South Asia Women in Energy (SAWIE) Leadership Summit

South Asia Women in Energy (SAWIE), hosted its first Leadership Summit on April 6, 2021, in a virtual format, since its inception in 2019.

The Leadership Summit brought together senior government officials, business leaders, and experts from India, US, and South Asia to discuss advancing environmental sustainability efforts and the role of gender equity in fighting the climate crisis.

Honourable John Kerry, US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate delivered the keynote address, in the presence of industry leaders like Ms. Nandita Bakhshi, President and CEO, Bank of theWest; Co-Chief Executive Officer, Ms. Ramona M El Hamzaoui, Mission Director, USAID; Ms. Vaishali Sinha, Chair ReNew Foundation, among others.

Speaking at the event, Honourable John Kerry said, “Advancing gender equality and the promotion of women’s leadership is not only critical for economic growth and sustainable development, it is essential to tacking the climate crisis.” Speaking about US- India relations and collaboration in climate change and sustainability he remarked, “India is a major player on a global stage. Decisive action from India now, in partnership with the rest of the world will determine what this transformation will mean for all generations to come.”

USISPF President and CEO, Mukesh Aghi said, “We need an urgent action plan against the threat of climate change in the same way we have one to fight the pandemic. I am looking forward to the Secretary’s upcoming visit to India and the two countries uniting strongly against this common challenge that affects all of us and future generations.  We have also seen that the current health and economic crisis and the climate crisis has had a disproportionate impact on women. We need gender equity to be the front and center of business priorities, build a work culture where women can thrive and grow to their true potential.”

“Energy unlocks potential -especially for young girls and women and enables them to participate in all walks of life. By scaling up renewable energy, India can unleash its power and compete in the global economy,” said Raj Shah, President of the Rockefeller Foundation.

“The SAWIE Leadership Summit provides the perfect platform to discuss ideas and insights that will help boost the representation of women in the energy sector. We know that gender parity and sustainability have close interlinkages and it is imperative that women are integral to the ongoing energy transition and play an enhanced role in the sector. The takeaways from this summit will strengthen SAWIE’s efforts to create a more gender responsive energy sector,” said Vaishali Nigam Sinha, Chair ReNew Foundation and Chair, SAWIE.


The Honorable John Kerry

U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate

Mukesh Aghi

CEO and President USISPF

Ramona M El Hamzaoui

Mission Director (Acting), USAID

Jill Evanko

President and CEO, Chart Industries; USISPF Board Member

Nandita Bakhshi

President and CEO ‎Bank of the West; Co-Chief Executive Officer, BNP Paribas USA Inc; USISPF Board Member

Rajiv Shah

President, The Rockefeller Foundation

Nivedita Mehra

Managing Director – India, USISPF

Vaishali Sinha

Chair ReNew Foundation; Chair SAWIE

Shalini Sarin

Co-Founder & Executive Director – Elektromobilitat, Co-Chair SAWIE

Neelam Dhawan

Board Member, ICICI Bank

Vidya Ramnath

President, Middle East & Africa, Emerson Automation Solutions, Emerson

Kishore Jayaraman

President, Rolls-Royce, India & South Asia

Shloka Nath

Head – Sustainability & Special Projects, Tata Trusts


Director, Sustainability, Technology and Outlooks, IEA

Atul Arya

Senior Vice President and Chief Energy Strategist at IHS Markit

Shrikant Bapat

Country General Manager & Managing Director India, Johnson Controls