Sustainable Finance Summit

May 30 - 31, 2023 

Studio-théatre des Grands Ballets Canadiens - Édifice Wilder

2023 speakers 

Discover the internationally renowned speakers who will take part in the 2023 edition


David Cooper

Acting Executive Secretary, Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)

Prior to his appointment, David had been the Deputy Executive Secretary at the CBD Secretariat since October 2015, where he assisted the Executive Secretary by leading the strategic and planning activities of the Secretariat, as well as the intergovernmental processes and activities under the Convention and its two protocols -- the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety and the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing. 

David has more than 30 years of experience in environmental and agricultural science and policy, and international negotiations, including more than 20 years with the CBD. He has built strong and productive working relationships with Parties in all regions and with partners in civil society, international organisations, and the scientific community. As Secretary of the fifteenth meeting of the CBD Conference of the Parties (COP 15), held in Kunming, China (in October 2021) and in Montreal, Canada (in December 2022), David was instrumental in facilitating the complex pathway that led to the successful finalisation and adoption of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework and other key decisions, including those on digital sequence information on genetic resources, and on resource mobilisation. 

Before joining the CBD Secretariat, he worked at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, for the international non-governmental organisation Genetic Resources Action International (GRAIN), the United Nations Association (UK) and in the Agricultural Research Council of the United Kingdom. 
He holds an MA in Agricultural and Forest Sciences and a DPhil in Plant Physiology, both from the University of Oxford. 


Patrick Decostre

President and Chief Executive Officer, Boralex

In December 2020, Patrick Decostre becomes President and Chief Executive Officer of Boralex Inc. After spending 18 years building the business from the ground up in Europe as its very first employee, he settles in Montreal. His new position offers him the opportunity to bring together his European expertise and the company’s Quebec and North American roots.

In Europe, he launched the company’s wind energy initiative and spearheaded Boralex’s operations and development activities. Through his efforts and those of the team he built from scratch, Boralex is now the first independent onshore wind power producer in France.

Upon entering the labor market in 1996, Patrick works in France and also in the United Kingdom, then a pioneering market for the deregulation of electricity and integration of interconnected networks. He is quickly recognized for his in-depth understanding of the energy sector, his strategic vision and his expertise in development. A physicist engineer, a graduate of École Polytechnique de Bruxelles and of the Solvay Brussels School in business administration, Patrick works at EDF as engineer as well as business manager for major projects before joining Boralex in 2001.

In addition to a successful career, Patrick can count on the support of his family. Sports lovers who enjoy the great outdoors and a change of scenery, they uprooted from Belgium to discover new horizons in Montreal, in March 2019, thereby allowing Patrick to take up his new role as Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer of Boralex.

More than an anchor in his life, his family is actively involved in Patrick’s personal and professional decisions, making him a leader who knows how to stay connected and close to his team.


Jingdong Hua

Vice-President, International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB)

Mr. Hua was appointed as Vice-Chair of the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) in August 2022, effective 1 October 2022. In this role, Mr. Hua has a special focus in overseeing the development and implementation of the ISSB’s strategies to support and include stakeholders in emerging and developing economies as well as small and medium-sized companies. 

Mr. Hua brings a wealth of international finance and development expertise to the ISSB. He is the former Vice President and Treasurer of the World Bank, where his responsibilities included green bond initiatives and sustainable finance capacity-building programmes. He also served as the Administrator of the World Bank Group Pension Fund. 

Before joining the World Bank, he served as Vice President and Treasurer of the International Finance Corporation, where he led innovative bond issuances in several emerging markets. He has also previously served as Deputy Treasurer of the Asian Development Bank and has held positions at the United Nations Development Programme and the African Development Bank. 


Lori Kerr

Chief Executive Officer, FinDev Canada

Lori Kerr joined FinDev Canada as Chief Executive Officer in June 2021.  A Canadian national, she is a widely experienced international development finance professional with more than two decades of leadership in private investment in emerging markets with a focus on sustainable infrastructure, climate finance, and blended finance. 

Ms. Kerr joined FinDev Canada by way of the Global Infrastructure Facility at the World Bank in Washington, DC, where she was responsible for corporate strategy, thought leadership, partnerships, and international engagement for the largest global fund advising developing country governments on the preparation and structuring of commercially viable infrastructure projects. 

