ECI Council June 2014

The ECI Council oversees the work of the Earth Charter International Secretariat. It sets major goals, policies, and strategies for ECI, and provides guidance and leadership to the broader Initiative. The ECI Council is not a legally incorporated entity. The Council elects its own members in consultation with members of the global network of Earth Charter supporters.



Council Members

  • Fritjof Capra (Austria/USA)
  • Mateo Castillo (Mexico)
  • Severn Cullis-Suzuki (Canada)
  • Ama van Dantzig (Ghana/Netherlands)
  • Mitsuko Horiuchi (Japan)
  • Hisham Khatib (Jordan)
  • Alexander Likhotal, (Russia / Switzerland)
  • Wanjira Maathai (Kenya)
  • Oscar Motomura (Brazil), co-chair
  • Alide Roerink (The Netherlands)
  • Kartikeya Sarabhai (India), co-chair
  • Mirian Vilela (Brazil)
  • Hua Wang (People’s Republic of China)
  • Richard E. Zimmerman (USA)


Fritjof Capra (Austria/USA)

Fritjof Capra, Ph.D., physicist afritjof-capra-physicist-austria-usand systems theorist, is a founding director of the Center for Ecoliteracy in Berkeley, California, which is dedicated to promoting ecology and systems thinking in primary and secondary education. He serves on the faculty of Schumacher College, an international center for ecological studies in the UK.

After receiving his Ph.D. in theoretical physics from the University of Vienna in 1966, Capra did research in particle physics at the University of Paris (1966-68), the University of California at Santa Cruz (1968-70), the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (1970), Imperial College, University of London (1971-74), and the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory at the University of California (1975-88). He also taught at UC Santa Cruz, UC Berkeley, and San Francisco State University.

In addition to his research in physics and systems theory, Capra has been engaged in a systematic examination of the philosophical and social implications of contemporary science for the past 35 years. Capra is the author of several international bestsellers, and has also coauthored and coedited several other books.

Capra holds an Honorary Doctor of Science degree from the University of Plymouth and is the recipient of many other awards, including the Gold Medal of the UK Systems Society, the Neil Postman Award for Career Achievement in Public Intellectual Activity from the Media Ecology Association, the Medal of the President of the Italian Republic, the Leonardo da Vinci Medallion of Honor from the University of Advancing Technology in Tempe, Arizona, the Bioneers Award, the New Dimensions Broadcaster Award, and the American Book Award. He is fluent in German, English, French and Italian. Fritjof Capra lives in Berkeley with his wife and daughter.


Mateo A. Castillo Ceja (Mexico)

mateo-castillo-national-secretariat-mexicoMateo A. Castillo Ceja was the head of the Coordinating Unity of Social Participation and Transparency in the Ministry of Environment of Mexico. Previously he served as president of the Ecological State Council of Michoacan, Mexico, and, with many others, has instigated processes of social participation in the development of environmental public policies for a sustainable Mexico. He is an altruistic person who takes part in the world humanitarian movement. He is considered a national expert in the implementation of local Agenda 21. He has been a representative of civil society in Mexico in many forums and international summits. Castillo is the main developer in Mexico of the Earth Charter and the founder of the National Secretariat. He was awarded the Citizen Merit Prize in 2003, and in 2004 he received honorary mention in the National Prize for Ecological Merit. In 2005, he was awarded the Maximo Kalaw Award for his work in promoting the Earth Charter in Mexico. Mr. Castillo holds a Master’s degree in quality and competitiveness and is a biochemist in the area of pharmacology.


Severn Cullis-Suzuki (Canada)

severn-cullis-suzuki-environment-activist-canadaSevern Cullis-Suzuki is a culture and environment activist and writer, champion for the Canadian Earth Summit Initiative 2012 WE CANada, host of the APTN  TV series ‘Samaqan – Water Stories, and board member of the Haida Gwaii Higher Education Society and the David Suzuki Foundation.

A longtime activist for ‘intergenerational justice’, Severn founded the Environmental Children’s Organization with friends at nine years old, which culminated in her speech to the UN at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992 when she was twelve. Severn is an Earth Charter Commissioner (, and she and the Skyfish Project brought the ‘Recognition of Responsibility’ pledge to the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg 2002.  Severn has participated in three speaking tours in Japan with the Namakemono Club. Severn is an Action Canada Fellow (‘04-‘05), has published several books in Japan, and is a co-editor and contributor for the book Notes from Canada’s Young Activists (Greystone books, 2007). She holds a B.Sc. in Biology from Yale University and a M.Sc. in Ethnoecology from the University of Victoria, where she studied with elders from the Kwakwaka’wakw First Nations. Severn lives on the archipelago of Haida Gwaii off the coast of British Columbia where she is studying the Haida language with her husband and two sons.


