Executive Team

The Executive Team is led by our Executive Board and runs Climate-KIC operationally.

More about our governance structure.

Executive Team Members

Dr Kirsten Dunlop, Chief Executive Officer open

Dr Kirsten Dunlop joined Climate-KIC in January 2017, from Suncorp Australia, where she was Executive General Manager Strategic Innovation.

Marc Weissgerber, Chief Financial Officer open

mwMarc was previously CFO and Managing Director of Veolia, Deutschland, where he was co-responsible for the overall management of 120 companies with 3 business lines (energy, water, recycling) serving 100 communities and 130,000 industrial customers. Veolia Deutschland set up a new Accelerator Programme (“U Start”) with KIC InnoEnergy and developed a partnership contract with EIT Raw Materials. Before joining Veolia, Marc held several national and international finance leadership positions at E.ON, one of the world’s largest energy utility providers. He started his career in a banking dealing with international M&A and structured finance. Marc has great experience working in complex finance organisations and brings in-depth knowledge of working in both public and private organizations. Marc has also strong political interests and is a Founding Member of the Advisory Group on Energy and Climate (Wirtshaftsforum der SPD). He acts as an advisor and coach to social business start-ups. Marc holds an MBA (finance) from the University of Cambridge. 

Naren Bhojaram , Chief Operating Officer open

Naren Bhojaram is our Chief Operating Officer. He has considerable management experience ranging from that of Divisional Director of technical teams to Regional Manager to Director of Operations and to CEO of one of the largest consulting engineering companies in South Africa, a position he held for 6 years. His most recent position up to end of 2015 was that of Director of one of Royal Haskoning DHV’s eight business lines. Rivers, Deltas & Coasts focusing on Water Edge Development and Land Reclamation, Flood Risk Management, Water Security and, Hydropower and Dams, based in the Netherlands.

He has a special affinity to business process improvement, meeting stakeholder expectations and uplifting disadvantaged communities during project execution. 

Tom Bakkum, Director, Climate-KIC The Netherlands open

After his MSc on hydrology at the Wageningen Agricultural University Tom embarked on a career that for about 20 years took him across several continents and sectors. He worked for 10 year for several UN agencies (UNESCO, UNDP and GEF) in Africa, Central America and Cuba on climate adaptation, natural resources management and public private partnerships. Later on, he set up an investment firm specialized in sustainable investments in relation to environmental protection in Central America that flourished until the global financial crisis took its toll.

Tom returned to Europe in 2011 with his family and worked with the Utrecht Sustainable Institute as senior cluster manager water and integrated projects, set up the European HQ of The Energy and Resources Institute with it global HQ in New Delhi.  Tom decided in 2013 to join Climate KIC where he became Director for the Benelux in July 2016. He is an avid sailor and adventurer.

Daniel Zimmer, Theme Director, Sustainable Land Use open

Daniel-ZimmerDaniel Zimmer has a background in Agricultural Engineering and in Hydrology. He spent the first 15 years of his career at Cemagref, the French Agricultural and Environmental Engineering Research Centre (today IRSTEA). Daniel became the Director of the World Water Council for eight years, an international institution based in Marseilles, France. After a short period of work as a Consultant for the UN and other international institutions, he joined Climate-KIC in 2010 as its Director for Innovation. He is in charge of developing and supervising the implementation of the KIC innovation activities which encompass projects in areas such as water, greenhouse gas emissions, cities and built environment, resource efficiency and industrial symbiosis, bioeconomy and adaptation services.

Dominic Hofstetter, Director, Climate-KIC Switzerland open

HofstetterDominic brings a wide set of experiences in cleantech entrepreneurship and research to Climate-KIC. He was formerly VP of Business Development with the power-to-gas technology developer Electrochaea. Prior to that, he worked for Hudson Clean Energy Partners in clean technology finance and conducted research in a broad range of cleantech topics. He began his career at Credit Suisse, a leading global financial services company. Dominic holds a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Applied Sciences Zurich, an MBA from the University of Chicago, and an MSc in interdisciplinary environmental science from the University of Oxford.

