Barcelona, Spain

Ada Colau Ballano is the first woman mayor in Barcelona’s history. She has dedicated a large part of her life to social and human-rights activism. She helped to launch the Platform for People Affected by Mortgages (PAH) in 2009. She founded Guanyem Barcelona (subsequently Barcelona en Comú) in 2014, a political citizen platform that won the municipal elections in 2015. In 2019 she was re-elected Mayor of Barcelona. She has given priority at the City Council to public policies focusing on the fight against inequalities, the right to decent housing, the launch of a more sustainable city model and the strengthening of citizen participation. She has also opted for regulating the impact of tourism, for a diversified, inclusive and green economy and for boosting public services. Feminism, the promotion of diversity and solidarity also occupy a central place in municipal policies.

Her government’s policies have received several awards and distinctions, notably the Overall Tourism prize for best sustainable management of this global phenomenon (2018), the award from the European association Housing Europe and the International Tenants’ Federation award for the City Council’s housing policy (2019), recognition from the World Health Organisation (WHO) for the B-MINCOME programme to reduce inequalities and improve well-being in society (2019) and the EIC Prize on Blockchains for Social Good for the REC citizen currency (2020).

Besides being the Mayor and the President of the Barcelona Metropolitan Area (AMB), she is also the United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) special envoy for relations between cities and the United Nations .

Bogotá, Colombia
Claudia López

Claudia López was elected Mayor of Bogotá in October 2019 and started her mandate on the 1st of January 2020. She became the city’s first female and also the first openly diverse Mayor in Bogotá’s history. She has an emphatic focus on environmental, social and anti corruption issues.

Mayor López was a Senator of the Republic of Colombia between 2014 and 2018 and the vice-presidential candidate in the 2018 presidential election for the Green Alliance party. As a senator, she set an example in the fight against corruption, with results never seen before, she became a prominent figure in the political arena. The public recognizes her tenacity and enormous capacity for collective action, which led her to make her way into academia and public service, becoming the first woman to be elected by popular vote to Colombia’s second most important office. 

Mayor López is a finance and international relations graduate from Universidad Externado de Colombia, holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration and Urban Politics from Columbia University and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Northwestern University.

Buenos Aires, Argentina
Horacio Rodriguez Larreta

Horacio Rodríguez Larreta was born on October 29th 1965 in the City of Buenos Aires and became mayor of the city in 2015, winning a second term in 2019.

Having graduated with a degree in economics at the University of Buenos Aires in 1988, Mayor Rodriguez-Larreta went on to obtain a Master in Business Administration in Harvard Business School.

In 1993, he started the foundation “Grupo Sophia”, an NGO comprised of young people with the intention to take on public responsibilities. In fact, important Argentinean politicians used to be part of this NGO, such as the Former Governor of the Province of Buenos Aires, María Eugenia Vidal, the Former Minister of Social Development, Carolina Stanley and the Former Minister of Education, Esteban Bullrich, among many others who left their mark.

In 2002, he started to actively participate in politics with Mauricio Macri, with whom he founded the political party “Compromiso para el Cambio” in 2003. It was renamed as “Propuesta Republicana” (PRO) in 2005.

That same year, when Mauricio Macri was elected as deputy, he was the General Director of the PRO electoral campaign. He maintained this role when Macri was elected Mayor of the City of Buenos Aires in 2007, and when he was reelected in 2011.

While Mauricio Macri was Mayor, Horacio worked alongside him as Chief of the Cabinet of Ministers of the City of Buenos Aires. He took up the important task of coordinating teams, putting a special focus on building closeness with the neighbors of the city, maintaining the efficiency of the administration and its public work, in order to achieve a better quality of life for everyone in the city.

In June 2015, he was elected as the new Mayor of the City of Buenos Aires with 53% of the votes. He was reelected in 2019 with 55.90% of the votes, becoming the first Mayor in the history of the city to win the election in the first round. As Mayor, one of the values he most strives towards is that of listening to neighbours. This is why he holds weekly meetings in different neighborhoods, where each neighbour can bring proposals, claims and their different points of view of life in the city.

Horacio is an unconditional fan of his dear Racing Club.  In fact, back in the 1970s, his father used to be President of this famous football club.

