Take our quiz: Which type of #SDG7Women leader are you?
This International Women’s Day, Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) celebrates the women who inspire us by driving progress on Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7) and encourages others to see the leaders in themselves. Women’s voices and leadership are and will continue to be critical to achieving our goal of providing affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all by 2030 and carrying out a clean energy transition that leaves no one behind.
On this celebrated day, answer seven questions to find out what type of #SDG7Women leader you are!
Get to know the 7 #SDG7Women leaders below:
Gabriela Prata Dias
Gabriela Prata Dias is the Head of the Copenhagen Centre on Energy Efficiency (UNEP DTU Partnership). She previously worked with the Portuguese National Energy Agency, ADENE, where she implemented energy efficiency policies in Portugal. She has MSc qualifications in Energy and Environmental Economics and Policy, coupled with very extensive experience in energy efficiency research and consultancy, including with the Energy Charter Secretariat in Brussels.
Damilola Ogunbiyi is the CEO of Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL), Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All and Co-Chair of UN-Energy. She is also a Commissioner for the Global Commission to End Energy Poverty and the Co-Chair of the COP26 Energy Transition Council. Damilola Ogunbiyi is a passionate global leader and advocate for universal energy access and a clean energy transition that gives everyone the opportunity of a prosperous, dignified, and healthy life. Prior to joining SEforALL, she was the first female Managing Director of the Nigerian Rural Electrification Agency where she was responsible for successfully negotiating the Nigerian Electrification Project which is a USD 550 million facility to rapidly construct solar mini-grids and deploy solar home systems across Nigeria to close energy access gaps.
Vanessa Nakate is a climate activist. She was the first Fridays for Future climate activist in Uganda and founder of the Rise Up Climate Movement—a movement to amplify the voices of activists from Africa. Her work includes raising awareness of climate change causes and impacts. She spearheaded the campaign, Save Congo Rainforest, which has spread to other countries in Africa and Europe. One of the handful of youth activists who spoke at COP25 in Madrid and the SEforALL Youth Summit last February, she is currently working on a project that involves installation of solar and institutional stoves in schools. Vanessa also graduated with a degree in Business Administration from Makerere University Business School.
Christiana Figueres is an internationally recognized leader on global climate change. She was the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) from 2010-2016. Building toward the goal of leading the process to a universally agreed regulatory framework for climate change, she directed the successful Conferences of the Parties in Cancun 2010, Durban 2011, Doha 2012, Warsaw 2013, and Lima 2014, and culminated her efforts in the historical Paris Agreement of 2015. Throughout her tenure, she brought together national and sub-national governments, corporations and activists, financial institutions and communities of faith, think tanks and technology providers, NGOs and parliamentarians, to jointly deliver the unprecedented climate change agreement. For this achievement, Christiana Figueres has been credited with forging a new brand of collaborative diplomacy.
Photo: Jimena Mateo
Neha Juneja is the co-founder and CEO of Greenway Appliances, a start-up designing and marketing efficient cooking solutions to rural households. Previously, Neha organized community-led projects and need-analysis consulting in a wide array of areas including agro-forestry, primary energy supply, and water access across rural India. She has been internationally recognized for her excellence in product design. In addition to the numerous awards she has helped GGI secure, Neha was named 2010’s Brightest Young Climate Leader by the Hindustan Times and British Council and won the L’Oreal Paris Femina Women Award for Science and Innovation in 2013.
Dr. Nithya Ramanathan
Nithya Ramanathan is the Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder of Nexleaf Analytics, a tech non-profit dedicated to preserving human life and protecting our planet. A computer scientist specializing in sensor technologies and data analytics, Nithya is a tech-for-good pioneer and a leading thinker on global vaccine distribution. Nithya’s career started in Silicon Valley, designing chips at Intel and Hewlett-Packard, and continued as Research Faculty in sensor technologies at UCLA. Her work has been published in peer-reviewed journals including Vaccine and Nature Climate Change. Nithya is a PopTech Social Innovation Fellow, Switzer Environmental Fellow, and a Rainer Arnhold Fellow. She is the winner of the 2017 Hedy Lamarr Award for Female Tech Pioneer, the 2020 Tällberg Foundation/Eliasson Global Leadership Award and has presented widely, including at the Vatican on creating innovative technology solutions for climate change, and the 2020 Global Vaccine Summit on scaling innovation.
Dr. Hilda Heine
Dr. Hilda Heine is the first woman to hold the presidency of the Marshall Islands. She has been an early advocate for women’s rights and climate action for small island states in the Pacific, founding the Women United Together Marshall Islands in 2000 and participating in the 2009 Pacific Islands Climate Change Education Partnership. During COP25 in Madrid, she led the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF), a group of 48 climate-vulnerable nations in urging big carbon-polluting countries to step up their climate action plans. Dr. Heine is also a huge believer of youth inclusion in climate talks and has promoted the Kwon-Gesh (a nod to a mix of words in the native languages in Marshall Islands meaning "solemn duty”) pledge, which invites countries to include young people in the climate decision-making processes of governments.
Photo: Jamila Toderas
To learn more about SEforALL’s work to identify, support and champion the next generation of female energy leaders, visit Women at the Forefront.