Ama van Dantzig (Ghana/Netherlands)

ama-van-dantzig-dr-monk-ghana-netherlands Ama van Dantzig divides her time between Accra and Amsterdam, building bridges between seemingly opposite worlds. With experience on the ground in many African countries and communities, as well on an international level, Ama believes in the ability of people to generate ingenious solutions for the challenges of our time. Variety is the spice of life, which is why Ama continues to find energy in the novel and the innovative.

Ama is co- founder of Dr. Monk, an international social innovation agency. With headquarters in The Netherlands and Ghana, Dr. Monk combines sustainability, international cooperation, art, and media. Dr. Monk develops concepts and co-creates initiatives to influence the way people think and act, fostering a fairer, cleaner, and more beautiful world.

She has a background in liberal Arts from University College Utrecht and an Msc in International Development Studies from the University of Utrecht. She has worked on a variety of themes including water and sanitation, gender, arts and culture, innovation in agriculture extension, and school feeding programs.

Ama has been involved with the Earth Charter since 2005 when the Earth Charter +5 was celebrated. She has been active in the Earth Charter Youth Network and has moderated various Earth Charter events in the Netherlands.


Mitsuko Horiuchi (Japan)

mitsuko-horiuchi-consultant-gender-japanMitsuko Horiuchi is an internationally known independent consultant and researcher on gender issues and issues involving work, labour and employment. Her expertise ranges from women’s rights as human rights, to globalization and social development, population and migration, trafficking, child labour, income inequality, and equal opportunity.  Currently, she is a Professor (specially invited) in Foreign Studies at Bunkyo Gakuin University and its Graduate School of Foreign Studies in Tokyo. She is also concurrently serving as President of the Kitakyushu Forum on Asian Women (a public interest foundation), which has been very active in gender and sustainable development.  The Forum was established in 1993 by Kitakyushu City, a metropolis well known in the world for its work in environmental protection.

Ms. Horiuchi also holds the posts of advisor/director at a number of public sector and nonprofit organizations in Japan. She currently serves as the chairperson of the Gender Equality Council in Bunkyo city where she lives, and is also a Board Advisor of the Friends in Japan of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

Ms. Horiuchi’s current activities include working on issues, both domestic and international, for numerous non-governmental organizations (NGOs).  This includes work for the Anti-Child Labour Network of Japan where she serves as Chairperson, and the Japanese Association of International Women’s Rights where she is a board member.


Hisham Khatib (Jordan)

hisham-khatib-minister-jordanDr.  Hisham Khatib was born in Acre, Palestine and spent his youth and early career in Jerusalem, where he was the city’s chief electrical engineer. He has lived in Amman, Jordan since the early 1970s and for many years served in the Jordanian government as a minister. One of the world’s leading energy experts, Dr. Khatib has published widely on energy matters and the global environment.

Dr. Hisham Khatib is past-Chairman of the Jordan Electricity Regulatory Commission and Honorary Vice Chairman of the World Energy Council. He is an engineer and economist with expertise on energy technology and energy security, environmental issues related to energy, and development. For many years, Dr. Khatib served as a Minister in the Government of Jordan in the departments of planning, water, and energy. In 1998 he was awarded the “Medal of Achievement” of the Institution of Electrical Engineers in the UK. Dr. Khatib was awarded the highly prestigious “Global Energy Award” by the World Energy Council. He is a Life Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (L.F.I.E.E.E.), is on the World Federation of Scientists’ Energy Planetary Monitoring Panel, and he is an advisory editor of Energy Policy Journal.

Alongside his professional activities, Dr. Khatib has collected paintings, lithographs, travel books, maps, atlases, and photographs on Jerusalem, Palestine, and Egypt. His collection of art and printed material from the Ottoman Empire is one of the largest and most important still in private hands.


Alexander Likhotal (Russia / Switzerland)

alexander-likhotal-green-cross-russia-switzerlandAlexander Likhotal is currently president of Green Cross International. He received his Ph.D in Political Science in 1972 from the Institute of International Affairs in Moscow, the subject of his thesis being ”The Shaping of the British Security Policy”. He started his academic career as a lecturer at the Moscow State Institute of International Affairs, where he became senior research fellow at the Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the USSR. In 1988 he became professor of political science and international relations at the Diplomatic Academy, and in the same year was appointed vice-rector.

