Robson Mello led the creation of Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Organization (IREO) in 2008 to address the urgent need to transition from carbon based energy systems to clean and renewable energy technology that promoted sustainable human development.
Under his leadership, IREO has built alliances with leading organizations from all sectors and mobilized support for a broad range of programs that achieve this mission and support the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.
Mr. Mello is a renowned visionary, entrepreneur, and advocate for emerging energy technologies and the economic development of disadvantaged communities worldwide. A Brazilian immigrant to the United States, he has achieved success as an entrepreneur in fashion, publishing, sports marketing, and construction. Prior to his work for IREO, Mr. Mello established the Brazilian Foundation of America (BFA), a nonprofit organization, in 1999, to assist Brazilian Americans and other immigrants living in the tri-state area. The BFA established language, legal, insurance and investment seminars that have touched thousands of lives.
In 2004, Mr. Mello was the founding president of BFA in Brazil, which operates with authorization from the Brazilian Ministry of Justice. Focused on underprivileged communities in northeast Brazil, the BFA has become widely recognized for its work with parents to keep children in school. As a result of his efforts, the BFA now holds consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council. Mr. Mello’s humanitarian work with the BFA has earned him recognition from Senator Hillary Clinton, Nassau county executive Thomas Suozzi, and from the Consulate General of Brazil in New York.
His Excellency Ambassador Joseph Huggins
President and CEO The Huggins Group
Ambassador Joseph Huggins, a retired Career Diplomat, is the Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Huggins Group (THG). The firm, which was founded in 2006, provides strategic advice to U.S. companies Interested in trade and investment opportunities in Africa. He is also the Chairman and co-owner of Travel Leisure (PTY) Ltd., a tour operating business in Botswana, and a Principal Member of Energy Resources International, LLC (ERI).
ERI provides strategic advice to companies on the purchase of hydrocarbon products. Prior to his current position, Ambassador Huggins had a long and distinguished Diplomatic career serving in senior positions in the former Soviet Union, Kenya, Guinea, Togo, and Jordan. In his last overseas assignment from January 2003 to July 2005, he served as Ambassador to the Republic of Botswana and the Secretary of State’s Special Representative to the Southern Africa Development Community, a political and economic organization comprised of 14 countries in southern Africa.
Dr. Gloria B. Herndon
Dr. Herndon earned her Bachelors Degrees in Economics and Political Science, as well as a Masters and a PhD in International Law and Economics from Johns Hopkins University. Subsequently, she worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture as an economist, then joined the State Department and was posted to U.S. Embassy Commerce positions in Africa and Europe.
Upon leaving the State Department, Dr. Herndon founded and continues to direct GB Herndon and Associates, which is domiciled in the District of Columbia. The company initially focused upon structuring medical and benefits insurance for its corporate clients, but evolved into a multi-line insurance broker and is now more than a decade old. Its diverse clientele include the National Medical Association, embassies of foreign governments, the National Association of Postal and Federal Employees (NAPFE) and the University of the District of Columbia.