Promoting action to build resilient and sustainable island communities

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H.E. Hersey Kyota

Ambassador to the United States
Board Chair 2015 to present
Board Co-Chair July 2018 - 2019
President's Representative
Member 2015 to present

Hersey Kyota was appointed as Palau’s Ambassador to the United States in November 1997. In 2015, as Washington D.C.’s longest serving ambassador he was appointed as Dean of the Diplomatic Corps and is responsible for representing the Washington diplomatic corps at major functions such as the State of the Union.

Prior to his appointment as Ambassador [JR1] on November 12th, 1997, Ambassador Kyota conducted legal research from 1981 to 1984 for the Palau House of Delegates. From 1985 to 1988, he served as chief clerk in the Palau National Congress for the Palau House of Delegates. His position as Director of the House of Legal Counsels’ Office from 1989 to 1990 was followed by his service as a senator in the Palau National Congress from 1990 to 1996. H.E. Kyota also sat on the Board of Directors for the Association of Pacific Island Legislatures from 1992 to 1996.

Ambassador Kyota received both a bachelor’s (1977) and Master’s (1979) degree in Art from the International University of San Diego. He and his wife are the proud parents of five children. Ambassador Kyota has a passion for fishing and a demonstrated commitment to building a sustainable and resilient future for islands globally.

Ambassador Kyota was appointed Chair of the Global Island Partnership Board during its annual meeting in Turin, Italy in October 2015. He was re-appointed for a second term in October 2017.

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William N. Kostka

Micronesia Trust Fund
Executive Director
Board (July 2020 to Present)
Member (2016 - 2020)

William is the co-founder of both the the Conservation Society of Pohnpei (CSP) and the Micronesia Conservation Trust (MCT), fiscal host of GLISPA. He presently serves as Executive Director, Micronesia Conservation Trust and was the Co-coordinator of PIMPAC (2006 – 2009) and Co- coordinator, IUCN-WPCA Marine Program for Micronesia. He has over twenty years in senior executive positions as well as extensive experience in non-profit management, conservation financing and endowments, organizational capacity development and mentoring, fund raising, conservation, strategic planning, community outreach and empowerment, and government relations. William is the recipient of the Pew Marine Fellowship, the world’s most prestigious marine conservation fellowship, The Conde Nest Environment Award, US Coral Reef Task Force Award, and the US EPA Pacific Islands Environment Award.

William Kostka joined the Board in July 2020, upon signing a fiscal host agreement with GLISPA.

H.E. Ronny Jumeau

Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations
Vice Chair (2015 to 2018)
Chair (2012 to 2015)
President’s representative
2015 to 2018 Member

Ronald (Ronny) Jumeau, representative of the President of Seychelles on the Board of the Global Island Partnership, is also Seychelles’ Permanent Representative (Ambassador) to the United Nations, Ambassador to the United States and unofficial ambassador for climate change, sustainable development, oceans and other SIDS issues. He is also the Alternate Member of the Board of the Green Climate Fund (GCF), representing Small Island Developing States (SIDS), and a Member of the Executive Council of SIDS DOCK, the global sustainable energy and climate resilience organisation for Small Island Developing States (SIDS). He was Chair of the GLISPA Steering Committee from 2013 to 2015 and is currently the Seychelles board member.


Ambassador the the United States
Member 2016 to present 

Dr. Marcia Potter

British Virgin Islands
Dr. Marcia Potter
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration
Member 2016 to present 

Celeste Connors

Hawai’i Green Growth
Executive Director
Advisor on high-impact initiatives
Member 2016 to present

Celeste Connors has twenty years of experience working at the intersection of economic, environment, energy, and international development policy. Before joining Hawai'i Green Growth, she was CEO and co-founder of cdots development LLC, which works to build resilient infrastructure and services in vulnerable communities. Celeste previously served as the Director for Environment and Climate Change at the National Security Council and National Economic Council in the White House where she helped shape the Administration's climate and energy policies. Prior to joining the White House, Celeste served as a diplomat in Saudi Arabia, Greece, and Germany. She also held positions at the U.S. Mission to the UN, served as the Climate and Energy Advisor to the Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, and worked for City of New York. Celeste is faculty at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in the Energy, Resources and Environment Program. She holds an MSc in Development Studies from the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and a BA in International Relations from Tufts University. In addition to her role on the board of GLISPA, Celeste is a Term Member on the Council on Foreign Relations and serves on the board of America’s Service Commission. Celeste grew up on the island of O'ahu, Hawai'i. She is committed to building innovative financing and community-driven solutions to global challenge based on island values, including the local implementation of the UN SDGs through platforms like the Aloha+ Challenge.

