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Mary Ellen Mika, MA BSc
Advisory Board

Mary Ellen Mika is Director of Sustainability at Steelcase Inc., the worldwide leader in the office furniture industry with its top ISS ESG corporate rating. She leads a global team of over twenty-five people working in six countries, regularly gives presentations, reports progress to the Steelcase Board of Directors, and is responsible for the company’s sustainability programs and its environmental strategy for ESG.  Mary Ellen's team is responsible for the development of the company’s annual Impact Report, energy and renewable energy procurement, the company’s carbon strategy including setting science-based targets for greenhouse gas reduction, and managing compliance with environmental regulatory requirements for products, facilities, and manufacturing operations including tracking and reporting waste, water, and energy usage. They also implement the company’s ISO 14001 environmental management system, address environmental due diligence for potential acquisitions, pursue product certifications for sustainability and indoor air quality, monitor risks related to historical site remediation projects as well as climate change impacts.


Mary Ellen is a LEED-accredited professional and recently served on the Materials and Resources Technical Advisory Group for U.S. Green Building Council.  She serves on the Board for Michigan Energy Options, also for the C.R. Evenson Foundation, on the Grand Rapids Energy Advisory Council appointed by Mayor Bliss and on the Michigan Environmental Rules Review Committee appointed by Governor Whitmer.


Mary Ellen has a B.S. in Biochemistry, an M.A. in Counseling Psychology, and over twenty-five years of experience in environmental consulting and industry.

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John Kinch, PhD
Advisory Board

Dr. John Kinch was recently approached by President Biden's Administration to be an energy efficiency advisor.

John directs the strategic and daily operations of Michigan Energy Options (MEO), a clean energy nonprofit emphasising innovative and collaborative projects between the public and private sectors. Under Dr. Kinch, MEO's community-based work has expanded across the state and its revenue stream has diversified. MEO has built a community solar park on a capped landfill — one of a few owned and operated by a nonprofit in the country.

John is a U.S. Department of Energy SunShot advisor and a National Community Solar Partner, a municipal-certified solar expert by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, local clean energy consultant for the Council of Michigan Foundations, and has been a renewable energy consultant for The Nature Conservancy. Kinch was active in the Clean Energy for Biden Michigan Campaign, writing for the website and canvassing the vote.

Dr. Kinch was previously Communications Manager at The Nature Conservancy whilst writing the charity's national magazine, annual reports, funding bids and other major publications.  He has authored numerous journalistic and professional articles and a book. Dr. Kinch has held adjunct professorial roles at Big Ten Universities.  He presents often to professional, academic and general audiences.

Dr. Kinch was previously an adjunct Professor and Communications Manager at Michigan State University in the English Department.  Established in the mid-1800s, Michigan State University was the first Land Grant College in the USA.  It is a Big10 Conference University respected for a range of disciplines.

Dr. John A Kinch is Grand Valley State University College of Business’s inaugural Executive-in-Residence.  This role entails lecturing and mentoring students.

Dr. Kinch has travelled the world and written freelance in auspicious newspapers, including the New York Times.  In his free time, Dr. Kinch is a keen birder (or twitcher as we say in Britain).

Kinch lives in a home surrounded by woodlands along the coast of Lake Michigan, on the west coast of Michigan.

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David Bassiouni, BA
Advisory Board

Mr. David Solomon Bassiouni is President & Chief Strategy Officer of Bassiouni Group located in Manhattan, New York City, USA.  Mr. Bassiouni spent his formative years (8-17) attending Scottish boarding schools including in Pitlochry and Edinburgh, and has a special connection to Scotland.

Mr. David Solomon Bassiouni specialises in Global Business, Sustainability, International Development and Global/Political Affairs. As the President of The Bassiouni Group (TBG), Mr. Bassiouni helps companies/institutions to navigate the global economy and build sustainable, performance-focused solutions for long-term growth and socioeconomic impact.

He has managed international teams/projects across more than 50 countries. As the co-founder and President of CSR Leaders (LinkedIn), Mr. Bassiouni enables CSR/Sustainability practitioners all over the world to connect, share insights and develop best practices. Mr. Bassiouni sets TBG’s strategic and business development plan, manages the day-to-day operations of each division (Consulting, Investment, Trade), and oversees the company’s Global Consultancy Network which consists of over 500+ experts in 150+ countries.

David has worked on projects ranging from advisory services for governments and comprehensive evaluations for UN agencies to Sustainable Trade and Investment initiatives in the Agribusiness, Renewable Energy and Infrastructure Development sectors.

As a C-suite counselor, Mr. Bassiouni has directly advised CEOs, industry leaders and dignitaries on complex, and often sensitive, global events ranging from management/labour issues and corporate transition to financial restructuring and shareholder disputes.

