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Advisory Board



Ng Kok Song picture     

Mr Ng Kok Song

Advisor to IDEAglobal Group, parent company of IDEAcarbon



Mr Ng joined the Advisory Board of IDEAglobal, IDEAcarbon's sister company in 1997. He has been a leading figure in the development of financial markets in Singapore and is currently Managing Director of the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC). At the GIC, Mr Ng is responsible for global asset allocation and global currency risk management, and operations of equities, bonds, foreign exchange, economics, and client services. Mr Ng previously held positions at the Monetary Authority of Singapore, including Director of the International Department and of the Banking Department. Mr Ng is an adviser to Agency France Tresor and the International Capital Markets.

Mr Ng was the founding Chairman of the Singapore International Monetary Exchange (SIMEX), the first financial futures exchange in Asia, now incorporated into the Singapore Exchange (SGX). Kok Song initiatives helped to stimulate the establishment of the larger Asian futures industry and he was responsible for laying the foundation for SIMEX’s success, which has built up into SGX’s position today as the Asian Gateway for derivatives.

Key contributions and insights

  • In July 2007, Mr Ng spoke at a private event held by IDEAcarbon in the Savoy Hotel, London that discussed the long-term investment opportunities arising from action on Climate Change and on sovereign wealth funds and their implications for global financial markets. Click here to see the Full Press Release.
  • Mr Ng was a keynote speaker, along with leading financial market participants, at the IDEAcarbon conference, at the Merchants Taylor’s hall in London in 1999.



Mr Bob Litterman



Bob Litterman joined IDEAcarbon's advisory board in September 2014. He is also Chairman of the Risk Committee of Kepos Capital LP, a globally focused asset management firm, and recently retired from a 23-year career at Goldman Sachs & Co., where he served in research, risk management, investments and thought leadership roles. He has been one of three external advisors to Singapore's Government Investment Corporation (GIC) and sits on the board of the WWF.

Prof Helmut Schlesinger picture

Professor Dr. Schlesinger

Advisor to IDEAglobal Group, parent company of IDEAcarbon



Professor Dr. Schlesinger was formerly the President of the Deutsche Bundesbank and was Chairman of the Central Bank Council from 1991 to 1993. Prior to that, Professor Dr. Schlesinger served in a variety of positions, including Head of Research and Statistics department, member of the board, and Deputy President of the Deutsche Bundesbank. He also served as Deputy Chairman of the Central Bank Council, as well as a researcher at the IFO Institute for Economic Research.

Professor Dr. Schlesinger received a doctorate in economics from the University of Munich. He was a board member at the Bank for International Settlements, a member of the supervisory board of Metro, Vice Chairman of Foundation Finance, and an economic advisor to the German finance ministry.

Key contributions and insights

  • Professor Dr. Schlesinger played a pivotal role in the creation of the European Central Bank and oversaw the monetary unification of Germany. He has spoken at several IDEA events, and directed IDEA clients on why the ECB and the single currency had to be formed. He has also used the IDEA Advisory platform to communicate with the financial markets on the structure of, and inherent checks and balances leading to, the creation of the single currency.
  • Professor Dr. Schlesinger was a keynote speaker, along with leading financial market participants, at the IDEAglobal conference in London in 1999.


Mr Robert Johnson


Advisor to IDEAcarbon, joined May 2015


My Johnson joined the IDEAcarbon advisor board in May 2015. He is the Executive Director of the Institute for New Economic Thinking, a Senior Fellow and Director of the "Project on Global Finance" at the Roosevelt Institute, and regularly contributes to NewDeal 2.0 with his "FinanceSeer Column." He also formerly traded currency on Wall Street under George Soros.



