Catalysts of Change: Women Leaders in Science

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About our first speaker, Yvonne Ochoa Rosellini

Tuesday, July 4, 2023聽

Yvonne Ochoa Rosellini is a Professional Independent Board Director, expert in strategy, corporate governance and finance. She has 25 years of demonstrated history of shareholder trust as a C-Suite executive, board director and advisor to business owners who regard her as an experienced advocate with keen business judgement and a firm stand on compliant and fiduciary result-driven strategy.聽

Yvonne鈥檚 bicultural and bilingual background has allowed her to serve on public and private boards in the US and Mexico. Her Board experience spans more than ten years and nineteen companies, including airlines, manufacturing, chemicals, agritech, biotech, housing, legal services, foodservice, retail, SPACs, Reits and Family Office investment committees.

She currently serves on the Board of Mexico Stock Exchange listed Viva Aerobus (airline), Grupo Pochteca (chemicals distribution) and Agrofibra (Agriculture REIT). She also serves on private company boards such as Grupo Proeza (automotive, agribusiness and healthcare), Uniken (cybersecurity) and Liventia (ag biotech).

Yvonne chairs the Board at Agrofibra and Liventia, chairs the Audit Committee at Proeza and chairs the Compensation Committee at Viva Aerobus. She serves on the Board as Treasurer for the International Association for Sustainable Economy (IASE) Mexico Chapter and on the Board of the CCME, an association of businesswomen. She was CFO for Coppel Group (+20 billion USD market value largest retailer in Mexico, largest consumer bank by debit cards and largest pension fund manager by clients), CFO for BBVA Mexico鈥檚 private label loan business (+4 billion USD) and IRO for BBVA Mexico (market cap +10 billion USD).

She has led over 60 high-impact turnaround and institutionalization projects from Convixi贸n, her own management consulting firm, for companies of all sizes in seventeen industries and is co-founder and CEO of Keat, a health business which is one of six companies she has built and scaled. She also has extensive experience in public and private equity and debt financing with over 2 billion dollars in transactions.

Yvonne is a frequently sought-out speaker on issues of strategic thinking, leadership, corporate governance and women on boards and has been listed on several occasions as one of the Most Powerful Women in Mexico by Forbes and Expansi贸n.

She holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) and a degree in international relations from the Instituto Tecnol贸gico Aut贸nomo de M茅xico (ITAM).

Read about Yvonne’s professional journey: Closing the gender leadership gap: The power of women role models

About our second speaker, Altagracia G贸mez Sierra

July 18, 2023聽

Altagracia G贸mez Sierra聽is chair of Grupo Empresarial PEO (Promotora Empresarial Occidental) and chair of the Board of Directors at Grupo MINSA. Altagracia obtained a law degree with three honorable mentions from the Escuela Libre de Derecho in Mexico. Altagracia also completed various academic programs at the Royal Academy of Oxford, where she studied British Law. She recently completed two courses in finance and negotiation at Harvard Business School.

Altagracia聽was previously the CEO of Grupo Empresarial G, where she continues to serve as secretary of the Board of Directors, deputy general manager of Almer, and lead of the conglomerate鈥檚 energy division. She has dedicated her career to manage investment projects in new sectors that catalyze sustainable development. She also hosts the weekly television program “Prospecciones” on channel 7 Jalisco, where, together with the State Secretary of Education Alfonso G贸mez and various distinguished guests, she discusses topics of economic interest to the people of Jalisco.

Read Altagracia’s session recap article: Set an example of how to thrive

About our third speaker, Catherine Bertini聽

August 15, 2023聽

Accomplished leader in international organization reform and a powerful advocate for women and girls

Catherine Bertini has a distinguished career improving the efficiency and operations of organizations serving poor and hungry people in the United States and around the world. She was named the 2003 World Food Prize Laureate for her transformational leadership at the World Food Programme (WFP), which she led for ten years, and for the positive impact she had on the lives of women.

While in the U.S. government, she expanded the electronic benefit transfer options for food stamp beneficiaries, created the food package for breastfeeding mothers, presented the first effort to picture healthy diets and expanded education and training opportunities for poor women. Learn more about Catherine here:

Read about the fireside chat with Catherine Bertini and Natalia Palacios where interesting insights and experiences were exchanged: Women leaders in science: reaching out to break through

About our fourth speaker, Lindiwe Sibanda聽

August 29, 2023聽

Lindiwe Sibanda is an animal scientist and a practicing farmer with extensive experience, serving as a policy advisor to numerous African governments and global institutions.聽

Sibanda is an extraordinary professor at the University of Pretoria in South Africa. She currently serves as a member of the Nestle S.A. Board, as chair of the One CGIAR System Board, and chair of the National University of Science and Technology in Zimbabwe. Until December 2022, she served as the director and chair of the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA) Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Food Systems at the University of Pretoria, South Africa as well as Board member of World Vegetable Center.

She has also worked in senior leadership positions in various international organizations, including as vice-president country support, Policy and Partnerships for the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and CEO and head of mission of the pan-African Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN).

Sibanda holds a PhD in agriculture sciences, specialized in animal nutrition, an MSc in agriculture grassland science from the University of Reading, and a BSc in animal production from the University of Alexandria, Egypt.

She was appointed to the CGIAR System Board聽in April 2021, and has served as the Chair since January 1, 2023.

Read all about Lindiwe’s session: Show that you can thrive and excel in all environments

About our fifth speaker: Diane Holdorf聽

September 12, 2023

Diane Holdorf is executive vice president and a member of the Senior Management Team at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), based in Geneva, Switzerland.

Diane joined WBCSD in December 2018 as managing director of Food and Nature where she led business efforts to accelerate the system transformation in the areas of food, nature, and water. In October 2021, Diane took the role of executive vice president (EVP) for Pathways.

In her role as EVP, Diane focuses on the Pathways as part of WBCSD鈥檚 strategy, leading business efforts to accelerate collaborative solutions in Food and Agriculture, Energy, Products & Materials, Mobility and Built Environment, and Health and Wellbeing鈥搘orking in partnership to deliver business solutions for the Imperatives and Redefining Value Program pillars.

Before joining WBCSD, Diane was vice president and chief sustainability officer at Kellogg. Prior to joining Kellogg Company, Diane served as vice president for Delta Consultants (now Antea), a global environment, health and safety and sustainability consulting firm. During her 17 years with Delta Consultants, she served in numerous management and consulting roles, based in the US and in the UK, where she worked with many consumer-packaged goods, forest products and manufacturing companies in development and implementation of global programs for sustainability, environmental management, and risk management.

In 2022, Diane was selected as one of the 25 Badass Women shaping climate action by GreenBiz. In 2015, Diane was recognized as a Maize and Wheat Super Woman by CIMMYT as part of the United Nation鈥檚 International Women鈥檚 Day commemoration. She is also recognized as an Oxfam Sisters on the Planet Ambassador.

Diane holds a bachelor鈥檚 degree in public communications and German from Syracuse University. She also completed an Executive MBA at the University of St. Thomas. Diane is an active Twitter/X user and can be found sharing her perspectives at @DianeBHoldorf and her LinkedIn can be found here:

The session recap is coming soon!