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A Champion for Global Environmental Policy, Justice

News Type Public Address

Glenn College graduate Daniel V. Ortega-Pacheco 

By Joan Slattery Wall

Sustainability, says Daniel V. Ortega-Pacheco, is the central challenge facing humanity.

Ortega-Pacheco, who earned a PhD in public policy and management from the John Glenn College of Public Affairs, shares his passion and expertise as a national and international thought leader on sustainability. He promotes and facilitates sustainability in national and international policy, research, government, finance, nonprofit and agriculture sectors.

“Sustainability is about people, prosperity and the planet,” he says. “Contributing to society to enable the possibility of living in harmony with nature and eradicating poverty is an opportunity to serve those most vulnerable and who need the most.”

Among his current endeavors, he’s a director of the Public Policy Development Center at ESPOL Polytechnic University in Ecuador, where he resides, working to mainstream sustainable development in public policy and multilevel planning. 


In Ecuador, Glenn College graduate Daniel V. Ortega-Pacheco promotes sustainable research, development and finance. (Credit: Ecuadorquerido, Adobe Stock)

Ortega-Pacheco also serves as co-chair of an expert panel for the global Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Market.

As part of a strategy to reduce the environmental impact of their carbon dioxide emissions, companies sometimes purchase carbon credits, which then are awarded to conservation efforts. 

“Carbon credits can play a critical role to unlock finance and channel it to much needed additional climate action, particularly in the Global South, to reduce or remove billions of tons of carbon dioxide emissions,” said William McDonnell, chief operating officer at the Integrity Council. “However, the voluntary carbon market today does not consistently deliver on its potential and has been impeded by doubts about quality, fragmentation and a lack of transparency.”

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See how John Glenn College of Public Affairs faculty lend their expertise to further national and global public policy, science and research.

The council is developing and implementing global quality standards for carbon credits and applying them to assess existing certification programs and types of carbon credits so companies can buy with confidence. 

“Central to this effort is the credibility of the Integrity Council, based on the independence and world-leading expertise of its board and expert panel,” explained Integrity Council Chair Annette Nazareth, who is senior counsel at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP in Washington, D.C.

“We are honored to have Daniel Ortega-Pacheco as a co-chair of our expert panel,” Nazareth said.

The panel developed Core Carbon Principles and their detailed criteria, ensuring climate, environmental and social integrity, and makes recommendations to the council board. Ortega-Pacheco also chairs subpanels for program governance, environmental and social safeguards, and sustainable development impacts.

“Daniel brings huge technical depth, including from his experience as a member of the executive board of the U.N. Clean Development Mechanism and his political experience both internationally and as former environment minister of Ecuador,” McDonnell said. “He also brings energy, structure and a vital set of connections to our engagement with Indigenous peoples and local communities, who are custodians of many of our most important carbon stores in the form of vital ecosystems.”

The council’s Core Carbon Principles are set to be released this month; by May, Ortega-Pacheco expects, the council will have begun assessing carbon crediting programs.

In Ecuador, Ortega-Pacheco is chief executive director of the Sustainable Finance Initiative, which provides training to C-suite level leaders representing 95% of total banking assets.

The initiative disseminates and positions the central role of sustainable finance as a key vehicle for transitioning to a more resilient and sustainable economy.

Daniel V. Ortega-Pacheco
Glenn College Graduate

“We have been able to mobilize resources and partners both national and international, including the International Finance Corp., a member of the World Bank Group; Inter-American Development Bank; U.N. Environment Programme; and other key industry associations related to the financial sector,” he said.

Ortega-Pacheco also contributed to a working group that generated a report for the international Advisory Council of the Green Bond Principles seeking to facilitate access to green bond financing in emerging markets. These bonds, the World Bank explains, are financing options that private firms and public entities can use to support climate and environmental investments.

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The work illustrates yet another facet in Ortega-Pacheco’s efforts to promote global sustainability.

“I believe that decisions made by the executive council based on our recommendations will surely generate greater market awareness and access to sustainable financing benefits in developing countries,” he said. “Our central recommendation requires enhanced capacity building and coordination of efforts by private and public organizations, academia and multilateral finance institutions.”

Read the latest edition of Public Address, the Glenn College magazine.