Neil Eckert picture    

Mr Neil Eckert

Advisor to IDEAcarbon



Mr Eckhert joined the IDEAcarbon Advisory Board in June 2011. Mr Neil Eckert was Chief Executive of Climate Exchange Plc, an AIM listed company, which owned the European Climate Exchange (ECX) and the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) until sale to ICE in July 2010.  Mr Eckhert is Chairman of Trading Emissions plc, an AIM listed company, which is one of the world's leading funds investing in emission reduction permits. Mr Eckhert is Chairman of Design Technology and Innovation Limited, a patenting and intellectual property company.

Until April 2005, Mr Eckhert was Chief Executive of Brit Insurance Holdings PLC, which is a UK and International insurance and reinsurance company. Neil founded the company in 1995 as an Investment Trust listed on the London Stock Exchange. In the early 1990's he was a reinsurance broker and main board Director of Benfield Group plc.

Key contributions and insights

  • Mr Eckhert joined the IDEAcarbon Advisory Board in June 2011, advising on developing strategic relationships and corporate finance to scale the platform's use globally.
  • Commenting on his appointment,  Mr Eckhert said, "Having used and tested IDEAcarbon's analytical products and ratings, I believe these products are vital to transform the scale of energy efficiency, carbon and renewable finance to levels which can help China, India and the West meet their stated goals. From my work at the Climate Exchange and in insurance, I recognise IDEAcarbon's CARBONrisk platform as one which contains rigour to institutional standards on which the private sector and multilateral agencies have been waiting to move climate finance towards the mainstream of finance.” To read the full Press Release click here.



Christiana Figueres picture

Ms Christiana Figueres



Ms Figueres joined IDEAcarbon as Vice Chairman of the Carbon Ratings Agency's (CRA) Ratings Committe in February 2009. Since July 2010, Ms Christiana Figueres has served as the new Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and as such had to relinquish her role with the CRA. Ms Figueres has had a long and distinguished career in and around the UNFCCC and has dedicated herself to the global strategy of addressing climate change for 15 years.

Ms Figueres became a member of the Costa Rican negotiating team in 1995. She was then elected Vice President of the Bureau of the Convention in 2008 and 2009, representing Latin America and the Caribbean, and having represented the region on the Clean Development Mechanism Executive Board (CDM EB) in 2007. Ms Figueres co-chaired the Contact Group on CDM Guidance in Nairobi in 2006, in Poznan in 2008, and in Copenhagen in 2009, and the Contact Group on flexible mechanisms Post-2012, in Bonn, Accra and Poznan in 2008.

Key IDEAcarbon contributions and insights

  • Ms Figueres has been instrumental in shaping the company during her time as Vice Chairwomen of the CRA between February 2009 and July 2010, such as providing insights on climate finance issues.
  • At the time of her appointment in February 2009, Ms Figueres said, “By enabling market participants to understand and quantify risk, the Carbon Rating Agency is playing a key role in the evolution of the carbon markets. I am looking forward to playing a central role in expanding the work of the Agency as we start to rate important and complex new instruments such as Programmatic CDM, and as we build our business in the rapidly developing US carbon markets.” To read the full Press Release, click here.
  • In July 2010, shortly after being appointed as the new Executive Secretary of the UNFCC, Ms Figueres gave her key insights on the outcome from COP 15 in Copenhagen, and the outlook for COP 16 in Cancun.  Click here to read her insights.
  • Ms Figueres has been instrumental in the development of our ratings process and keeping the Carbon Ratings Agency as a leader in the field. In May 2009, Ms Figueres helped the Carbon Rating Agency conduct the first rating of a Programme of Activities for Programmatic CDM. To read the full Press Release click here.
  • Video on UN Negotiations in October 2009. 



Lord Nicholas Stern picture 

Lord Nicholas Stern
Vice Chairman, IDEAglobal Group (2007 - 2009)
Adviser, IDEAglobal Group (2009 - 2013)


Lord Stern joined IDEAglobal as Vice-Chairman on 13 August 2007 and served as an advisor between 2009-2013. Former Chief Economist at the World Bank, Lord Stern is Author of the seminal 'Stern Review', The Economics of Climate Change, and Chair of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics (LSE). In addition, Lord Stern was Adviser to the UK Government on the Economics of Climate Change and Development, reporting to the Prime Minister from 2003-2007.

