Global climate finance leader to deliver 2024 Barbara Ward Lecture

Mafalda Duarte, executive director of the Green Climate Fund, will deliver the 2024 Barbara Ward Lecture in May.

News, 19 March 2024
Head and shoulders photo of a woman alongside the words: "Green Climate Fund executive director Mafalda Duarte" and "Barbara Ward Lecture 2024"

Green Climate Fund executive director Mafalda Duarte will follow in the footsteps of a series of outstanding women in development when she gives the 2024 Barbara Ward Lecture in May (Photo: IIED/Green Climate Fund)

This year’s Barbara Ward Lecture, celebrating outstanding women in development, welcomes Mafalda Duarte, the executive director of the Green Climate Fund, to share her aspirations to challenge this major part of the global finance architecture, on Tuesday, 14 May 2024. 

Ms Duarte has been at the forefront of the Green Climate Fund, the world’s largest multilateral climate fund, since August 2023. 

She is renowned for her innovative approach to development and climate-responsive investments, and her work aligns with IIED’s mission to ensure that climate finance is accessible to those most impacted by climate crises, fostering a more sustainable future for all.

Before her current role, Ms Duarte was CEO of the Climate Investment Funds, where she steered a multibillion-dollar portfolio of investments pushing the frontiers of clean energy, sustainable land management, and resilience across more than 70 middle and low-income countries. 

Originally from Portugal, Ms Duarte is a proud mother to three daughters and a champion of social inclusion and equity. She decided to focus her international development career on climate action after witnessing climate impacts in countries in Africa and learning about climate science.

IIED’s Barbara Ward Lecture Series, hosted in honour of world renowned economist, policy advisor, early advocate of sustainable development and IIED’s founder Barbara Ward, celebrates outstanding women in development, and has been a platform for many influential women in development to share insights on contemporary issues. 

This year’s lecture will also mark the launch of IIED’s ‘Manifesto for a thriving world.’ This manifesto outlines a new strategy for the institute, focusing on fresh answers and approaches to address the world’s vast and entrenched social, environmental and economic challenges.

As IIED embarks on a new strategy cycle opportunities have been identified for the institute to be more agile and responsive to today’s fast-moving challenges and address big blockers that continue to feed the interconnected crises our world is facing.

The event promises to be an inspiring occasion, culminating in an interactive question-and-answer session with Ms Duarte, followed by an informal drinks reception for networking and discussions among peers.


Anne Schulthess ([email protected]), marketing manager, IIED’s Communications Group