• > Home
  • > Key Speakers

Key Speakers


Former Prime Minister | Australia

Mr John Winston Howard served as the 25th Prime Minister of Australia from March 1996 until November 2007. He has been Australia’s second longest-serving prime minister. Mr Howard led the centre/right Liberal Party of Australia for a total of 16 years. He was a member of the House of Representatives for 33 years. Prior to becoming Prime Minister, Mr Howard had extensive senior experience in both government and Opposition. He served as treasurer (finance minister) in a previous government and led his party in opposition for a number of years. His autobiography Lazarus Rising was published in October 2010. It has become the best-selling political memoir in Australian history.


Secretary General | International Energy Forum

Dr Sun Xiansheng was elected IEF Secretary General in August 2016. Prior to that, he was President of China National Petroleum Corporation’s (CNPC) Economics and Technology Research Institute, reporting to the Chinese leadership on energy policy decision-making, gas pricing reforms, and international energy cooperation. He was also deeply involved in the energy policy studies of the Chinese energy five-year planning process. He holds an LLM and a Ph.D from the University of Dundee, where he also holds a honorary professorship in the Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy.


JR., Partner | Brunini, Grantham, Grower & Hewes

Mr Curt Hébert, Jr. is the former Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the former Executive VP for Fortune 250 Entergy Corporation. He served as CEO of Lexicon Strategy Group and sits as a visiting scholar with the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington. Hébert has developed broad and deep experience in all segments of the energy sector, spanning exploration and production, natural gas transportation, electric generation and distribution, chemicals, and mining. He received his BS from The University of Southern Mississippi and his JD from The Mississippi College School of Law and his Nuclear Reactor Technology Program Training from The Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Head of Energy and Basic Industries | World Economic Forum

Mr Roberto Bocca leads the Energy, Mining & Metals and Chemicals teams at the World Economic Forum. The activity led by him includes research, publications and public-private coalitions, building on the topics of energy efficiency, energy access, responsible mineral development, innovation, human capital, climate change as well as the role of energy, chemical and extractive industries in society and the evolution of the industries architecture across countries. Before joining WEF, Mr Bocca was at BP for 14 years. He also worked at Telecom Italia and Unifarma. He holds a degree in Business and Economics from the University of Turin in Italy.


Vice President | Research, KAPSARC

Mr David Hobbs was appointed as the vice president of research at KAPSARC in January 2013. Earlier, he was both chief energy strategist and head of research at what is now IHS Markit. Mr Hobbs has accumulated more than 30 years of experience in global energy industry structure and strategies and has directed projects in Asia, South America, North America and the North Sea, along with leading major international investment and asset commercialization programs. He has also advised on several projects relating to topics such as the Canadian oil sands, clean energy and national energy strategies. Mr Hobbs holds a degree in petroleum engineering from Imperial College London.


Director General | The Energy & Resources Institute

Dr Ajay Mathur is the Director General of The Energy & Resources Institute (TERI) and a member of the Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change. He was Director General of the Bureau of Energy Efficiency till February, 2016, where he was responsible for bringing energy efficiency into our homes, offices, and factories through initiatives such as the star-labelling programme for appliances, Energy Conservation Building Code, and Perform, Achieve and Trade programme for energy-intensive industries. Dr Mathur, a key Indian climate change negotiator, was India’s spokesperson at the 2015 climate negotiations at Paris. He is also co-chair of the Energy Transitions Commission.


Chairman | The Energy & Resources Institute

Mr Ashok Chawla has been a distinguished civil servant with over 40 years of experience in various sectors of the economy in India as well as in international multilateral agencies. He obtained his Masters in Economics from the Delhi School of Economics in 1972 and joined the IAS in 1973. Starting his career in Gujarat, Mr Chawla has held several senior government positions. He has been the Permanent Secretary in key GoI ministries of Finance, Economic Affairs, and Civil Aviation. He has been on the Boards of the Reserve Bank of India and Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority. Mr Chawla has also held leadership positions in the corporate sector.


Chairman and Managing Director | BAEconomics Pty Ltd

Dr Brian Fisher has played an integral role for the Australian government in international climate change negotiations. He has also served as a government adviser and negotiator in the WTO and APEC forums. Since leaving government service in 2006 Dr Fisher has been in private practice, first in CRA International (a Boston based consulting company), then Concept Economics before starting his own company, BAEconomics Pty Ltd, which largely works in the mining and resources sector. He holds a PhD in agricultural economics and a DScAgr from the University of Sydney.


