Dame Polly Courtice to step down as CISL director after three decades

Shine (pictured) will step into the role in April 2021

Dame Courtice Founded CISL in 1989, with the aim of helping businesses, academics, financial institutions and policymakers collaborate to deliver positive outcomes for society and the environment.

The body has grown steadily over the years and now works with more than 250 organisations including corporates, global banks and national governments. It employs more than 100 staff in three countries and has an international network of more than 16,000 people. This work earned Dame Courtice her OBE in 2016, for services to Sustainability Leadership, following a nomination from the University of Cambridge.

Today (23 November), Dame Courtice announced that she will be stepping down as director of CISL next spring. She has selected Clare Shine as her successor.

Shine is currently vice president and chief programme officer at non-profit Salzburg Global Seminar – an organisation which challenges world leaders and business executives to increase their sustainability-related ambitions and actions, and which provides training to “future leaders”. It has more than 36,000 fellows.

Shine took up her current role at the Seminar in 2012. Before that, she worked as an independent environmental lawyer and policy consultant for more than two decades, focusing her work on biodiversity and stewardship policy, sustainable development, conflict transformation and international governance and co-operation. Organisations which sought her insight and expertise include the World Bank and the European Union.

In a statement, Shine thanked CISL for her appointment and said she is “eager” to begin work. “CISL will play a pivotal role in this decade of action to inspire transformative leadership and innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals,” the statement reads.

Dame Courtice said that Shine “combines strategic knowledge and expertise in sustainable development with success in policy change, business growth, and organisational innovation.”

“In her previous role she has built high-level coalitions involving governments, business, research universities and philanthropies,” she added. “I am delighted that she will bring these strengths to bear on the Institute, and take its success to new heights.”

edie Staff

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