Clare Shine will take over as director of CISL in April 2021 | Credit: CISL
Former barrister, journalist, and sustainable development consultant to take over the reins at influential green business institute from departing director Dame Polly Courtice
The University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) has today announced the appointment of Clare Shine as its new director, who will take over the reins of the influential green business organisation from the departing Dame Polly Courtice next April.
A UK-qualified barrister, environmental policy expert, and former journalist and theatre critic, Shine brings huge experience to the role gained during a varied career that has spanned four continents and many sectors including business, law, policy, media, and the arts.
A billingual French speaker, she has since 2012 been vice-president and chief program officer at Salzburg Global Seminar, an international social enterprise which aims to challenge current and future leaders to push for a ‘creative, just and sustainable world’.
Prior to that, Shine worked for over two decades as an independent environmental lawyer and sustainable development consultant for NGOs, governments, and businesses, leading influential projects on biodiversity, climate change, oceans and coastal development, international trade, and conflict prevention and reconciliation.
Shine is an associate of the Institute for European Environment Policy, a member of the IUCN Commission on Environmental Law, and has worked as a legal adviser to the World Bank, European Union, the Council of Europe, and a number of governments in Africa. She was also the Financial Times’ theatre critic in France from 2001-2011.
“As the new director, I’m eager to work with CISL’s outstanding team to build on its distinguished 30-year legacy of collaboration with influential companies, policy makers, and networks across the world,” Shine said. “CISL will play a pivotal role in this decade of action to inspire transformative leadership and innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals.”
It follows Courtice’s decision last year to step down after more than 30 years leading CISL. Under her leadership, the organisation has grown to wield international influence and recognition for its sustainability expertise, with more than 100 staff now working across offices in Cambridge, Cape Town, and Brussels.
CISL works primarily with business, government, and the finance sector to provide education, research, and advocacy for thousands of people and companies each year, and claims to now boast a network of over 16,000 individuals worldwide.
The Prince of Wales is also a Royal Patron of the Institute, supporting many of its flagship initiatives including the Corporate Leaders’ Group (CLG) and CLG Europe, both of which bring together business leaders to make the case for an accelerated transition to net zero emission, sustainable, inclusive economies.
For her efforts to help guide business leaders towards more sustainable practices during her time leading CISL, Courtice was made a Lieutenant of the Victorian Order (LVO) in 2008, followed in 2015 by a Stanford Bright Award.
She was also appointed a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in 2016 for her services to sustainability leadership and was named the Lifetime Achievement Award winner at the 2019 BusinessGreen Leaders Awards.
Courtice said Shine would be “an outstanding director” of CISL. “She combines strategic knowledge and expertise in sustainable development with success in policy change, business growth, and organisational innovation,” said Courtice. “In her previous role she has built high-level coalitions involving governments, business, research universities and philanthropies. I am delighted that she will bring these strengths to bear on the Institute, and take its success to new heights.”