Dr. Zoë Lees is an advisor and coach in the area of sustainable development (environment, climate & energy, responsible investment etc) and has been part of many entrepreneurial ventures and business initiatives since 2004. She spent 4 years in the South African (state) government when the late Nelson Mandela was president, and then from 1999-2003 was the Executive Director of the Business Council for Sustainable Development (BCSD:SA), a regional partner of the prominent World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) before it merged with the National Business Institute. The BCSD:SA’s purpose, supported by the top 50 companies in South Africa, was to promote the business case for sustainable development through improved social and environmental performance and disclosure, as well as representing SA business on local and international policy-making forums.
Dr. Lees was the founder of the Johannesburg Securities Exchange (JSE) Socially Responsible Index and is an inaugural Fellow of the African Leadership Initiative in conjunction with the Aspen Institute. More recently (2011-2019) she worked with the International Finance Corporation (World Bank Group), evaluating social and environmental risks on debt/private equity projects throughout Africa, and now works for the Dutch Development Bank (credit department) advising the Investment Committee on all transactions passing through the bank. She is the author of a number of articles and papers and is regularly asked to lecture at business schools and conferences. She maintains a large and network and has served on a range of Boards and Panels.