Maria Athena Ronquillo-Ballesteros is a Project Manager at WRI’s Institutions and Governance program. Athena leads the International Financial Flows and the Environment project which works to improve the environmental and social decision making and performance of public financial Institutions.
She has been working on national and international climate policy with a particular focus on climate finance, sustainable energy and reform of international financial institutions for more than 10 years. She is one of the technical and policy advisors to the Philippine negotiating team at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiations since 1997 and assisted various Philippine agencies on climate and energy issues at the ASEAN, APEC and the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD).
Prior to joining WRI, she was head of Greenpeace International’s climate and energy program in Asia Pacific, and led the development and expansion of climate policy and sustainable energy work in China, India, Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand and Japan. She gained much of her professional experience in the field of environmental and development management through her work at various organizations including Friends of the Earth/Legal Rights Center; Greenpeace International, Greenpeace Southeast Asia (SEA); Climate Action Network-SEA and the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC).
She is one of the founding members of the Asian NGO Forum on the Asian Development Bank (ADB) which has grown to a coalition of over 200 organizations working on ADB reform. Athena is the founder and chair of the Board of the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (formerly GRIPP, Inc), an organization that is at the helm of promoting low-carbon development with an emphasis on sustainable transport for cities and municipalities in the Asian region. IcSC is the proponent of the multi-awarded electric jeepney project in the Philippines.
She has authored/co-authored various publications relating to climate finance; international climate policy and governance; mainstreaming climate change at the IFIs and; sustainable energy. Athena serves on the Board of several non-profit organizations including the Bank Information Center (BIC); IcSC and Asian BiO.
Athena holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communications with post -graduate studies on Development Planning from the University of the Philippines and a post graduate certificate on Development Management from the Asian Institute of Management. She has received several technical and policy training on energy policy and planning focused on integrated resource planning and demand-side management.