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Apps For Climate: Judging Panel and Latest News

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It’s exciting to see increasing interest and activity in the Apps For Climate competition. With less than three weeks left before the March 16th submission deadline and a $15,000 first prize, we wanted to take a minute to publish the latest news.


All six judges have now been confirmed, and we are thrilled to have an absolutely outstanding panel:


Christiana Figueres
Executive Secretary, UNFCCC

Christiana Figueres was appointed Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in May 2010. With a long and distinguished career in the field, Ms. Figueres was a member of the Costa Rican climate change negotiating team 1995- 2009. She designed and helped to establish national climate change programs in Guatemala, Panama, Colombia, Argentina, Ecuador, Honduras, El Salvador and the Dominican Republic, becoming a prime promoter of Latin America's active participation in the Climate Change Convention. She served as high level advisor to both governments and private companies. In 2001 she received the Hero for the Planet Award from the National Geographic Magazine.


Rajendra Pachauri
Chairman, IPCC, Director-General, TERI

Dr Rajendra K Pachauri assumed his current responsibilities as the Chief Executive of TERI (The Energy and Resources Institute) in 1981, first as Director and, since April 2001, as Director-General. In April 2002, Dr Pachauri was elected the Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He has been active in several international forums dealing with the subject of climate change and its policy dimensions. He was conferred with the “Padma Vibhushan”, second highest civilian award, for his services in the field of science and engineering in January 2008 by the President of India.


Juliana Rotich
Executive Director, Ushahidi

Juliana Rotich is the Environment Editor of Global Voices Online and the Program Director of, an innovative nonprofit web startup that creates tools for mapping crises. Rotich spent several years as an IT professional and later as a data analyst at Hewitt Associates, Chicago. She is a contributing author on and was a blogger for the TEDGlobal conference in Arusha in 2007. She has spoken at events such as the Digital Activism conference in Istanbul and at DEMO 08 on technology in Africa, citizen media and renewable energy.


Patrick Svenburg
Director, Developer & Platform Evangelism, Microsoft’s Public Sector Division

Patrick Svenburg works as Director, Developer & Platform Evangelism within Microsoft’s Public Sector Division. His team is responsible for driving early adoption and awareness of next-generation technologies among customers and partners with a focus on the developer and technical architect communities. He is particularly passionate about technologies related to open government, cloud computing and social media. He has over 15 years’ experience within the international software industry and have previously held executive positions at Precise Biometrics, Oracle Corporation and the Swedish Trade Council.


Rachel Kyte
Vice President of Sustainable Development, World Bank

As Vice President of Sustainable Development, Rachel leads the Bank’s global work in agriculture, environment, energy, infrastructure, urban, and social development, as well as global public goods issues in those areas. Before assuming this post in September 2011, she was the International Finance Corporation's (IFC) Vice President for Business Advisory Services, where she focused on delivering more measurable impact for the world’s poorest people and in the most challenging environments, including countries affected by conflict. As IFC’s Director for Environmental and Social Development, Rachel led efforts to develop new sustainability performance standards, which – through the Equator Principles - are now a global benchmark.


Andrew Steer
Special Envoy for Climate Change, World Bank

Andrew Steer recently returned to the World Bank after three years as Director General, Policy and Research, at the UK Department of International Development (DFID) in London. In earlier years at the Bank he held a number of positions including Country Director for Indonesia and Vietnam, Director of the Environment Department, and Staff Director of the 1992 World Development report on Environment and Development, the Bank’s Flagship report to the Rio Earth Summit. Andrew has three decades of experience working on development issues at the country level in Africa and Asia, and on global development issues. He has a PhD in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania, has written widely on development issues and has taught Economics at several universities.


Recent Information Sessions

Have questions? Looking for information on climate data? We recently held two information sessions, and both transcripts are online:

  • The Open Climate Data Meeting on January 31st took deep dives on the competition and on climate data, and brainstormed some interesting potential applications. Read the summary wrap-ups here and here.

  • The Expert Help Desk on February 14th answered dozens of questions on various sources of climate and climate-relevant data. A transcript is available here.

For more information, read the Apps For Climate Resources Page, join the Apps For Climate Google Group, or email your question to

Best of luck!

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