Ebrahim Mohamed, Director of Education open

Ebrahim Mohamed

Ebrahim is currently Director of Education at Climate-KIC. He is a specialist educator in the field of entrepreneurship education and helps spearhead Climate-KIC’s reputation in technology and innovation in Europe. Ebrahim works for Climate-KIC, previously employed by core partner Imperial College, London and is a graduate of the London School of Economics. Ebrahim’s expertise lies in teaching, research and consulting in the areas of accounting, finance, innovation, entrepreneurship and education. Part of Imperial College since 1992, Ebrahim was formerly the Director of the MBA programmes and has been involved in graduate programmes that led to significant innovation initiatives in education. He has held visiting lectureships for the London School of Economics, City University, London Business School and Queen Mary University of London. He is an accredited examiner of the University of London external programme and a fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA).

Malte Schneider, Director Climate-KIC Germany and Theme Director, Decision Metrics & Finance open


Malte has for more than 10 years been involved in tackling the climate change challenge from various perspectives. Based on a MSc in Mechanical engineering focused on Sustainable Energy Systems and experience in a not-for profit carbon offset organization, Malte went on to do his PhD and post-doc to examine the impact of climate and energy policy on innovation with specific focus on the role of corporate innovation strategy and the role of technology characteristics. During this time he built up a research group and worked as a consultant for the UN and other organizations. Because Malte has always been passionate about working at the interface between business, academia and policy to foster innovation he joined the Climate-KIC in 2010 as Deputy Director of Innovation and co-developed the project portfolio and the strategic themes. Since November 2013 he is Director of the German CLC where he aims to build a vibrant climate innovation ecosystem.


Mary Ritter, International Ambassador open

Mary-Ritter#Mary Ritter serves as Climate-KIC’s International Ambassador since late 2014. Mary has been involved with Climate-KIC from the beginning of project development, and was a member of the winning three-person Climate-KIC team who pitched Climate-KIC to the EIT in 2009. She was a member of Climate-KIC’s founding Governing Board, and subsequently Vice Chair (Education). In December 2010, she was asked to become Interim CEO and in April 2011 was appointed to the post of CEO. As CEO, she has overseen a major simplification project for Climate-KIC, including the development of a new, more appropriate, legal entity and the addition of many new members to create the vibrant Climate-KIC community.

Mary Ritter has had extensive experience in senior management at Imperial College London, and is currently Emeritus Professor of Immunology. She held the posts of Pro-Rector for Postgraduate Affairs (2004-2005, Pro-Rector Postgraduate and International Affairs (2005-2007) and Pro-Rector for International Affairs (2007-2011).

She has sat on a number of national and international committees including the UK Medical Research Council’s Non-Clinical Careers Training and Development Panel, the UK Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council’s Modular Training for Industry Panel, The Academy of Medical Sciences’ Academic Careers Committee (non-clinical), the European Universities Association (EUA) Institutional Evaluation Programme Panel of Experts, the German Excellence Initiative (Institutional Strategies) Evaluation Group, and the Programme Review Committee for the Cambridge-MIT Institute. She chaired the UK Research Councils’ “UK GRAD” Steering Committee and the UKIERI Evaluation Panel, was founding Vice Chair of the Steering Committee of the European Universities Association’s Council on Doctoral Education, and has been a member of external evaluation and review panels for universities in Finland, Germany and France. She has several patents and licences arising from her research as an immunologist.

Mary Ritter was awarded an OBE for services to scientific research and innovation in 2014.


Mike Cherrett, Director, External Partnerships open

mike 1

Mike is responsible for Climate-KIC’s relationships with the European Union and its agencies and for developing Climate-KIC’s international relations. He is also responsible for developing our European footprint through the Regional Innovation Scheme. He was Director – Operations 2014-2016 and joined Climate-KIC with a career spanning engineering and a career in the British Diplomatic Service.

Between 1984 and 1997 Mike worked in the aerospace industry in roles spanning technology development, international collaboration & business development. He gained an industry-based PhD from Imperial College in 1994 and was awarded the Royal Aeronautical Society’s Sir Roy Feddon Award for propulsion research that year. He is a Member of the Society and a Chartered Engineer.

Mike joined the British Diplomatic Service in 1997 and established a high-tech trade and investment unit at the British Embassy in Seoul. Subsequent roles encompassed conflict resolution and bilateral relations in Africa Directorate and Deputy Programme Director for a £100m ERP & business change programme and was responsible for the global rollout to 180 offices globally. He was Britain’s Deputy High Commissioner to New Zealand 2006-10 and responsible for a wide range of operational and policy issues, including advocacy on climate change and sustainability in the public and private sector. He returned to UK in Jan 2011 and led a cross-Whitehall study on climate change and resource scarcity and their implications for national security.  Between 2011 and 2013 Mike worked with a start-up bringing a systemic approach to regional resilience. 

