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As part of the International Women's Day 2016 a call for nominations for Geneva-based inspirational women working to protect the environment was launched in February 2016. A total of 160 submissions were received, including women working for inter-governmental, non-governmental, governmental and business organizations, academic institutions and civil society. A committee selected 20 of these inspirational women to be part of an exhibition celebrating their achievements, launched on 8 March 2016, on the occasion of International Women’s Day. Maria MENDILUCE was among the 20 women selected.

María is the Managing Director of Climate and Energy at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). Her 20 years’ experience in the energy sector, her policy background and personal leadership have been instrumental to WBCSD’s work. She is in charge of the development of the organisation’s Climate and Energy strategy that guides the work of its 200 member companies and influences the global climate landscape. In particular, at the invitation of the French Government and the UNFCCC, Maria led over 150 global companies under the Low Carbon Technology Partnerships Initiative, one of the flagship projects that mobilized a large number of CEOs on concrete solutions at COP21. While juggling the demands of a family, she also manages to teach at the University of Geneva and coach students. She is also recognized for her contributions to scientific journals and international conferences on climate and energy.