As the Group Manager at Weber Shandwick’s Corporate Issues Group (New York), Mr. Bassiouni counseled numerous Fortune 500 clients on corporate strategies relating to reputation management, corporate positioning, CEO communications, high-profile litigation, financial restructuring, crisis management, labour relations, corporate reorganisations, M&A transactions, hostile takeovers, financial restructuring, regulatory enforcement, product liability and management transitions. His client list ranged from major financial institutions and pharmaceutical firms to hotel chains/tourist destinations, multi-sector manufacturers and energy companies.

Prior to joining Weber Shandwick, Mr. Bassiouni was an Associate Director at Gavin Anderson & Company where he provided strategic counsel to the United Nations, supporting the Office of the Secretary General during the launch of the Independent Inquiry Committee and the subsequent introduction of Secretary Annan’s reform program.

Mr. Bassiouni has also worked at Shandwick International (Weber Shandwick Worldwide), Kratz & Jensen (Euro RSCG), The Halo Group and Winstar Communications (IDT Corp.). As the Media Relations Manager at Winstar, he oversaw the company’s media relations and marketing initiatives throughout the United States, Western Europe, Asia and South America.

In addition to the Technology, Energy, Financial, Telecommunications and Consumer sectors, Mr. Bassiouni is also experienced in Government, International Affairs, Healthcare and Higher Education. Educated in Britain and raised in eight different countries across Europe and Africa, Mr. Bassiouni takes a uniquely multicultural approach to his work.

He graduated with honors from McGill University, Canada, and is conversant in basic French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Arabic. Mr. Bassiouni has been featured on CNBC/CNBC Europe and in The Washington Post, and he also spoken on a variety of international development/business issues at numerous venues including The Harvard Club, Columbia University, and City University New York.

Mr. Bassiouni is a member of the Board of Associates at The Ronald McDonald House (New York), and the Associate Director of The Mary N. Bassiouni Foundation, which is dedicated to empowerment and advancement of South Sudanese women and youth. Mr. Bassiouni is also a Special Advisor to Project Education South Sudan, which increases access to primary and secondary education with a special focus on girls.

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Hazel A Todd,  MSc BA
Advisory Board, UK

Hazel A. Todd is a Barbadian national with extensive experience in the Caribbean development arena, beginning with 18 years with the Department for International Development (DFID) of the UK in its regional office based in Barbados. Her work brought home to her the fragility of progress in the region, because of its vulnerability to a range of disasters and emergencies, for which it is often not adequately prepared. She then decided to pursue a career in Disaster Management and studied in the UK to gain a qualification in the area.

Hazel holds an Upper 2nd class Hons Degree in History and Sociology from the University of the West Indies and a Master of Science Degree in Disaster Management from Cranfield University (RMCS) in the United Kingdom.  She also holds a Certificate in Business Continuity Management (BCM) and a Certificate in Managing Environmental Responsibilities (IOSH). She is a Member of the UK Emergency Planning Society and of the Institute of Civil Protection and Emergency Management.

Hazel returned to Barbados in 2011 as Acting Deputy Director of the Department of Emergency Management of the Government of Barbados and since then has been a consultant and has conducted consultancy assignments in the disaster management and climate change fields. Her clients have included the World Bank Independent Evaluation Group, UNDP, UNICEF, IDB, OAS, OECS, UNEP, FAO and CDEMA.  She has also worked as an Emergency Planner at a local Council in the UK and as Disaster Preparedness and Response Manager with a major charity in the USA, following hurricane Katrina.  Her reports have been published by the World Bank, UNEP, UNICEF and the OECS.

Hazel was recently lead author of Chapter 4 in the 2nd Edition of Evaluating Environment in International Development, which examines the linkages between poverty, disasters and climate change. Hazel’s work in various locations has reinforced her belief in the essential part played by public commitment, pressure and engagement in moving towards international climate mitigation targets through actions at all level, from local to global.

Hazel has lived in several countries and travelled extensively and enjoys diversity. After living in Scotland, she spent 12 years in Washington DC, before living in Barbados, Nigeria and again the UK, Malaysia and Singapore. She has recently resettled in Barbados. 


Hazel has travelled extensively across the English and Dutch speaking Caribbean, and to many other countries, including Albania, Egypt, Kenya, Ghana, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, India, Vietnam, Timor Leste, Singapore, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Bangladesh, Morocco and Tunisia. She is an enthusiastic runner and joins in the activities of the Hash House Harriers around the world.

Hazel is fundraising for the cancer treatment of her Barbadian niece in the United States.  Please see the Community section of this website for further information.

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