Sira Saccani, Theme Director, Sustainable Production Systems open

SIRAAn Italian national who has been living and working in Germany for a number of years, she brings a unique combination of experience in strategising brand and business growth in different B2C and B2B industries, while integrating the acquired cross-sector knowledge with design thinking and sustainability aspects, to create innovative perspectives. Through her work at Siemens Gigaset and BMW Group Designworks she developed her expertise in innovation management, business development and environmental sustainability. She has also completed a post-graduate Masters in Non-profit Administration and has developed considerable knowledge about non-profit organisations, corporate responsibility and collaborations between businesses and NGOs. Her passion is working at the intersection of innovation, sustainability and digital to deliver business and partnership models able of achieving social and environmental breakthroughs.

Stefan Denig, Director of Communications open


Stefan Denig joined Climate KIC from Siemens where he managed a wide range of thought leadership programmes, covering energy, infrastructure and digitalisation, with a particular focus on smart infrastructure and resource efficiency in urban agglomerations. He led the development of the first sustainability ranking of Europe’s major cities which was published at the 2009 UN Climate Conference (COP15) in Copenhagen and subsequently rolled out worldwide in Asia, Latin America, Africa and USA/Canada. Before moving to Brussels, Stefan worked at the Crystal in London, a sustainable cities initiative by Siemens that explores how we can create a better future for our cities. It is home to the world’s largest exhibition focused on urban sustainability.

Susanne Pedersen, Director, Climate-KIC Nordic open


susanne 2Susanne Pedersen has recently joined Climate-KIC’s executive team as Director of Climate-KIC Nordic. Before joining Climate-KIC, Susanne has been responsible for projects financed by international organisations. In the last 10 years, she has held the position of Director at the engineering, design and consultancy company Ramboll where she has been responsible for energy and environment projects financed by international institutions, including the European Union. Furthermore, she has been advisor to different companies in relation to project investments in Eastern Europe, Africa and Asia.  

Thanh-Tâm Lê, Director Climate-KIC France open

Thanh-Tam-LeThanh-Tâm has been a Lecturer in Mathematics at SUPAERO, where he was also the Dean of Studies from 2002-2005, directing the “Ingénieur” programme. He then returned to his alma mater, Ecole Polytechnique, as the Dean of Graduate Studies – Master’s Programs, and became in 2010 the first Director of the EP Graduate School, merging the Doctoral and Master’s Directorates with the Careers, Internships & Academic counselling division. He has also been involved since 2006 in the IDEA League, a network of leading European universities of technology and science, as the ParisTech member of its Operational Board. A classical concert violinist, Laureate of the Yehudi Menuhin Foundation 1988, later trained as a mathematician and engineer, Thanh-Tâm is a Chief Engineer at the French General Directorate for Armament, and is now seconded into Climate-KIC France as its new Director.

Tom Mitchell, Director, Climate-KIC UK & Ireland open

Mitchell__Tom_November_2011Tom Mitchell has joined Climate-KIC’s executive team as Director for the UK and Ireland. Previously, he was Head of Climate and Environment at the Overseas Development Institute, and a Research Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies. He was a senior advisor to the Climate and Development Knowledge Network, in which he oversaw the research and knowledge management components. Tom also served on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group II Coordinating Lead Author of the Special Report on Extreme Events and Disasters; and a Lead Author of the IPCC 5th Assessment Report. He has a PhD from University College London on national level strategy planning for strengthening resilience to extreme events.

Sean Lockie, Theme Director, Urban Transitions open

0158ccbSean is a surveyor by profession with a particular focus on sustainability. He has been the Global Head of Sustainability at Atkins, one of the world’s leading design, engineering & project management consultancies. In this role he has been responsible for managing a global network of 100 people. Sean joined Atkins from the Building Research Establishment (BRE) in 2001 where he had worked on the Energy Efficiency Best Practice Programme. He is a fellow of the Royal Institute of Chartered surveyors (RICS) and in 2012 he was singled out as one of the world’s top 20 surveyors for his contribution to sustainability. He is also an advisor on carbon and sustainability matters to the Confederation of British Industry. Sean is married to an Italian and has recently moved back with his family to Italy.