Dhaka North, Bangladesh
Mayor Mohammad Atiqul Islam

Mohammad Atiqul Islam’s leadership has become synonymous with dedication, honesty and generosity in Dhaka.

Mayor Atiqul Islam was born in 1961 in Comilla and raised in a large family by his high-ranking police officer father Momtaz Uddin Ahmed and his mother Mazeda Khatun. Having attended university, Mayor Atiqul Islam entered the business world with his older brother, establishing the Eminence of Islam Garments and employing 19,000 staff.

Mayor Atiqul Islam has been a member the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) since 1990 where he abolished child labour, promoted gender equality, established hospitals for workers and managed the response to the Rana Plaza incident. His work helped to promote the badge of “Made In Bangladesh With Pride” to the world.

His dedication to transforming lives and bringing order to the chaos of rapid industrialisation led Mayor Atiqul Islam to politics. He was elected as the Mayor of Dhaka North City Corporation on 28th February 2019 and is well on his way to creating a lasting legacy of unparalleled service to this great city.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates
H.E. Abdulla Mohammed Al Basti

His Excellency Abdulla Al Basti has been Secretary General of The Executive Council of Dubai since October 2017.

In his role, his Excellency oversees the creation and implementation of The Executive Council’s vision and strategic decisions for the emirate across a variety of sectors. This includes the management of strategic programmes and overseeing the development of public policies designed to achieve excellence in Government performance. These programmes aim to enhance Dubai’s quality of life, positioning and competitiveness. His Excellency has responsibility for the development and implementation of Dubai’s Plan 2021 and its alignment with UAE Vision 2021.

In addition to his role as Secretary General of The Executive Council of Dubai, his Excellency heads the Dubai Government Excellence Program (DGEP). He holds a number of board positions, including on the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority; Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives; and the Higher Committee for the Protection of the Rights of People of Determination.

His Excellency is also a member of the Board of Trustees at Dubai Future Foundation.

Durban (eThekwini), South Africa
Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda

Mayor Kaunda has a rich socio-political history that began when he led the ANC Youth League as Provincial Secretary and Chairperson. His involvement with the ANC continues – currently he is the member of the Provincial Executive Committee of the ANC and Sub-Committee Chairperson for Economic Transformation.

Having obtained his diploma in Governance and Leadership from UNISA before being awarded an Advanced Diploma in Governance and Public Leadership from the University of Witwatersrand, Mayor Kaunda was elected as a Ward Councillor and Proportional Representation Councillor (PR) in eThekwini Municipality in 2000.

Over the next nine years he served in the Economic Development and Planning Sub-Committee (ECOD), a role that included the Environmental and Town Planning Scheme Regulations and Enforcement, Building Regulations, Agriculture and Commercial Farming, Local Economic Development and the Energy Program.

In 2009, Mayor Kaunda was elected as a Member of the Provincial Legislature and Chairperson of the Transport Portfolio Committee. He was re-elected in 2014, continuing to chart the same portfolio as well as serving on the Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs Committee and the Community Safety and Liaison Portfolio Committee.

Between 2016-2019 Mayor Kaunda was appointed as the Member of the Executive Council for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison, until he was redeployed to eThekwini Metro to be the Mayor.

Freetown, Sierra Leone
Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr

Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr was elected as Mayor with a commitment to transform the city of Freetown using an inclusive, data-driven approach that would address challenges in the city. Her three-year ‘Transform Freetown’ plan details 19 concrete targets across 11 sectors and covers a range of issues, from tackling environmental degradation to facilitating the creation of jobs in the tourism sector.

Previous to politics, Mayor Aki-Sawyerr worked in finance, with over 25 years private sector experience in strategic planning, risk management consulting and project management. She is a Chartered Accountant and holds an MSc in Politics of the World Economy from the London School of Economics and a BSc Hons in Economics from Fourah Bay College.

It was the Ebola epidemic in 2014-15 that brought Mayor Aki-Sawyerr to the public sector. She took on the role of Delivery Team Lead for the second phase of a multi-stakeholder programme to drive socio-economic recovery in Sierra Leone post-Ebola. She has been Mayor of Freetown since May 2018.

