Jessica Sweidan has been an active philanthropist for the last 20 years. Her journey began almost straight out of university, when she formed a partnership with Adam Sweidan, to create The Synchronicity Foundation. She oversaw donations to a range of projects, including themes in education, environment, social justice, economic upliftment, art, health care, relief efforts and children’s well-being. The Synchronicity Foundation has worked with over 70 projects in nearly 40 countries. In 2007, the environment became a priority: it underscored most themes that they were addressing, and upon close examination, found it to be a severely under-funded, and under-supported sector. Exploring how to have a greater impact within the conservation realm - and recognizing that biodiversity loss was the least well appreciated and most poorly addressed of all - they launched Synchronicity Earth in November 2009. Jessica plays an active role at Synchronicity Earth, developing its profile, networks and events. Jessica is also an IUCN Patron of Nature, helping to raise the visibility of global conservation needs worldwide. She was appointed Honorary Conservation Fellow at the Zoological Society of London in March 2015. Jessica has a degree in Philosophy from Northwestern University.
Professor Edward Cunningham is Director of the Ash Center China Programs at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, which has trained nearly 2,000 senior Chinese government officials, NGO leaders, and business executives since 1999. He also directs the Kennedy School’s Asia Energy and Sustainability Initiative and is an Adjunct Lecturer of Public Policy. Edward focuses on China’s integration into the world economy, primarily through its energy/environmental markets and governance, philanthropic sector, and international trade. He first lived in China in 1992, speaks Mandarin and Italian, and his work has appeared in media such as The New York Times, The Financial Times, The New Yorker, The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fortune, and Bloomberg. He graduated from Georgetown University, received an A.M. from Harvard University, holds a Ph.D. from M.I.T., and studied at Peking University and later at Tsinghua University as a Fulbright Fellow. Edward also advises private and publicly listed companies, investment banks, and venture/PE funds focusing largely on energy and environmental technologies, infrastructure assets, as well as financial and technology-enabled services. He is on the Advisory Council of Greentech Capital Advisors, a board member of the Community Therapeutic Day School, and co-founded Harvard Square Educational Associates, an educational consultancy.
Emma Lindsay is a partner at Withers and leads the firm’s international arbitration team in the Americas. Specializing in investor-state arbitration, international commercial arbitration and public international law, Emma represents corporations, governments, individuals and organizations around the world and across a wide range of industries. She also appears in U.S. federal and state courts in international litigation matters. In addition to her work as counsel, Emma sits as an arbitrator. Emma has an active international pro bono practice and has acted in proceedings before the International Criminal Court, the European Court of Human Rights, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (the Khmer Rouge Tribunal) and various United Nations bodies. Having spent part of her childhood living in the mountains of Tasmania and on the beaches of Fiji, Emma grew up loving the world’s faraway wild places. Emma is proud to support the conservation work of Synchronicity Earth USA to protect wild places and support the people who live in them.
Georgann Joseph became a member of the board of directors of Synchronicity Earth USA to help ensure the continued habitability of the planet. She is a partner at the law firm of Johnson and Colmar in the Chicago metropolitan area. Previously she was in the law department of a financial services company, which at the time was affiliated with Sears Roebuck and Co., Dean Witter, and Discover Card. She also was associated with the law firms of Kirkland and Ellis and D’Ancona and Pflaum, both in Chicago. Ms. Joseph has been practicing law for over thirty years. She received her JD from Northwestern University and her BA from The University of Minnesota.
Tom Fernandez is a founder of Balto Therapeutics, a specialty pharmaceutical company in New York. Previously, he co-founded Retrophin, Inc., a public biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing and marketing innovative therapies for rare, catastrophic childhood diseases. Before that, he was a partner at a family of hedge funds, Galleon Group, where he led Investor Relations and the global marketing effort. Prior to Galleon, Tom was Assistant Dean for MBA Career Services and Director of The Chazen Institute of International Business at Columbia Business School. He is a member of the advisory board of Equity for Children, a nonprofit organisation that strives to advance an agenda of social justice, human rights and social equality for children worldwide. Tom holds a BA in History from Yale University and an MBA from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.