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Vision and mission

The Climate Centre’s mission is to help the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and its partners reduce the impacts of climate change and extreme-weather events on vulnerable people.

In recent decades, there has been a sharp increase in weather-related disasters with climate change and there is an urgent need to manage the rising risk of extreme-weather events through better early-warning, disaster relief and risk reduction, and with climate-smart programmes for health and care, water and sanitation, and food security.

Our approach, working at the intersection of science, policy, and practice, is detailed in our Strategy 2021−2025.

A core objective is to make the best global scientific insights operable at local level. Key elements include support for awareness-raising and capacity-building, especially in developing countries whose people are the most vulnerable to climate change. 

Policy needs to be geared toward climate-smart planning, including better dialogues involving a wide range of stakeholders.

The Climate Centre focuses primarily on providing guidance and tools to National Societies and their partners, and fostering the exchange of experience, training and technical back-up for Red Cross Red Crescent volunteers, delegates and managers specializing in disaster risk management and health.

In the international arena we facilitate access to climate-related channels of funding and advocate for support to the most vulnerable people in debates on climate policy, especially the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the annual UN climate talks, but also related international discussions on development and humanitarian policy and finance.

Board

Yolanda Kakabadse

Yolanda Kakabadse

Chair

Yolanda Kakabadse is the chair of the Climate Centre’s board, taking over from the Dutch politician Ed Nijpels, who had served in that role since 2007. Ms Kakabadse was Ecuador environment minister from 1998 to 2000 and president of the WWF International from 2010 to 2017.

Xavier Castellanos Mosquera

Xavier Castellanos Mosquera

Member (IFRC Under Secretary General)

Xavier Castellanos Mosquera has more than three decades’ experience in National Society development, resilience building and emergency humanitarian operations at the national, regional and global levels. He has served the Movement in various capacities since 1981, when he started as a volunteer with the National Society of Ecuador.

Marieke van Schaik

Marieke van Schaik

Member (General Director, Netherlands Red Cross)

Marieke van Schaik has been the Director of the Netherlands Red Cross, the Climate Centre’s hosts, since 2018. She was formerly the Managing Director of the Dutch Charities Lottery.

Katrin Wiegmann

Katrin Wiegmann

Observer (ICRC Deputy Director General)

After five years at the German Red Cross, Katrin joined the ICRC in 2010, becoming Deputy Director General in 2020. She studied political science at the Freie Universität Berlin and is proficient in English, French, and German.

Team

Maarten van Aalst

Maarten van Aalst

Director

Maarten oversees our support for climate risk management across the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement, and its links with scientific and policy communities on climate change, disaster risk management and development planning. He is a professor at the University of Twente, Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observations.

Tilly Alcayna

Tilly Alcayna

Tilly is the Senior Technical Adviser for Health and Climate. She has over nine years’ research experience in climate change adaptation for health, epidemiology, and disaster preparedness. She holds a public health master’s degree.

Irene Amuron

Irene Amuron

Irene leads on anticipatory action and is the focal person for learning, innovation and exchange at the Anticipation Hub. She is a technical expert in the field of disaster risk management, whose expertise includes specialist support to National Societies and partners on FbF.

Julie Arrighi

Julie Arrighi

Julie is Associate Director and leads the Centre’s work in urban areas. Her position is shared with the American Red Cross. She is also a visiting researcher at the University of Twente. She has supported the Movement in a variety of roles since 2009.

Carina Bachofen

Carina Bachofen

Carina is Associate Director and leads the Climate Centre’s policy team. She has over 15 years’ experience working at the interface of climate, development and disaster risk reduction. Carina holds a master’s degree from the London School of Economics.

Meghan Bailey

Meghan Bailey

Meghan leads the portfolios on climate-responsive social protection and the climate-health nexus. They are also an adviser on the design of forecast-based financing systems and supports research efforts across our work. Meghan holds a PhD on climate change adaptation from the University of Oxford.

Juan Bazo

Juan Bazo

Juan is a climate scientist with many years’ experience in implementing climate change adaptation programmes in South America. A PhD in climate science and with experience with national meteorological and hydrological departments, he brings valuable expertise to their dialogues with the humanitarian sector.