Hong Kong, China
KS Wong, Secretary for the Environment

Mr KS Wong was born in 1963 and graduated from the Department of Architecture of the University of Hong Kong. He received further education on sustainable built environment in the postgraduate program from the University of British Columbia in Canada. He assumed the post of the Secretary for the Environment of the HKSAR Government on 1 July 2012. 

An architect by profession, Mr Wong has been promoting sustainable built environment since the 1990s. His designs and researches on sustainable built environment have won him various local and overseas awards. He served as the founder Chairman of the Environment and Sustainable Development Committee of the Hong Kong Institute of Architects, the Chairman of the Professional Green Building Council and the Vice Chairman of the Hong Kong Green Building Council, and has contributed to the promotion and research of the standards and guidelines for sustainable built environment applicable to the high-density urban environment of Hong Kong. 

During his tenure as the Secretary for the Environment, Mr Wong has launched and updated a number of policy blueprints covering air quality, waste management, energy saving, climate actions and biodiversity.

Jakarta, Indonesia
Governor Baswedan

Anies Baswedan was inaugurated as the Governor of Jakarta for the 2017-2022 term on October 16th, 2017. Previously he had served as the Minister of Education and Culture of the Republic of Indonesia in the Joko Widodo administration between 2014 to 2016, and as Rector of Paramadina University from 2007 to 2015.

Governor Baswedan has been internationally recognised for his influence and work, including being named as one of the Top 100 Public Intellectuals by Foreign Policy in 2008.

In 2010, he was awarded the Nakasone Yasuhiro Award from the Institute for International Policy Studies in Japan. That same year Governor Baswedan was recognised as one of the World’s 20 Future Figures by Japan’s Foresight Magazine and as one of the 500 Most Influential Muslims by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre.

Governor Baswedan holds a Ph.D in Political Science from Northern Illinois University, an MA in Public Management from the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland and a BA in Economics from Gadjah Mada University in Indonesia.

London, United Kingdom
Mayor Sadiq Khan

Sadiq Khan was elected for a second term as Mayor of London in May 2021. He was previously an MP for Tooting, South London for 11 years and served as Shadow Secretary of State for Justice from May 2010 and Shadow Minister for London from 2013. 

Mayor Khan has declared a climate emergency and described it as one of the biggest threats we face today. In response, he has set an ambition for London to be net zero by 2030. He has also committed to a Green New Deal for London and to ensuring that there is a just transition in the capital from fossil fuel intensive industries to climate solutions. He supports combining a strong economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic with actions necessary to tackle the climate emergency and to create jobs and opportunities for all Londoners. 

In doing so he is clear that London’s recovery from Covid-19 must ensure nobody is left behind. He understands that no one organisation or sector can tackle these challenges alone. 

This approach led Mayor Khan to set up the London Recovery Board. The initiative brings together representatives from business, public sector agencies and civil society to tackle the inequalities exposed by the pandemic and build a fairer, greener, more prosperous London. The London Recovery Board’s ambition is to double the size of the green economy in London by 2030, helping to kick-start significant job growth over the next decade.

Los Angeles, United States
Mayor Eric Garcetti

Mr Eric Garcetti is a fourth-generation Angeleno and the 42nd Mayor of Los Angeles. The son of public servants and the grandson and great-grandson of immigrants from Mexico and Eastern Europe, Mayor Garcetti’s life has been shaped by a deep commitment to the core values of justice, dignity, and equality for all people.

The Mayor’s government service began on the L.A. City Council, where he spent four terms as Council President before being elected Mayor in 2013 and winning re-election in 2017 by the widest margin in the history of Los Angeles.

Beyond his time at City Hall, Mayor Garcetti has served his country as an intelligence officer in the United States Navy Reserve, and taught at the University of Southern California and Occidental College.

The Mayor received his B.A. and M.A. from Columbia University, studied as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, and later at the London School of Economics. He is also a jazz pianist and photographer. He and his wife, First Lady Amy Elaine Wakeland, are the proud parents of a daughter, Maya, and have been foster parents for more than a decade.

Phoenix, United States
Mayor Kate Gallego

Mayor Kate Gallego is the second elected female mayor in Phoenix history, and the youngest big city mayor in the United States. She graduated from Harvard University and earned an MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. Before being elected to Phoenix City Council, Mayor Gallego worked on Economic Development for local utility company, Salt River Project. 