During the wake of Gorbachev’s perestroika, being already a well known expert in the field of European security, he received a proposal to become the chief analyst of NATO politics in the International Department of the Central Committee of the CSPU – one of the Soviet foreign policy co-ordination bodies. In 1991 Alexander Likhotal was appointed deputy spokesman and adviser to the president of the USSR. Since then he has been an advisor to Mr Gorbachev, founder of Green Cross, for many years.


Wanjira Maathai (Kenya)

wanjira-maathai-green-belt-kenyaWanjira Maathai is daughter of the late Wangari Maathai. She is the Project leader for the Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace and Environmental Studies (WMI). She is the outgoing Director of International Affairs at the Green Belt Movement (GBM), where she managed outreach and resource mobilization. For six years prior to joining GBM, Ms. Mathai worked as a Senior Program Officer at the Carter Presidential Center in Atlanta, Georgia (USA), monitoring and evaluating disease eradication programs.

Since 2002, Ms. Mathai has been directing International Affairs at GBM, which was founded by her mother, the late Nobel Peace Laureate Wangari Maathai. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of both the Green Belt Movement and WMI. Wanjira Mathai grew up in Kenya and attended college in the United States. She is a graduate of Hobart and William Smith Colleges and earned graduate degrees from Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health.


Oscar Motomura (Brazil), co-chair

oscar-motomura-amana-key-brazilOscar Motomura is the founder and chief executive officer of the Amana-Key Group, a center for excellence in management, a network of associates with global reach, based in São Paulo, Brazil. The purpose of Amana-Key is to serve as a world reference for radical innovation in management that is capable of generating the genuine development of people, organizations, communities, and the greater whole. The Amana-Key Group has adopted the Earth Charter as a reference for its education programmes and innovation retreats. Thousands of leaders from corporations and the government take Amana-Key programmes every year, where their awareness of global issues affecting humanity is expanded along with their understanding of the importance of contributing to our collective evolution, through ethical and conscious management practices. Mr. Motomura started his career in Brazil in a large, multinational financial institution, where he reached a senior management position at the age of 26. He founded his own company at 28, which was the starting point for what is now Amana-Key. Motomura is known in Brazil as one the most creative specialists in the area of strategy. He holds degrees in business administration and social psychology.


Alide Roerink (The Netherlands)

alide-roerink-ec-friends-network-netherlandsAlide Roerink is an anthropologist and has been involved over the years in networking, advocacy, and policy development for gender justice, international solidarity, and global governance. In the ’90s Alide Roerink was coordinator of an influential network of gender experts in development agencies in The Netherlands. From 2000 to 2013 she worked at the National Committee for International Cooperation and Sustainable Development (NCDO). She coordinated several multi-stakeholder consultations in the context of key UN conferences on sustainable development and international cooperation. Together with Earth Charter Commissioner Ruud Lubbers, Alide initiated the Round Table of Worldconnectors for People and the Planet ( and recently the new Earth Charter Fund and Earth Charter Friends network in the Netherlands ( Alide cooperated with the Earth Charter Initiative in the launch of the Earth Charter in 2000 in the Peace Palace in The Hague and in several key global Earth Charter events, such as the celebration of 5 and 10 years Earth Charter. Alide Roerink initiated and co-edited the book Earth Charter in Action: Towards a Sustainable World. Alide Roerink was advisor to the Earth Charter Initiative before she joined the Council.


Kartikeya Sarabhai (India), co-chair

kartikeya-sarabhai-center-for-environment-education-indiaKartikeya V. Sarabhai is the founder and director of the Centre for Environment Education (CEE), a national institution engaged in promoting environmental awareness and conservation as well as education for sustainable development. Starting small in Ahmedabad in 1984, CEE today works at the national and international level with a staff of over 200 professionals and 40 offices across India, as well as in Australia and Sri Lanka. In 2005, CEE received the Global award for Outstanding Service to Environmental Education from the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE). Mr.Sarabhai also set up VIKSAT, an NGO working towards people’s participation in natural resource management, as well as Sundervan, a nature discovery centre.

Mr. Sarabhai has served on several committees of the Ministry of Environment and Forests and the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India. These include greening India’s formal education system and initiatives for biodiversity education. Mr. Sarabhai has long been associated with IUCN, and was the chair of South and South-East Asia, IUCN Commission on Education and Communication. He is currently vice-chair of the Indian National Commission. Mr. Sarabhai was instrumental in initiating SASEANEE, the South and Southeast Asian Network for Environment Education. He was a member of the Indian delegation to UNCED at Rio and WSSD at Johannesburg and was co-author of India’s report for UNCED. He has been closely associated with communication initiatives of UNEP, especially those connected with Ozone. Under his leadership CEE organized the first International Conference of the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development in January 2005. Mr. Sarabhai received the Tree of Learning Award from The World Conservation Union in 1998 in appreciation of his contributions to the field of environmental education and communication. In 2005, The Indian Institute of Human Rights presented Mr. Sarabhai with the World Human Rights Promotion Award.