Founder | Sarathy Geotech & Engineering Services

Dr C R Parthasarathy started his career as a Geotechnical Engineer in 1993. He has rich experience in managing large-scale geotechnical investigations (both offshore and on-land). He was involved in pile installation monitoring of several offshore platforms, foundation assessment of Jackup rigs, and addressing geotechnical problems in offshore constructions. In 2008, he founded Sarathy Geotech & Engineering Services to provide both offshore and on-land integrated geotechnical engineering services in India and abroad. He holds BE and ME degrees in Civil/Geotechnical Engineering from Bangalore University.


Chairman | Integrated Research and Action for Development

Professor Kirit Parikh is the Chairman of Integrated Research and Action for Development (IRADe). IRADe helps to promote ideas for inclusive developments at local and global levels, and negotiate international agreements better. Prof Parikh is one of the architects of power sector reforms in India. He is a former Planning Commission member. He was worked closely with five prime ministers as a Member of the Economic Advisory Council. He is also one of the founders of the Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research. He has authored, co-authored and edited 29 books in the sphere of policy and planning. He was honoured with Padma Bhushan in 2009.


Executive Director | India Lead Zinc Development Association

Mr L Pugazhenthy, also known as Mr Pug, is currently the Executive Director, India Lead Zinc Development Association (ILZDA) and served as the National President of The Indian Institute of Metals during 2008–09. A graduate in Metallurgical Engineering with post–graduation in Marketing & Sales, he has over 40 years of experience in nonferrous metals sector. He was awarded the Hindustan Zinc Gold Medal by The Indian Institute of Metals during the National Metallurgists Day in 2002. Mr Pugazhenthy also received the prestigious International Lead Medal 2009 and the Distinguished Alumnus Award from National Institute of Technology, Trichy.


Director of Research | Brookings Doha Center

Mr Nader Kabbani is the Director of Research at the Brookings Doha Center and Senior Fellow with the Brookings Global Economy and Development Program. He has held academic positions with the American University of Beirut and served on the research staff of the US Department of Agriculture and the California State Senate. Mr Kabbani has worked as a consultant for the World Bank, European Training Foundation, and a number of United Nations agencies. He has a PhD in Economics from the Johns Hopkins University in 2001.


Founder MD | Galaxy Gold Mines

Mr Nick Spencer is the Founder MD of Galaxy Gold Mines, an Indian Australian Gold Mining Consortium. He has 30 years of experience in mining, logistics, engineering services and fund management with large MNCs in Australia, India, SE Asia, UK and the Middle-East. For the last 12 years, he has worked in India, focussed on identifying, exploring, developing and funding a portfolio of quality gold mine projects. Mr Spencer holds an Engineering degree from the University of Queensland, Australia and an executive MBA from Cranfield School of Management, UK.


Managing Director | JBC Energy Asia

Mr Richard Gorry is the Managing Director of JBC Energy Asia based in Singapore and has been providing consulting and advisory services to the world’s largest energy companies for more than a decade. He began his career as an Energy Market Analyst with PVM Oil Associates, the world’s largest oil broker, where he was responsible for analysing crude oil and refined product markets. Mr Gorry is an expert in energy market fundamentals, energy trading, risk management and pricing. He holds BA in Business Management and MA in Communications and is a former visiting lecturer at the Ulsan Institute of Science and Technology, Korea.


Former Chairman & Managing Director | ONGC

Mr R S Sharma is the former Chairman and Managing Director of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd (ONGC). He was also concurrently the Chairman of ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL), Mangalore Refinery & Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL) and five other ONGC Group companies between May 2006 and Jan 2011. Not only did Mr Sharma led ONGC to new heights of corporate excellence during his tenure, he was also conferred with several prestigious awards and accolades. He was also associated with various industry associations and federations in responsible capacities.

VUGAR Bayramov

Chairman | Centre for Economic and Social Development

Mr Vugar Bayramov, a well-known economist in Azerbaijan, is the chairman of Centre for Economic and Social Development. Mr Bayramov has served as co-chair at the EU Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum in 2013-2014. He was also the co-coordinator of the Economic Integration and Convergence to EU Standards Working Group at the EaP CSF in 2011-2012. He was a visiting faculty member at the Washington University (USA) in 2002/2004. Bayramov has a Ph.D. in economics. His papers/books have been translated into 25 languages. Mr. Bayramov is fluent in English, Russian, Turkish and Azeri and can also speak some Spanish.

Entry by invitation only