School.

Anders is also the Founder of Bankers for Climate (www.bankersforclimate.com), a fully independent non-profit climate change movement for all employees in the global financial industry. The purpose is to drive positive change from within the industry.

Western Europe Representatives

Elsa Palanza
Managing Director, Global Head of Sustainability & ESG, Barclays, UK

Elsa Palanza is a Managing Director and the Global Head of Sustainability & ESG for Barclays. In this role, Elsa leads the strategic direction and execution of the bank’s policies and practices across a broad range of sustainability and ESG matters, including climate change, environmental stewardship, human rights and social impact. She manages ESG assessment and approach for the firm, strengthening client and investor engagement, and ensuring diverse stakeholder perspectives are integrated into decision-making. In addition, Elsa oversees the development of appropriate and ambitious standards and metrics to advance green and sustainable finance and steward early innovation in sustainable product and service development.

Elsa assumed this role with over 20 years of experience as a strategic advisor for corporations, foundations and non-profits. Most recently, she was enlisted by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to create and launch a platform to advance progress on the UN Sustainable Development Goals. For many years, Elsa served as Director of Commitments for the Clinton Global Initiative, a role that afforded her comprehensive insight into best practices in sustainability, cross-sector partnership development, and corporate responsibility. Previously, she worked in Washington, D.C., delivering geopolitical and industry risk analysis to large international energy companies, and in Istanbul, Turkey, leading strategy and business operations for an education company.

Elsa attended Middlebury College and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

Laurence Pessez
Global Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, BNP Paribas, France

Laurence Pessez has been leading the Corporate Social Responsibility of BNP Paribas since 2010. Under her leadership, the bank became in 2017 the n°1 bank in Europe for its sustainability performance, according to the extra-financial analysis Vigeo-Eiris. In 2019, she contributed to obtaining the “World’s Best Bank for Corporate Responsibility” award by Euromoney and to positioning the bank as the n°1 bank in Europe and n°3 worldwide in Corporate Knights’ “Global 100 most sustainable corporations in the World” ranking.

Prior to her current role, she occupied a variety of positions in Communications, Marketing, and HR in several other corporations. Laurence graduated from Sciences Po Paris. She is a Board member of both the French think tank Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI) and ‘Finance for Tomorrow’, the Sustainable Finance arm of the French financial hub.

South-Eastern Europe Representative

Dimitrios Dimopoulos
Director ESG, Piraeus Financial Holdings, Greece

Dimitrios Dimopoulos received his bachelor degree in biology and his PhD from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Since 1989, he has been involved in nature conservation and sustainable development working for ARCHELON an environmental organization, currently serving as a member of its Board. In 2006, he joined Piraeus Bank to work in the environment department and coordinate EU co-funded projects. Today he is the Director of the ESG. He represents the Bank at UNEP FI. He was involved in creating the Principles for Responsible Banking as member of a UNEP FI core group. He also participates in the EU Business @ Biodiversity Platform, a forum for dialogue and policy interface to discuss the links between business and biodiversity, as well as in the IUCN Incubation for Nature Conservation project to explore ideas for financing protected areas.

Middle East & North Africa Representative

Dr. Dalia AbdelKader
Chief Sustainability Officer, Commercial International Bank (CIB), Egypt

Dr. Dalia A. Kader is an internationally recognized expert in the fields of sustainable finance and branding financial institutions. She currently holds the post of Chief Sustainability Officer at Commercial International Bank – Egypt (CIB) Egypt’s leading private sector bank.

An advocate for sustainable finance since 2003, Dr. Kader has been a pioneer in advancing the discipline within the financial industry and related international networks.  In 2014, she helped launch MOSTADAM, the first platform for advancing sustainable finance in the MENA with a focus on capacity building, policy advocacy and promoting sustainable products and services. Dr. Kader represented Egypt in the working sessions of the G20 Green Finance Study Group that issued the 2017 Green Finance Synthesis Report. In 2018, she helped launch the Principles for Responsible Banking during her term at AAIB and was appointed by the UNEP FI to promote the principles in the MENA region.

Salvaging an inter-disciplinary exposure to finance, political science, economics and sustainability, Dr. Kader conceived the concept of “Humanizing Finance” which advocates System Thinking with the discipline of Finance, which was the subject of a TEDx Talk in 2013. She also introduced and lectured on a proprietary postmodern interpretation of the marketing discipline in international platforms. Dr. Kader has given talks as part of several local and international conferences on sustainable finance and sustainability branding including the Financial Times conference “Future of Marketing” in New York in 2016. She was also an adjunct professor at the American University in Cairo (AUC), instructing courses on “Sustainability Marketing” and “Egypt: Corporate Responsibility & Social Entrepreneurship” for the MBA program from 2013 to 2016.

