Verra names three new directors to its board: Julie McLaughlin, Anshari Rahman, Mandy Rambharos; they each have decades of carbon market experience, including with government agencies and NGOs, as well as in project development

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WASHINGTON , August 7, 2023 (press release) –

Verra, the world’s leading standards setter for climate action and sustainable development, is pleased to announce the addition of three new board members: Julie McLaughlin, Anshari Rahman, and Mandy Rambharos. Each member brings decades of experience in the carbon market. Collectively, they have held pivotal positions at government agencies and non-governmental organizations, as well as in project development.

The three new members will add critical perspectives and expertise to Verra’s Board of Directors, which now includes ten representatives from different sectors within the climate change policy and sustainable development fields.

Julie McLaughlin, Anshari Rahman, Mandy Rambharos

Julie McLaughlin is Managing Director with Alvarez & Marsal’s Energy practice, where she specializes in energy transition. Anshari Rahman is Director of Policy and Analytics at GenZero, a Temasek-owned investment platform company focused on global decarbonization. He leads the development and execution of the firm’s strategic direction on policy, regulations, standards, and carbon pricing matters. Mandy Rambharos serves as Vice President for Global Climate Cooperation at the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), where she leads EDF’s strategy to promote well-designed carbon pricing and markets that support the transformation toward a low-emissions future. Mandy previously served on Verra’s board from 2019 to 2021.

“For more than 15 years, Verra has developed and managed standards for climate action and sustainable development. As Verra continues to demonstrate commitment to scientific integrity as it deploys the most rigorous standards and continues to catalyze the development of environmental and social markets, the next few years are pivotal for the organization, these markets, and the fight against climate change. We’re proud to welcome these new board members as they compliment our committed staff and leadership in implementing Verra’s vision and contribution to the global transition to a sustainable future.”

Board Chair Ken Markowitz

Since its founding in 2007, Verra has grown from an ambitious nonprofit startup to a pioneering organization that oversees the world’s leading greenhouse gas crediting program, the VCS Program.

“My number one priority is building out Verra’s capabilities to meet market demands while ensuring the integrity of the projects we certify and the credits we issue,” said President and Interim CEO Judith Simon. “Our work is core to advancing climate action and sustainable development around the world, and with the support of our board and staff, we will make sure that Verra rises to the challenge and supports stakeholders across environmental and social markets.”

Recently, Verra has taken several steps to strengthen its programs, including holding a broad public consultation on the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) Program, preparing to release a new consolidated REDD methodology, and developing a new nature crediting framework.

Board of DIrectors

Ken Markowitz is a partner at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP in Washington, DC, and co-leader of the firm’s global climate change practice. He advises leading public- and private-sector clients on a broad range of environmental and clean energy law, regulation, and policy issues, domestically and internationally. Mr. Markowitz has significant experience with compliance strategies and regulatory approaches to greenhouse gas mitigation and climate resilience, environmental markets, regulatory incentives, and good governance. He formerly served as the Managing Director of the International Network for Environmental Compliance and Enforcement, the founding co-chair of the American Bar Association’s Cleantech and Climate Change Committee, an enforcement attorney with the US Environmental Protection Agency, and an adjunct professor at the Washington College of Law at American University.

Jim Cannon is the CEO and founder of the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership. He has worked on fisheries, forestry, and conservation issues in Asia, Europe, and the Americas. Before starting the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership in 2006, he worked at Conservation International (CI) for nearly 10 years, including as the Acting Executive Director of the Center for Conservation and Government. His work at CI focused on forest conservation, natural forest management, and carbon financing. He served on the Marine Stewardship Council’s Technical Advisory Board from 2005 to 2008. Jim studied ecology at Cambridge University and environmental economics, management, and fisheries at Imperial College, London. In 2009, Jim was named Intrafish’s “Person of the Year.”

Dirk Forrister is President and CEO of the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA). He previously served as managing director of Natsource, as a senior official with the United States. Department of Energy, and as energy program manager at Environmental Defense Fund. He also served as Chairman of the White House Climate Change Task Force in the Clinton Administration. Dirk, an early contributor to US climate change policy, brings to the Verra Board considerable skills and experience in energy policy and carbon markets.

