Our people

Climate-KIC Australia's board and leadership team is made up of a diverse mix of influential climate leaders with national and international experience across Government, industry and research.

Leadership team

Chris Lee
CEO Climate-KIC Australia

Christopher Lee is the CEO of Climate-KIC Australia and played a key role its establishment.  Chris has extensive climate change experience and from 2009 to 2017 led the development and implementation of Climate Change Adaptation programs for the NSW Government. He has degrees in Economics and Environmental Management, and has experience across, public, private and university sectors.

Belinda Whelan
Director - Strategic Projects Climate-KIC Australia

As Director of Strategic Projects, Belinda brings her global experience in accounting, marketing, strategy and innovation for financial services to develop strategies to build greater resilience for Climate-KIC Australia.

Katie Vines
Director - Adaptation and Resilience Climate-KIC Australia

Director of Operations, Katie leads operations to support an agile and innovative organisation. She brings climate change expertise and experience working in not-for-profit and government and with mega-cities around the world to create innovative, end-user led transformation.

Jason Nielsen
Director - Strategic Projects Climate-KIC Australia

As Director of Strategic Projects, Jason develops and leads multi-stakeholder system transition initiatives, leveraging his experience in Europe over the past decade working with large scale demonstrations and innovation ecosystem building initiatives for industry and cities.

Meredith England
Director - Systems Innovation Climate-KIC Australia

As Climate-KIC Australia’s Director of Systems Innovation Meredith brings her experience in strategy, design, innovation and facilitation to shape and deliver projects and portfolios for systemic impact. She leverages her experience in consulting, financial services, corporate innovation and a start up to help people and organisations tackle the complexity of climate action.

Project and operations team

Alexi Barnstone
Project Officer Materials and Embedded Carbon Leadership Alliance (MECLA)

As Project Officer for MECLA Alexi is involved in communications and membership management. He has a background working in various environmental NGOs, a passion for tackling climate change, and a first class honours from the University of Sydney in philosophy.

Jes Hyne
Lead - Marketing and Communications Climate-KIC Australia

Jes is responsible for Climate-KIC Australia’s communications and outreach. With a background working in international organisations, Jessica finds the stories within complicated processes or technical concepts, to connect with audiences and celebrate the successes of climate change changers.

Sina Lengelsen
Principal - Innovation Programs Climate-KIC Australia

As Principal of Innovation Programs, Sina comes with a strong background in NGO management, international project development, communications and an education from Harvard University. Sina is best equipped to point the next climate change innovators in the right direction.

Jackie McKeon
Project Director Business Renewables Centre - Australia

As Director of the Business Renewables Centre Australia (BRC-A), Jackie manages this national membership platform and corporate education initiative to accelerate corporate transition to renewable energy. Jackie brings rich experience in renewable energy procurement and carbon management to the BRC-A to expand corporate renewable energy support to an even wider group of organisations nationally.

Melinda Morris
Lead - Adaptation and Resilience Projects Climate-KIC Australia

Melinda brings her experience working on climate partnerships and projects in the Pacific and the UK to lead adaptation and resilience projects. She draws on her legal and policy background and experience in knowledge brokering, facilitation and strategy to support cross-sectoral stakeholders working collaboratively to build resilience and adapt to climate change.

Genevieve Mortimer
Principal - Innovation Projects Climate-KIC Australia

Genevieve is responsible for managing projects which aim to drive systemic change. Her careers spans impact assessment, research, stakeholder engagement and sustainability in the mining, forestry and energy sectors. She takes a systems perspective, integrating technologies, decision-making processes and organisational change strategies to solve complex problems.

Nodoka Nakamichi
Project Officer Climate-KIC Australia

As a Project Officer, Nodoka is responsible for supporting stakeholder engagements and the delivery of strategic projects. With experience managing health portfolios and founding a start-up in the Middle East, Nodoka is passionate about facilitating effective intersectoral collaborations that shape a just transition. Nodoka also participates in the Sustainable Development Solutions Network for Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific as a youth advisor and the UTS Sustainability Alliance of Students and Staff as a Co-founder and Vice President.

Alex Nassar
Project Officer Business Renewables Centre - Australia

Drawing from a passion for sustainability and education in photovoltaics engineering, Alex is involved in the Business Renewables Centre-Australia team, delivering projects that connect key cross-sectoral stakeholders to support renewable energy deployment.