In her capacity as the Director of Sustainability & Marketing Communications at Arab African International Bank (AAIB), a post she held from 1997 to 2019, she contributed to the turnaround performance and positioning of the bank, especially when it comes to its sustainable finance. In 2009, Dr. Kader made AAIB the first bank in Egypt to join the Equator Principles and introduced social and environmental risk management policies and procedures to the bank’s corporate line of business. Dr. Kader leveraged international networks to provide professional guidelines for the bank’s sustainability efforts, including the UN Global Compact – which recognized AAIB for Best Practices from 2011 through 2017 – and the London Benchmarking Group.

She is also Founder, Vice Chairman and Board Member of the “We Owe it to Egypt” foundation, the first of its kind to be established by a financial institution in the Middle East in 2007. Dr. Kader is also Board Member of Al Taleem Haya Fund (Education for Life Fund). She had been Head of the Sustainable Development Committee at the Federation of Egyptian Banks from 2014 to 2020, overseeing an EGP 400 million slum development project.

Dr. Kader holds a bachelor’s and master’s in Political Science from AUC as well as a PhD in Political Science from Cairo University, from which she graduated with distinction.

Sub-Saharan Africa Representative

Wendy Dobson
Group Head of Corporate Citizenship , Standard Bank Group, South Africa

Wendy Dobson is the Group Head of Corporate Citizenship for Standard Bank. Prior to joining Standard Bank in 2009, Wendy held executive positions at the Department of Trade and Industry and the National Economic Development Labour Council (NEDLAC). She is an alumnus of the University of the Witwatersrand, with a BA Honours (Industrial Psychology), a Masters of Management Degree (Public and Development Management). Wendy recently completed a Masters of Arts (Applied Ethics for Professionals) focusing on the ethics of corporate lobbying. In her current role at Standard Bank, Wendy leads the bank’s approach to advocacy, stakeholder engagement, sustainability and shared value with the aim of building trust between the bank and its stakeholders. Her particular areas of interest are Business Ethics, Business and Society, Corporate Citizenship, and the political role of corporations in emerging markets.

Asia Pacific Representative

Siobhan Toohill
Group Head of Sustainability, Westpac, Australia

Siobhan is responsible for the Group’s sustainability strategy, reporting, and manages sustainability risk and governance, including climate change and human rights policy, community and Indigenous engagement programs – as well as the Westpac Foundation backing social enterprises creating jobs for vulnerable Australians, and Westpac Scholars awarding 100 scholarships every year, forever. Prior to joining Westpac Siobhan established the sustainability function at Stockland Property Group. Both Westpac and Stockland have been recognised as global leaders in corporate sustainability performance.

Central & East Asia Representative

Wang Kun
Deputy General Manager, International Banking Department, ICBC, China

Mr. Wang joined ICBC Head Office in 2002. From 2002 to 2011, he worked in the International Banking Department, and successively served as the Deputy Head of Financial Institutions Div, the Deputy Head of Rules Management & Strategy Planning Div., Overseas Institutions Management Div, Head of International Financial Institutions Div. Europe & Africa. From 2011 to 2013 he served as the Vice President of ICBC Nanchong Branch, from 2013 to 2016 he served as President of ICBC Bazhong Branch.From 2016 to November 2017, he served as the Deputy General Manager of Strategic Investment and Investors Relations Dept of ICBC HO. In November 2017, he was appointed as the Deputy General Manager of International Baking Department. Mr. Wang obtained a master’s degree in English from Beijing Foreign Studies University.

United National Environmental Programme

Ligia Noronha
Director of the Economy Division of UN Environment Programme (UNEP)

Ligia Noronha is the Director of the Economy Division of UN Environment Programme (UNEP). The Division works to shift economies from brown to green with a strategic focus on decarbonizing, decoupling and detoxifying. She leads two of UNEP’s subprogrammes – Resource Efficiency and Chemicals, waste and Air Quality and the nexus agenda on Environment/pollution and Health.
Prior to joining UN Environment, Ligia Noronha worked in The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) as Executive Director of Research Coordination and Director of the Resources, Regulation and Global Security Division. She has published on issues related to energy and resource security, climate change, India’s environmental and coastal policy, responsible mining, coastal tourism and resource and environmental federalism.
She holds a Masters in Economics from the University of Bombay, a Masters in Sea Use Law, Economics, and Policy, and a PhD from the London School of Economics.