Mirian Vilela (Brazil)

mirian-vilela-executive-director-brazilMirian Vilela is the executive director of Earth Charter International and has been involved in the initiative internationally since early 1996. She has coordinated an international process of consultation, and set up partnerships with organizations and individuals who contributed to the consultation process and who continue to be involved in the implementation phase of the Charter. She has organized and facilitated numerous international workshops and seminars on values and principles for sustainability. Prior to her work with the Earth Charter, Ms. Vilela worked for the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) for two years in preparation of the 1992 UN Earth Summit and is a member of the UNESCO Expert Reference Group for the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (DESD). She is currently a faculty member of the University for Peace. She holds a master’s degree in public administration from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, where she was an Edward Mason Fellow.


Hua Wang (People’s Republic of China)

hua-wang-environmental-economist-chinaDr. Hua Wang is an environmental economist who has conducted extensive research in the areas of economics, policy and institutions of sustainable development and supported various countries in environmental policy design and enforcement as well as investment project development. He worked as Senior Environmental Economist in the Development Research Group of the World Bank, Director for Research in Society-Based Environmental Management in the Policy Research Center of China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection, and Lecturer of Environmental Planning and Management in Nanjing University. He has various research and project experiences in countries like China, the United States, India, Armenia, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Ghana, Mozambique, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines. Dr. Wang holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Management and Policy and M.S. in Economics from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the United States of America, and M.S. in Environmental Systems Engineering and B.S. in Astronomy from Nanjing University, China. Dr. Wang is the founder of the Professional Association for China’s Environment, an international professional network, and served as President, Chairman and Honorary President.

Dr. Wang has published in peer-reviewed journals such as the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Ecological Economics, Environmental and Resource Economics, Journal of Development Economics, Journal of Economic Perspectives, Environment and Development Economics, Journal of Environmental Management, China Economics Review, and Applied Economics. He also helped draft a number of government directives on environmental information disclosure and public participation, helped organize various international conferences on sustainable development, and gave dozens of seminars, lectures and conference presentations on environment and development in various countries.


Richard E. Zimmerman (USA)

richard-e-zimmerman-senior-vice-president-usaRichard E. Zimmerman is an experienced financial industry executive with a background in private wealth management and sustainability. Richard is currently a Senior Vice President, Relationship Manager, for HSBC Private Bank in New York, where he works with wealthy families in the U.S. and internationally. Richard has also held senior positions in Private Wealth Management at Bessemer Trust, Bank of America, and J.P. Morgan. He has also served in strategic roles for organizations in the areas of transformational finance and impact grant making as well as for causes such as the environment, AIDS, and child advocacy.

Along with serving on the Earth Charter International Council, Richard is also on the Advisory Board for Riverkeeper and the Leadership Council for the Earth Institute. He is a Board Director of the Capital Institute and serves on the Core Development Team for the Sustainability Laboratory’s Global Sustainability Fellows Program. He is a published author of “What Can I Do to Make a Difference,” Penguin Books USA, a guide to global issues of sustainability and how individual actions can make positive change in the world.

Richard is a graduate of Columbia University with a Master of Science in Sustainability Management and the University of Virginia with a BA in English Literature.


Former Council Members

Zainab Bangura, Sierra Leone

Rick Clugston, United States

Marianella Curi, Bolivia

Camila Argolo Godinho, Brazil

Wakako Hironaka, Japan

Barbro Holmberg, Sweden

Li Lailai, Peoples Republic of China

Song Li, Peoples Republic of China/USA

Ruud Lubbers (Honorary Chair 2011-2012)

Elizabeth May, Canada

Brendan Mackey (Co-Chair 2011-2012)

Dumisani Nyoni, Zimbabwe

Razeena Omar, South Africa (Co-Chair 2006-2012)

Henriette Rasmussen, Greenland

Steven C. Rockefeller, United States (Co-Chair 2006-2010)

Mohamed Sahnoun, Algeria

Tommy Short, United States

Mary Evelyn Tucker, United States

Erna Witoelar, Indonesia (Co-Chair 2006-2010)

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