Radhika Murti

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Director, Global Ecosystem Management Programme
IUCN Focal Point
Member 2016 to present 

Radhika Murti  is the Director, for IUCN’s Global Ecosystem Management Programme. In this position Radhika leads IUCN's global work on ecosystem based disaster risk reduction, provides leadership and oversight to work in Ecosystem based Adaptation (EbA), Red List of Ecosystems (RLE) and Drylands related work. Additionally, the programme is also responsible for the hosting arrangement and membership engagement for the Global Island Partnership (GLISPA) network. Prior to joining IUCN Headquarters in Switzerland, in 2008, Radhika worked with the United Nations Development Programme Multi-Country office, University of the South Pacific and the Government of Fiji, while based in Suva, Fiji Islands. She works with various island regions to promote Nature based Solutions for Societal Resilience and engages with GLISPA to promote island leadership within such initiatives.

Ariane Steins-Meier

Managing Director Europ
Chair Growth Working Group
2015 to 2019 Member

As the Rare’s Managing Director for Europe, Ariane Steinsmeier has built a presence and team in Europe for Rare with the goal to advancing existing and building new partnerships with public and institutional funders. Given Rare’s focus on empowering local communities to better protect and manage their natural resources, Ariane has also build a European network of partners from academia and practice to strengthen behavior change approaches within conservation together with the Stockholm Environmental Institute. Given her long year engagement in the UNFCCC since 2009 through per previous role as the Senior Policy Advisor for International Climate and Biodiversity Policy with The Nature Conservancy, Ariane also leads Rare’s climate change policy work globally.

Between 2011 and 2015, Ariane has been the lead of TNC’s global efforts around with the Convention for Biological Diversity (CBD) and streamlining TNC’s work in the CBD and UNFCCC conventions with the common goal to strengthen the role of natural solutions to climate change mitigation and adaptation. Before engaging in the international UN processes, Ariane has worked at the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation in Bonn in the Department of Society and Sustainability as well as public relations (2002 until 2003) and Ariane as a senior policy advisor for biodiversity at the parliamentary group of the German Green Party in the German Bundestag (2005 until 2009).

Oliver Hillel

Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity
Program Officer
SCBD Focal Point on Programme of Work on Island Biodiversity
2016 to 2018 Member

1. Why have you joined the Global Island Partnership?

As a founding and Executive Board member, the Secretariat of the CBD understands that GLISPA is a very effective multi-stakeholder cooperation platform to implement the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Programme of Work on Island Biodiversity and related programmes, targets and decisions, as well as all other initiatives such as the UN’s SAMOA Pathway, ecosystem-based adaptation to climate change and the relations between the SDGs and the 2011-2020 Strategic Plan on Biodiversity.

2. What is the main goal you want to advance through the Global Island Partnership?

Convention on Biological Diversity joined GLISPA for the following reasons: the cooperation between national governments (Parties to the CBD) of island countries and countries with islands, and their international and NGO partners, to progress on the implementation of the 20 Aichi Biodiversity Targets, also through multilateral “challenges” (Micronesia, Caribbean, Western Indian Ocean, BEST Challenge for islands of the European Union), capacity building and technical and scientific cooperation. GLISPA is also a resource mobilization channel and a planning and strategy “soundboard” for future projects and programmes.

Susi Menazza

The Nature Conservancy (TNC)
Senior Policy Advisor - International Government Relations
Chair Launch Working Group
2016 to 2018 Member

1. Why have you joined the Global Island Partnership?

The Nature Conservancy joined GLISPA when it was launched, in 2006, and it has supported its vision ever since. What drew TNC to the Partnership was its focus on all islands and the flexible nature of its membership, which encourages countries, international institutions and civil society organizations to take the lead, engage on and collaborate dynamically around issues that are of interest to them.

2. What is the main goal you want to advance through the Global Island Partnership?

Several global, regional and country programs within The Nature Conservancy engage directly with GLISPA around geographical initiatives – such as the Micronesia Challenge or the Caribbean Challenge Initiatives – or thematic efforts – such as the effort to mainstream ecosystem-based adaptation or develop innovative financial solutions such as foreign debt conversions for adaptation purposes. The Partnership allows The Nature Conservancy to advance conservation priorities more efficiently by connecting with a variety of partners.