Mayor Gallego has focused on three key policy areas during her time in office: diversifying the economy, strengthening infrastructure investment, and working to make Phoenix a leader in sustainability. Her record of proven results includes leading the campaign to pass Phoenix’s citywide transportation plan through 2050, which was the largest local government commitment to transportation infrastructure in the country when it passed in 2015.  She has led efforts on criminal justice reform and ensuring equal pay for equal work. Mayor Gallego is passionate about building a Phoenix that works for everyone and increasing the quality of life for all Phoenicians.

Phoenix is the fifth largest city in the United States and is currently the fastest growing city in the country.​

Seattle, United States
Mayor Jenny A. Durkan

Mayor Durkan is the 56th Mayor of Seattle and the first woman to lead the City in nearly a century. She entered office on November 28, 2017. 

She is focused on the housing affordability crisis, helping those experiencing homelessness, creating economic opportunity for all, and providing free college tuition to Seattle’s high school graduates – while also delivering on essential city services. 

Jenny is one of eight children, raised in Seattle. She graduated from the University of Notre Dame, taught school and coached girls’ basketball in a Yupik fishing village in Alaska, and then earned her J.D. at the University of Washington School of Law. She and her partner, Dana, have two sons.

Stockholm, Sweden
Mayor Anna König Jerlmyr

Mayor Anna König Jerlmyr was born in Uppsala in 1978. She has a background in economics and communications, and was a member of the Swedish Riksdag from 2006 until 2010. Upon entering Stockholm City Council in 2010 she was appointed Vice Mayor for Social Affairs and Chair of Stockholm’s Police Authority, posts that she held until 2014.

From 2014 until 2018 she acted as Opposition Vice Mayor, representing the Moderate Party. Following the general and local elections in September 2018, the City Council elected Anna König Jerlmyr as Mayor of Stockholm.

Tokyo, Japan
Yuriko Koike

Yuriko Koike won Tokyo’s gubernatorial election in 2016 to become the city’s first female governor. She was re-elected in 2020 and is currently serving her second term.

In 2018, her third year of office, she hosted the Tokyo Forum for Clean City and Clear Sky, which focused on the common challenges facing large cities—waste management, sustainable resource management and air pollution. There, she and representatives of major cities around the world shared knowledge and information about their best practices, and confirmed that they will maintain and strengthen their global partnerships. At the same time, she also held the first C40 East, Southeast Asia and Oceania Regional Meeting as a C40 vice chair.

In May 2019, she hosted the U20 Mayors Summit. As an output of the summit, the views of the major cities of the world were prepared as a communiqué, which was delivered to the G20 by Governor Koike, representing the U20. At the U20 Mayors Summit, she also declared that Tokyo will become a “Zero Emission Tokyo” by 2050 to contribute to the world’s net zero carbon emissions.

Moreover, in January 2021, with a strong awareness of how crucial the actions taken over the next decade will be to achieve Zero Emission Tokyo, she announced that by 2030 Tokyo will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent over year 2000 levels. This was followed by a kickoff meeting in February to roll out a global movement for climate action under the slogan “Time to Act,” with the aim to accelerate effective actions for decarbonization, and together with the participating mayors of major cities and experts, a joint message was sent out to the world.  

Governor Koike is also bringing changes to fields other than the environment. This includes empowering women, improving the parenting environment by resolving the issue of waitlists for daycare and introducing original programs to make daycare costs free, preventing secondhand smoke, and implementing administrative and fiscal reform. 

Calling for a sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, she is currently launching and implementing numerous projects for the realization of a sustainable society by addressing the climate crisis in addition to working for recovery of the economy, society, and people’s spirits exhausted by the pandemic. 

A graduate of Cairo University, Egypt, after her return to Japan she worked as an Arabic interpreter and language instructor before becoming Japan’s first female economic news anchor for a television program reporting on the world’s economic issues.

She was elected to Japan’s House of Councillors in 1992, and to the House of Representatives in 1993, and has held key positions including the Minister of the Environment and Minister of Defense. She has always taken an active stance in addressing her concern for the environment. One leading example was her introduction of the Cool Biz campaign when she was the Minister of the Environment, which encouraged office workers to dress more casually during the summer to ensure comfort under higher room temperature settings.