Marian Schoen
Project Director European Union-Australian Climate Business Network

Marian is our National Director for the European-Australian Climate Business Network. Her career spans from executive management to program delivery, in government and higher education sectors. In this role, she advances partnerships, stakeholder engagement, and project development.

Kim Shore
Principal - Innovation Projects Climate-KIC Australia

Kim is responsible for leading projects and portfolios that drive systemic change. Kim brings a diverse experience — from international climate law and legal innovation, to learning design and climate education, and to public sector innovation and product design. He takes a transdisciplinary approach, integrating futures thinking, design, and systems thinking to work towards shared goals.

Stephanie Thornton
General Manager Australian Ocean Energy Group

Stephanie is General Manager of the Australian Ocean Energy Group, bringing over 14 years ocean energy experience to the Program.  She has been on the forefront of the emerging renewable ocean energy sector, advancing the growth of wave and tidal power in USA as well as Australia.  With climate change a defining issue of our time, Stephanie is striving to help Blue Economy communities, businesses and industries adopt ocean energy as a means to decarbonise and reduce their cost of energy.

Kathy Verheyen
Lead - Innovation Projects Climate-KIC Australia

As senior project manager for the Materials and Embodied Carbon Leaders’ Alliance (MECLA), Kathy manages this national alliance to drive the reduction of embodied carbon in the building and construction industry. Kathy has worked across a range of projects involving large numbers of stakeholders, including the Climate Measurement Standards Initiative (CMSI), sustainable finance and the EU Green Deal. Before moving to Australia, Kathy worked for a senior lawmaker in Germany’s parliament and international development agencies in Europe and Asia.

Our board

Dominic McGann
Chair McCullough Robertson Lawyers

Dominic McGann is a commercial lawyer with over 35 years experience in native title, cultural heritage, government advisory, resource development and carbon farming. He has acted for various State Governments, Local Governments, infrastructure and resources companies, as well as Traditional Owners, sugar and timber entities and pastoral companies.

Prof. Damien Giurco
Associate Director Research UTS Institute for Sustainable Futures

With a focus on responsible prosperity, Damien has worked collaboratively with government and industry spanning the minerals, water, waste and energy sectors on strategy, modelling and policy. His published work spans over 150 technical reports, academic journal articles and online publications including in The Conversation. Damien has undertaken research funded by the Australian Research Council, Cooperative Research Centres and industry and by all levels of government, for example on international best practice in circular economy as input to the development of the NSW Circular Economy Policy Statement.

Stephanie Ziersch
Independent Consultant

Currently working as a consultant, Stephanie Ziersch has over 15 years experience as an executive responsible for climate change policy and program delivery at the state, national and international level working on issues such as climate strategy, climate finance and climate innovation.   A strategic and innovative leader, she excels at developing collaborative partnerships and building high-performing teams.

Prof. Greg Morrison
Western Sydney University

Professor Greg Morrison is the Lang Walker Chair in Urban Transformations at Western Sydney University. He has long experience in academic leadership and research in sustainability science related to sustainable living. Greg has successfully initiated and run large scale societal infrastructure related projects.

Sara Parrott
2050 Hindsight

Sara Parrot has more than twenty five years’ experience in corporate responsibility, stakeholder relations, communication and marketing, with both corporate and community organisations, holding staff and board positions. She is currently a CEO and a Board Member with philanthropic and environmental impact organisations focused on impact investing, venture philanthropy and grant making.

Prof. Mary Ritter, OBE
EIT Climate-KIC

Professor Mary Ritter, OBE is EIT Climate-KIC’s International Ambassador. She was CEO of EIT Climate-KIC guiding it from inception to a pan-European cross-sector innovation community addressing climate change mitigation and adaptation. She is a Professor Emeritus (Immunology) and previous Pro Rector for International Affairs at Imperial College London. She sits and has sat on many international and national boards.

Fiona Bednarz
Executive Manager, Environment & Climate Suncorp

Fiona Bednarz has over 15 years’ experience, as a corporate and financial communications professional having worked in London, Sydney and Brisbane. Throughout her career she has provided advice to board and executive teams on reputation and issues management, media and investor relations, stakeholder engagement and company profiling.  Fiona is currently Executive Manager, Environment & Climate for Suncorp Group