Staff

The Climate Institute is lean and targeted organisation that brings together a team of highly-credentialed and passionate people. Our diverse range of backgrounds and skills sets gives us the ability to address and interpret a wide range of climate change issues with a speed and agility absent from larger organisations.

  • John Connor

    John Connor

    Whilst qualified as a lawyer, John has spent over twenty years working in a variety of policy and advocacy roles with organisations including World Vision, Make Poverty History, the Australian Conservation Foundation and the NSW Nature Conservation Council.

    Since joining The Climate Institute as CEO in 2007 John has been a leading analyst and commentator on the rollercoaster that has been Australia’s domestic and international carbon policy and overseen the Institute’s additional focus on institutional investors and climate risk.

    John has worked on numerous government and business advisory panels currently including the NSW Government’s Climate Council.  He is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Corporate Directors and a Board member of the Environment Defenders Office and the Asset Owners Disclosure Project.  He is also a “Governator” with the Australian Youth Climate Coalition.


  • Erwin Jackson

    Erwin Jackson

    Erwin is Deputy CEO of The Climate Institute.

    With nearly 20 years practical experience in climate change policy and research, Erwin has developed and led many national and international programs aimed at reducing greenhouse pollution. This work has been undertaken in Australia, Europe, North and South America, the Pacific and Antarctica. He has represented non-governmental groups and advised government and business in national, regional and international fora, including being a non-governmental expert reviewer of the reports of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He has sat on research advisory committees on low emission technology deployment for the CSIRO and the University of Queensland’s Centre for Low Emission Technology.

    Erwin was a member of the Victorian Premiers Reference Group on Climate Change. Erwin has written, researched and produced many publications on climate change and energy policy including a number of review papers in scientific journals such as the Medical Journal of Australia. He has given lectures at institutions ranging from the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London to local community group meetings in far north Queensland.

     

  • Kristina Stefanova

    Kristina Stefanova

    Kristina has more than a decade of experience working with public and private sector stakeholders on a variety of partnership models, and in communications in Australia, the US, UK, and across regions. 

    Kristina has worked for the World Bank, US Agency for International Development, UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office, and the Global CCS Institute. She has also helped start-up a leading environmental markets investment and advisory business in Australia, and -- in a previous professional life -- was a print journalist in Washington, DC. 

    Kristina holds an MSc from the London School of Economics. 

  • Olivia Kember

    Olivia Kember

    Olivia is Head of Policy at The Climate Institute. She has worked in the US, UK, Australia and New Zealand across the fields of journalism, diplomacy and resources.

    Olivia has provided policy analysis and advice for the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the NSW Minerals Council.

    She was the recipient of a Fulbright award to study in the United States and holds an MA in Security Studies from the University of Georgetown.

    She has led multi-stakeholder research and advocacy projects on climate mitigation and adaptation, provided policy advice and analysis to state and federal governments, and represented The Climate Institute in energy sector forums including CSIRO's Future Grid Forum and the CO2CRC Australian Power Generation Technology Assessment Reference Group.

  • Kate Mackenzie

    Kate Mackenzie

    Kate is Investment & Governance Manager at The Climate Institute. Prior to joining the Institute in 2014, she worked primarily as a financial journalist, winning awards for her work at the Financial Times and the Australian. She was most recently Asia correspondent for the highly respected FT Alphaville blog, after serving as a Companies Reporter, Editorial Stakeholder in a wide-ranging FT.com redesign, and launching and editing the energy and climate blog, FT Energy Source. Before joining the FT, Kate was a technology and business reporter for the Australian, and online editor of Australian IT. Kate is a veteran of new media, and was one of the first online journalists to be hired by the ABC in the late 1990s. She has also worked for the internet addressing authority, APNIC; Australia's first private internet service provider, Pegasus Networks; and served as treasurer at one of Australia's oldest food co-operatives. Kate is on twitter at @kmac.

     
  • Luke Menzies

    Luke Menzies

    Luke is Multimedia & Communications Manager at The Climate Institute. He is working on his PhD at ANU, centered on the strategic communication of climate change, insights which directly transfer to The Climate Institute campaigns and communications. Luke also holds a BSc from The University of Melbourne and Honours in Environmental Science from Murdoch University.

  • Brinsley Marlay

    Brinsley Marlay

    Brinsley is The Climate Institute's Communications & Media Manager. He has more than 15 years' experience working in strategic communication.

    Before taking up his position at the Institute, Brinsley was Media Advisor to the President and four Commissioners at the Australian Human Rights Commission where he worked on the national Review into the Treatment of Women in the Australian Defence Force as well as immigration detention, freedom of speech and race, disability, sex and age discrimination issues. Prior to that he held media, communication and publicity positions at the Office of Film and Literature Classification, Brisbane Festival, Brisbane International Film Festival and Australian Business Register

    Brinsley holds a BBus: Marketing and an Associate Diploma in Applied Biology from QUT and has a lifelong interest in environmental and animal welfare issues.
  • Esther Green

    Esther Green

    Esther, who has a BSocSci from Waikato University, joined The Climate Institute in May 2006, bringing diverse administration experience from NZ, UK and Australia. She has enjoyed being a part of the growth of the organisation. 

    Esther is the Office Manager at The Climate Institute.

  • Rebecca Wright

    Rebecca Wright

    Rebecca comes from an investment banking background covering various derivatives and equities products while in London and Sydney with JP Morgan and Robert Fleming. She has been a senior credit analyst with Exxon Mobil and started her MBA with Sheffield Hallam University while in Prague. 

    Rebecca moved to Hong Kong for Nomura as Regional Business Manager for Equity Research where she also initiated the Environment Committee and the CSR policy of the HK group. In Hong Kong she worked for BlackRock on the iShares merger and joined ASrIA (Asia SRI Assoc) where she became General Manager and set up the Asia Investor Group on Climate Change.

    Since returning to Australia in 2012, she has provided ESG advisory services to local fund managers but primarily as an independent advisor and consultant to the Investor Group on Climate Change. Rebecca produced the first Investor Group on Climate Change Summit in October 2015 as well as the ASrIA 10th Anniversary conference in HK in 2011.

    In parallel to her career she has been a board member of The Orangutan Project which has celebrated a 2016 milestone of $10m to direct orangutan conservation to preserve the species and its’ habitat.

  • Michael Hall

    Michael Hall

    Michael Hall, a professional photographer with over 20 years of experience, was Creative Fellow at The Climate Institute July 2012 - September 2014, and continues to be engaged with the organisation through different projects. 

    Throughout his career, Michael has built a considerable reputation in Australia and internationally as both a fine art and commercial photographer. He was selected as Photographer of the Year in 2006 by the Federation of European Photographers, and in 2004 won the Canon New Zealand Architectural Photographer of the Year. More recently, Michael was announced as a finalist in the Hasselblad Masters 2009.

    His fine art work focuses specifically on exploring human impact upon the landscape. Michael invests much time and energy in personal photographic projects – projects that engage with compelling and often confronting issues that ultimately affect us all. He is currently undertaking an extensive project to document the impacts and opportunities of climate change that will eventually include over 300 photographs captured in 40 international destinations.  The project has been widely exhibited to date and has received critical acclaim from the likes of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.
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