Fishbowl Conversation

Building Climate and Disaster Resilience Today and Tomorrow

Thursday, October 5, 2023 From 15:30 to 17:00 (CET) Centre International de Conférences Genève - Room F
Climate & Energy Innovative Finance

In a highly interactive fishbowl conversation with humanitarian, climate and insurance experts, UNICEF is bringing a case study of innovative financing in the context of climate resilience and disaster response, addressing results, challenges, lessons learnt and sector opportunities.


Megan Gilgan

Deputy Director of the Private Fundraising and Partnerships Division - UNICEF

Megan is focused on expanding UNICEF’s private sector partnerships in the global South, broadening engagement in innovative financing, and ensuring excellence in communications for partnership. She has worked in international cooperation for 20 years in some of the most complex situations in the world including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Kosovo and South Sudan. She is known as someone that can navigate politically and operationally complex partnerships and build, motivate and support diverse global teams. She has previously served as Deputy Director of Public Partnerships, Deputy Chief of Staff and UNICEF’s Regional Humanitarian Advisor for Eastern and Southern Africa.

Gautam Narasimhan

Global Lead for Climate, Energy, and Environment - UNICEF

Gautam works with a talented team to shape and advance UNICEF’s global agenda on climate change, sustainable energy and the environment. This involves the development of programmes and policies, providing guidance to country and regional offices, developing strategic partnerships, and representing UNICEF. Gautam’s previous roles include environmental engineering, management, and financial due diligence in the United States and India, managing a global portfolio of climate change products for an energy company, and supporting governments in Afghanistan and the Republic of Georgia on energy policy. His academic background includes chemical and environmental engineering, public policy, and business administration.

Carla Haddad Mardini

Director of Private Fundraising and Partnerships Division - UNICEF

Carla is the Director of UNICEF’s Private Fundraising and Partnerships. Here she leads the organization's global strategy to leverage the private sector to generate sustainable income for UNICEF and drive partnerships for children worldwide. This includes engaging with the general public (UNICEF’s supporters and donors), philanthropists, foundations, and business to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals for children. From 2018 to 2021, Carla served as UNICEF’s Director of the Public Partnerships Division in New York. Prior to joining UNICEF, Ms. Haddad Mardini had served at the International Committee of the Red Cross over a period spanning 17 years.

Viktoria Seifert

Director of Disaster Risk Finance and Parametric Practice - Willis Towers Watson (WTW)

Viktoria Seifert is a Director with WTW’s Disaster Risk Finance and Parametric Practice where she leads the team’s work at the intersection of (sub-)sovereign and humanitarian crisis finance, including on shock-responsive social protection and critical infrastructure security. Prior to joining WTW, she was the Manager of the Policy, Governance and Strategies section of the Munich Climate Insurance Initiative, hosted by the United Nations University, and built the Initiative’s advisory to the V20 Group of Ministers of Finance. Viktoria has worked with public, private, and international organizations and holds a master’s in international relations and a bachelor’s in philosophy and economics.

Karina Whalley

Head of Public Sector - AXA Climate

Karina is the Head of Public Sector at AXA Climate, working with development institutions, investors and governments to spearhead adaptation, climate risk management and disaster risk financing tools. She represents AXA in the Insurance Development Forum which brings together the insurance industry, the UNDP and World Bank on climate risk. Karina previously worked at the African Risk Capacity, the first African sovereign natural catastrophe risk pool. Before that, she was working in (re)insurance and the investment sector.

Angus Kirk

CEO - Global Parametrics

Angus has been the CEO of Global Parametrics since July 2022. Prior to this, he was, since 2018, the firm’s General Counsel and COO. Angus’s background is as a lawyer having spent the first half of his 27-year career to date working at international corporate law firms before subsequently focusing upon advising public and private sector clients upon the design and implementation of public-private partnerships to address key challenges affecting developing countries across a range of sectors. As such, Angus advised the UK Government upon the design and establishment of Global Parametrics/Natural Disaster Fund from the conceptual phase in 2013.

Farzana Faurk Jhumu

UNICEF Youth Advocate

Driven to action by the severe impact of climate change on Bangladesh, climate activist Farzana Faruk Jhumu stepped up to advocate for climate action with Fridays For Future (FFF) Bangladesh. Playing active roles in FFF, UN Women Feminist Action Coalition for Climate Justice and, Jhumu has since established herself as a strong voice for a better future on a healthy planet, campaigning for phasing out of fossil fuel. With UNICEF, she worked in the launching of the Children's Climate Risk Index in 2021 to highlight the climate crisis as a child rights crisis.