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Cliona Howie del Río
CEO, Foundation Earth

Cliona is the Chief Executive Director of Foundation Earth that aims to drive systemic change across the agro-food sector. She has broad background in the environmental sector having worked as an environmental specialist for over 23 years, starting as an expert in Environmental Impact Assessment evaluating UK development plans for the county of Surrey and Network Rail Power Supply Upgrade initiative. Further on in her career, Cliona worked closely with the European Commission, holding roles such as Chairperson of the Enterprise Europe Network Environment Sector Group, driving the uptake of resource efficiency and circular economy solutions for SMEs across Europe and as an expert with the DG RTD on advancing the circular economy, climate policy and innovation agenda as a member of the Circular Economy Expert Finance Group and the EU Coordination Group of the Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform. Throughout her career and as the Head of Circular Economy at EIT Climate-KIC, Europe´s largest public-private innovation partnership on climate innovating, she has worked across Europe with public authorities to design, develop and deliver large scale, multi-sectorial plans for decarbonization and transition to low-carbon, circular technologies, processes, and plans. She worked very closely with the Government of Slovenia to develop a national circular economy transition plan across multiple industrial value chains, including the agriculture sector. In addition, Cliona is the leading circular economy expert Foundation COTEC, Spain´s leading innovation expert group and has served as an expert evaluator and judge of climate and circular economy initiatives.


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