Key contributions and insights

  • In January 2009, Lord Stern wrote an update for CARBONfirst detailing Brazil’s role in the lead-up to COP 15 in Copenhagen. Read his report   Stern Jan 2009
  • In June 2008 Lord Stern, alongside IDEAcarbon’s Founder, Shandi Modi and Chairman Ian Johnson, officially launched the Carbon Rating Agency (CRA). To view the video of Stern's presentation, see below. For the full Press Release, click here.

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  • In May 2008, Lord Stern wrote an update on IDEAcarbon’s initiative to work with public and private institutions to work towards a truly global deal on climate. Read his update   Stern May 2008
  • December 2007, Lord Stern wrote the leading article for IDEAcarbon’s first edition of CARBONfirst, our leading insiders' policy outlook. Read his insights   Stern Dec 2007

Nitin Desai picture

Mr Nitin Desai

Advisor to IDEAglobal Group, parent company of IDEAcarbon



Mr Desai joined IDEAcarbon’s Advisory Board in 2008. Mr Nitin Desai is a Special Advisor to the UN Secretary General for Internet Governance, and chairs the Advisory Group that organises the annual UN Internet Governance Forum. Nitin is an Honorary Fellow of the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) in London. In India, he is a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and advises the Indian Government on its national climate change action plan.

Mr Desai began his government career in 1973 in the Planning Commission of the Government of India. From 1985 to 1987, he served as Senior Economic Adviser for the World Commission on Environment and Development (the Brundtland Commission) where he introduced the concept of sustainable development and was responsible for drafting the key chapters dealing with this aspect in the report of the Commission ‘Our Common Future’. From 1990 to 1993, Nitin was the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (1992 Rio Earth Summit). In that capacity one of his primary responsibilities was to coordinate the work of the Secretariat relating to the development of Agenda 21.

In 1993, Mr Desai was appointed at the Under-Secretary-General level to head the newly created Department for Policy Coordination and Sustainable Development. The substantive work of this Department supported the various United Nations intergovernmental bodies, including the Commission on Sustainable Development. Desai was the Secretary-General of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (2002 Johannesburg Summit).

Key contributions and insights

  • Mr Desai joined IDEAcarbon’s Advisory Board in 2008, announcing, “I have joined the IDEAcarbon Advisory Board because I believe that a global carbon market is the key that will open many opportunities for preventing catastrophic climate change. I am particularly interested in the work on rating of potential carbon credits as that will help in price discovery and deepen the market.”To see the full Press Release click here.
  • In October 2010, Mr Desai wrote the leading article for IDEAcarbon’s ‘India edition’ of CARBONfirst. Click here to read his insights
  • In July 2008, Mr Desai wrote an article about India’s action plan on climate change. To read the full article click here.

Meghnad Desai, Lord Desai

Nitin Desai picture

Advisor to IDEAglobal Group, parent company of IDEAcarbon


Meghnad Desai, Lord Desai, joined IDEAcarbon’s Advisory Board in 2007. Lord Desai is a member of the House of Lords and is Chairman of the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum (OMFIF) Advisory Board. OMFIF is an independent think tank for central banking, economic policy and public investment, providing a neutral platform for public and private sector engagement worldwide.

Lord Desai has been an advisor to IDEAcarbon since 2018.

Key contributions and insights

Lord Desai has been awarded the Padma Bhushan, the third highest civilian award in the Republic of India, in 2008.

Lord Desai serves as the founder chairman of the Meghnad Desai Academy of Economics in Mumbai (MDAE).

Dr. Modi is the founder of IDEAglobal Group, a globally recognized ratings development company that advises governments, hedge funds and finance professionals worldwide. Shandi also founded the Carbon Ratings Agency and IDEAcarbon to service the IDEAglobal Group’s network of public and private sector organizations.