Marisa van den Berg

Marisa van den Berg

Marisa is the financial manager of the Climate Centre.

Cecilia Costella

Cecilia Costella

Cecilia helps to guide the Climate Centre’s efforts to ensure climate risk management is embedded in social protection. She has over a decade of relevant experience and has worked for the World Bank, the World Food Programme, various universities and civil society organisations.

Erin Coughlan de Perez

Erin Coughlan de Perez

Erin oversees our work on climate science for risk management. She leads support to forecast-based financing initiatives around the world, developing triggers for early action before disasters happen. Erin also leads operational science research on forecast verification and application.

Margot Curl

Margot Curl

Margot leads work on innovative engagement (online and offline). She also leads the youth portfolio and coordinates the Climate Centre’s junior researcher programme. She is an expert in designing and facilitating learning processes and has over ten years’ experience working for the Red Cross Red Crescent.

Knud Falk

Knud Falk

Knud has worked with Climate Centre for more than ten years. He jointly developed the Climate Training Kit and assists in the development and facilitation of capacity development courses for National Societies. He has a PhD in Arctic ecology from the University of Copenhagen.

Adrajow Ferede

Adrajow Ferede

Adrajow is a technical adviser working on FBF for Ethiopia. He has 12 years’ experience in operational weather and climate forecasting and modelling at its National Meteorology Agency. He has an MSc in meteorology and first degrees in civil engineering and meteorological science.

Stefania Giodini

Stefania Giodini

Stefania Giodini (PhD Astrophysics) mission is to translate science into positive impact on society. From 2017 she leads the 510 Data Team in the Netherlands Red Cross that  supports national societies with data and digital products. From 2020 she is seconded to RCCC as Technical Advisor on Climate and Data. 

Clemens Gros

Clemens Gros

Clemens is a consulting technical adviser in monitoring and evaluation with 15 years’ experience in the humanitarian and development spheres. He designs, leads, and analyzes complex research efforts across the Climate Centre portfolio. Clemens also does consulting for other clients including UN agencies and the World Bank.

Ahmadul Hassan

Ahmadul Hassan

Hassan is the technical adviser for forecast-based financing in Bangladesh and support similar projects across South Asia. He is a widely published expert in the fields of water-resource planning, early warning, disaster management, climate change, vulnerability assessment, and resource modelling.

Dorothy Heinrich

Dorothy Heinrich

Dorothy focuses on climate-related hazards and the reduction of their humanitarian impacts through anticipation and preparedness. She joined the Climate Centre in 2019 through her MSc at the University of Oxford, and now supports National Societies and their partners on FbF worldwide.

Ashley Hoek

Ashley Hoek

Ashley is the Project Manager focusing on grant compliance. She has over five years of grant experience and holds a master’s in business administration from EDHEC business school.

Sanne Hogesteeger

Sanne Hogesteeger

Sanne is a programme coordinator with more than five years of experience in jointly coordinating the Partners for Resilience alliance. She is a core part of the Climate Centre’s Virtually Amazing and capacity development team, and has an academic background in cultural anthropology as well as humanitarian action.

Chris Jack

Chris Jack

Chris is a climate science expert, primarily engaged with forecast based finance and anticipatory action.  He has a background in computer science and and PhD in climate science, but more recently has become increasingly involved and passionate about integrating climate science into collaborative learning, co-production, and transdisciplinary action research processes.

Catalina Jaime

Catalina Jaime

Catalina manages work on climate and conflict and leads on anticipatory action in situations of conflict for the Anticipation Hub. Over the past few years she has coordinated the global development of anticipatory action, and is currently doing her PhD at the University of Twente.

Eddie Jjemba

Eddie Jjemba

Eddie Jjemba is an urban enthusiast and a seasoned facilitator with more ten years’ work on urban resilience projects in Africa behind him. He facilitates interactive workshops, conferences and trainings that inspire participatory decision-making. He holds a master’s degree in climate and society from Columbia University, New York.

