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jim donovan

Entrepreneurial CEO and Global Business Leader in Sustainability and Impact Investment; Strategic advisor to international organizations, businesses and governments on Public Private Partnerships, Sustainability, Environmental Social and Governance and Assurance.

In the 1990s, he worked for Lehman Brothers and Daiwa Securities, until the founding of  ADEC Innovations in 1996. From its establishment, the company has grown into a global enterprise with 18 operating companies, 4,100 employees and presence in 16 countries across 6 continents. Today, ADEC Innovations is one of the leading players in ESG assurance, promoting sustainable practices combined with technology and data management to Fortune 1000 companies. 

As an advocate of sustainability, in 2016 James became part of the Advisory Board of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, Public-Private Partnerships Division. In 2017, he became the Lead Author of the United Nations Global Environment Outlook (GEO6) -a global assessment that aims to communicate the environmental and climate change impacts to regulations, cities and the private sector. He has served as Chair of the Business and Industry Major Group of the United Nations Environment Assembly since 2018.  In 2019, he was appointed in the Advisory Board of UNEP, Science-Policy-Business Forum. James also acts in various capacities and undertakes various initiatives in the UN Global Compact and other United Nations agencies. 

He was awarded the Executive Leadership Award by the Asia CEO Forum in 2013 and the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation Visionary Award in 2014. He is currently the SCI’s United Nation’s Representative and currently working on its accreditation with the United Nations Economic and Social Council that will enable SCI’s wider engagement. He is also the current Country Representative for Kenya, Philippines, and Samoa, in-charge with the sub-committee on Strategic Partnership where he established cooperation with Mountain Partnership under the UNFAO and currently working on the partnership with African Centre for the Study of the United States, Wits University in Johannesburg, South Africa, and Russian Rectors Union Partnership under the guidance of the Regional Rep for Africa, Ms. Lorna Johnson

Personal Statement 

Cognizant of Sister Cities International’s mission of promoting peace through mutual respect, understanding and cooperation—one individual one community at a time. I believe that creating global relationships is key in expanding the network for knowledge transfers, sharing of best practices, accelerating innovations and targeted advocacy to promote wide cultural exchange amongst communities. Multi-lateral and private sector collaboration will help the organization achieve a strategic path to providing mutual benefits to communities far beyond traditional one-off exchanges whilst safeguarding the integrity, neutrality, objectivity, and transparency of SCI.  

I believe that my inclusion to the board will provide a wider modality in exploring the connection between SCI’s mission, desired impact, and the different paths to get there through collaborative global engagements that is innovative and inclusive focusing on the value that it will bring to the SCI local members by expanding its reach thru the UN Accreditation and Strategic Partnerships that will have a long-term value to SCI. 

I trust that my experience working in the private sector, multi-lateral organizations such as the United Nations and involvement in civic groups will provide additional value to the SCI global and local members through facilitating access to a wider audience that may create opportunities and collaboration.  


 Community Stewardshipby 2050, two thirds of all humanity—6.5 billion people—will be urban1And with the world facing an unprecedented crisis, we need to put our resolve in creating a window of opportunity to accelerate local transformative actions. Much of the work I do stemmed from the belief that cities and communities when provided the platform and right capacity are paramount to global development 

James M Donovan Photo2_2x2 web

Jim donovan

Co-founder and CEO of ADEC Innovations (, a leading global provider of monitoring and evaluation solutions for sustainability and compliance. Today, ADEC is a global enterprise of over 3,500 professionals, located in 14 countries across 6 continents.

I bring about 30 years of investment finance and banking experience, with special focus on infrastructure procurement, financing and development activities — having been part of the top management of Lehman Brothers in London, Daiwa Securities in Hong Kong, and Asian and Infrastructure Partners in the Philippines.

I currently sit in the boards of and am affiliated in different capacities with, various organizations and coalitions focused on sustainable development. Some of which are as follows:

  • Founder and Chair, Global CEO Alliance
  • Honorary Consul of the Samoa in the Philippines.
  • Member, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Business Advisory Board
  • Coordinating Lead Author of the 6th Global Environment Outlook (GEO6) Report, United Nations Environment Program (UNEP)
  • Representative, Business and Industry Major Group, UN Environment Assembly 2019 (UNEA4) of UNEP
  • American Chambers of Commerce (AMCHAM), British Chamber of Commerce Philippines
  • Board Member, Health Information Management Outsourcing Association of the Philippines (HIMAP)
As chair of an affiliated organization, Global CEO Alliance, I have supported the past activities of and intend to continue collaborating with Sister Cities International.

In summary, I am an entrepreneur focused on impact investing that generates measurable social and environmental impact alongside financial return. As an impact investor, our business areas focus on sustainability, healthcare, education, technology, and data management.