Previously, Ms. Kerr served as Senior Director at Climate Finance Advisors developing low-carbon, climate-resilient investment strategies and blended finance solutions to mobilize private capital in developing countries. She also spent 18 years at the Inter-American Development Bank Group serving in management and senior investment roles where she spearheaded strategic initiatives to support the expansion and development impact of private sector activities as well as private sector transaction origination, structuring, and asset management. Ms. Kerr also spent 14 years as an Adjunct Professor of International Project Finance and Investment at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Washington, D.C.  

Ms. Kerr holds an Honours Bachelor degree from the University of Western Ontario and an International MBA from the Schulich School of Business at York University. 



Sean Kidney

Co-Founder and CEO, Climate Bonds Initiative

Sean Kidney is CEO of the Climate Bonds Initiative, an international NGO, working to mobilize global capital for climate action. Projects include a green bond definitions and certification scheme with $34 trillion of assets represented on its Board; working with the Chinese central bank on how to grow green bonds in China; market development programs in Brazil, Mexico, ASEAN and Africa; and market tracking services for the green bonds industry. He is a member of the European Commission's Platform on Sustainable Finance, and was a member of its predecessors, the 2017 EU High Level Expert Group on Sustainable Finance and the EU Technical Expert Group on Sustainable Finance. He is also a member of green finance committees in China, India, Mexico and Kazakhstan. Sean is also a Professor in Practice at SOAS University of London.


Stephen Nolan

Managing Director, Financial Centres for Sustainability (FC4S) and Head, Secretariat Sustainable Insurance Forum (SIF)

A senior business professional who has led and delivered initiatives from start-up to scale across both public / private spheres in Europe, Asia, Latin America, Africa and North America. Background in technology, policy and most recently sustainable and responsible finance, possesses a distinct skillset/understanding of the machinery of Government, international agencies and businesses/capital markets and where they collaborate to drive market opportunities. Track record demonstrates ability to successful lead, raise capital for and execute complex, multi-stakeholder undertakings at the highest levels internationally.


Megan Leslie

President and CEO, WWF Canada

Megan Leslie is President & CEO of WWF-Canada and leads their 10-year plan Regenerate Canada to 
reverse wildlife loss and fight climate change. Megan was a Member of Parliament representing Halifax 
for two terms and served as environment critic and vice-chair of the committee on environment and 
sustainable development. Megan is a proud recipient of a Mount Saint Vincent University Honourary 



Eric Usher

Head, UNEP Finance Initiative

Eric Usher Heads the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative, UNEP FI, a global partnership bringing together the UN with a global group of banks, insurers and investors working to develop the sustainable finance and responsible investment agendas. Eric oversees governance, strategy and day-to-day management of UNEP FI’s work programme and global network development. Over the years UNEP FI has established some of the most important sustainability oriented frameworks within the finance industry, including the Principles for Responsible Investment (2006), the Principles for Sustainable Insurance (2012) and the Principles for Responsible Banking (2019). 

Since joining in 2015, Mr. Usher has focused on accelerating the deep integration of sustainability risks into financial practice, including addressing climate change, natural capital loss and human rights abuses, as well as building out the frameworks for positive impact finance needed to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Eric sits on several industry bodies including as UN representative on the Board of the Principles for Responsible Investment, and as a member of the governing boards of the Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative, the Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance, the Investor Agenda and the impact fund REPP Africa. 

Prior to leading UNEP FI, Mr. Usher has over twenty years of experience in the low carbon sectors, spanning technology commercialisation in Canada, solar rural electrification in Morocco and financial sector development across emerging markets. During 2011, Mr. Usher worked on the establishment of the Green Climate Fund and led efforts to create its Private Sector Facility. Eric has been an editor of the Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment report published annually with Bloomberg and was lead author for finance of the IPCC Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources. Earlier in his career, Eric was General Manager of a solar rural electrification company based in Morocco. 


Marie-Anne Vincent

VP of Climate Finance, Sweep

Marie-Anne Vincent is Sweep's VP climate finance. The former CEO of the European climate data provider Carbon4 Finance has 15+ years of experience in the finance industry, working at various positions at HSBC and BNP Paribas on the intersection of finance and sustainability. 



Joy Williams

Executive Director, Financial Institution Transition Planning, GFANZ

Megan Leslie is President & CEO of WWF-Canada and leads their 10-year plan Regenerate Canada to 
reverse wildlife loss and fight climate change. Megan was a Member of Parliament representing Halifax 
for two terms and served as environment critic and vice-chair of the committee on environment and 
sustainable development. Megan is a proud recipient of a Mount Saint Vincent University Honourary 


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