Aditi Kapoor

Aditi Kapoor

Aditi provides  technical support and capacity strengthening on climate change and integrated risk management to National  Societies, government officials and civil society groups in India and in other Asia-Pacific countries. She has always had a special focus on gender and inclusion in her work.

Ramiz Khan

Ramiz Khan

Ramiz is an urban sustainability and resilience-building practitioner with over nine years’ experience working in at least 25 cities and their respective local governments across Asia. He supports urban action on heat, FbF, coastal resilience, and water and sanitation.

Bettina Koelle

Bettina Koelle

Bettina is a geographer by training and passionate about exploring linkages within complex systems and helping people navigate challenges by designing and facilitating interactive processes of dialogue. She leads the Climate Centre’s learning portfolio and is the Southern African focal point for the organisation.

Andrew Kruczkiewicz

Andrew Kruczkiewicz

Andrew joined the Climate Centre as a technical adviser in 2014 and specializes in climate risk management. He is also a staff research associate and lecturer at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society at Columbia University, focusing on remote sensing and early warning.

Olette Manhoudt

Olette Manhoudt

Olette is our senior secretary and enjoys organizing and planning international meetings and events, as well as setting up departmental procedures.

Shaban Mawanda

Shaban Mawanda

Shaban has more than 13 years of experience as a humanitarian and development professional. He has led adaptation and risk reduction initiatives in the Horn of Africa and other parts of the world, while supporting country and regional projects aligning civil society activities with government strategic frameworks.

Stephen McDowell

Stephen McDowell

Stephen has been working on issues such as social protection, resilience, famine early-warning systems, food security, and nutrition in sub-Saharan Africa, the South Pacific and Latin America for the last 30 years. His work focuses on the role of climate in risk-informed planning and anticipatory action.

Fleur Monasso

Fleur Monasso

Fleur joined the Climate Centre in 2005 and is part of the programme management team. She began to specialize in the international public sector while studying international relations at the University of Amsterdam. Fleur is the European focal point for the Climate Centre and works on the health and climate[..]

Izidine Pinto

Izidine Pinto

Izidine is a technical advisor providing support towards Forecast based Finance, as well as climate and conflict projects. Izidine is a climatologist, and his research focuses on developing robust and scale relevant climate information for decision making in Africa.

Rebeka Ryvola

Rebeka Ryvola

Rebeka fosters a culture of creativity, innovation and experimentation in the team, supporting with the interpretation of technical information, the generation of educational and programmatic content, and the creation of visual tools for learning and advocacy.

Sayanti Sengupta

Sayanti Sengupta

Sayanti provides technical support to the Climate Centre’s work on integrating climate risks into social protection in South Asia and Africa. She has previously worked in water and sanitation and climate adaptation in India, and brings valuable expertise on project implementation and governance to the team. 

Roop Singh

Roop Singh

Roop is a climate risk adviser with five years’ experience as an interlocutor between scientists and disaster risk management practitioners. She leads our work on heat risk and also hosts the Can’t Take the Heat podcast. 

Liz Stephens

Liz Stephens

Liz is joint lead for science on anticipatory action and is an Associate Professor of Climate Risks and Resilience at the UK University of Reading. She holds a PhD in hydrology from the University of Bristol.

Janot Mendler de Suarez

Janot Mendler de Suarez

Janot has been contributing to applied research since 2010, developing serious games for programmes in Africa, helping to train the PfR country team in Mali, and jointly editing Games for a New Climate with Boston University’s Pardee Center.

Pablo Suarez

Pablo Suarez

Pablo first got involved with the Climate Centre as a technical adviser in 2005. He now directs our initiatives linking applied knowledge with humanitarian work, as well as new approaches to climate risk management. Examples include participatory games for learning and dialogue, and forecast-based financing pilots in Togo and Uganda.

Madhab Uprety

Madhab Uprety

Madhab is a Technical Adviser and Asia-Pacific focal point. He has extensive experience working on risk reduction, early warning systems and resilience building for climate-related disasters in the developing world.

Mary Anne Zeilstra

Mary Anne Zeilstra

Mary Anne enjoys doing cross-functional duties and responsibilities. She is our support and operations officer. She also provides assistance to our director. She has an academic and work background in international development, labor migration and social policies.