Mark Kenber has spent over two decades working on international climate and energy policy. His most recent role was as CEO of Mongoose Energy, the UK’s largest developer and manager of community-owned renewable energy assets, which he left in June 2018. Before joining Mongoose, Mark was the CEO of the international NGO The Climate Group, one of Verra’s founding organizations, where he worked for 12 years. Previously, he served as a Senior Policy Officer of World Wildlife Fund’s international climate change program, working on emissions trading and international carbon markets; as Planning Director for Fundación Natura in Ecuador; and as Climate Change Advisor to both the Ecuadorian government and former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Kelley Kizzier is a fellow at the Bezos Earth Fund. She was formerly the Vice President of Global Climate at the Environmental Defense Fund. She is a renowned expert on European and international climate policy and was the European Union’s (EU) lead markets negotiator in the International Climate Negotiations for 14 years. Prior to joining EDF, Kelley was an independent consultant, and her clients included the Government of Ontario, the Western Climate Initiative, the World Bank, the European Commission, and the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions. From 2010 to 2017, Kelley was part of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Climate Action, where she designed and implemented EU policy on international carbon credits; aviation; maritime; land use, land-use change, and forestry ; and non-Emissions Trading System targets. Previously, Kelley was the Senior Manager implementing EU and International Climate Policy at the Environmental Protection Agency in Ireland (2004-2010) and also served as the country’s Focal Point for the Clean Development Mechanism and Joint Implementation.

Julie McLaughlin is a Managing Director with Alvarez & Marsal’s Energy practice in San Francisco. She specializes in energy transition and has worked across 16 countries in North America, Latin America, Europe, and Asia. Julie brings nearly 20 years of experience in clean energy and carbon offsets, spanning initiatives focused on leadership, strategy, investment, mergers and acquisitions (M&A), business development, and regulatory affairs. She regularly works with utilities, private equity, project developers, and regulators.

Prior to joining A&M, Julie spent three years working with Cogentrix, a Carlyle portfolio company and independent power producer, as Vice President of Commercial Origination and Vice President of Regulatory Affairs. During her tenure, she supported M&A activities for more than two gigawatts of power projects. Previously, Julie held a variety of roles with Brookfield Renewable, E.ON Climate & Renewables, Dynamic Energy, EcoSecurities, and The Vertex Companies.

Julie earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from Bucknell University, an MPA in environmental science and policy from Columbia University, and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Before co-founding C-Quest Capital, Dr. Ken Newcombe was Managing Director at Goldman Sachs in the Fixed Income, Currency, and Commodities Division in New York; prior to that, he was Vice-Chair and Co-Manager of Carbon Markets for Climate Change Capital. Ken pioneered the global carbon trade at the World Bank, where he launched and managed eight carbon funds with one billion dollars under management. There, he established the Forest Market Transformation Initiative, which led to the launch of the leading NGO Forest Trends, its Ecosystem Marketplace initiative, and the successful Global Alliance for Forest Conservation and Sustainable Use with the World Wildlife Fund.

He has a doctorate in the epidemiology of the energy/natural resource management health nexus from the John Curtin School of Medical Research, Australian National University, as well as business management training from Harvard Business School.

Anshari is Director of Policy and Analytics at GenZero, where he is responsible for providing thought leadership on carbon pricing, policy, regulations, and standards. Before GenZero, he was a climate change negotiator with the National Climate Change Secretariat under the Prime Minister’s Office, and represented Singapore at various multilateral fora including the United Nations Convention on Biodiversity, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He anchored the carbon markets negotiations for Singapore from 2014 to 2021.

Mandy Rambharos is currently the Vice President of Global Climate Cooperation for the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and previously served on Verra’s board from 2019 to 2021. She leads EDF’s work to promote more ambitious and effective global climate action under the Paris Agreement by directing multilateral engagement, including at the United Nations and its agencies, as well as for the G20 and G7. She also leads EDF’s strategy to promote well-designed carbon pricing and markets that support the transformation toward a low-emissions future while improving the well-being of marginalized communities.

Marc Stuart is the founding managing director of Allotrope Partners and an original co-founder of EcoSecurities, one of the world’s largest developers of greenhouse gas reduction and removal projects. Marc brings to the board significant business development expertise and an in-depth technical understanding of the complexities of project development and the need for simplified and transparent procedures to enable large-scale investment.

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