Rachel Owens

Rachel Owens

Director, Climate Finance Programme


About me

Rachel joined the ECF in September 2022 as Director of the Climate Finance Programme.

She has over 14 years of experience working on sustainable finance, corporate accountability, human rights, labour rights and corruption. She’s worked within the EU institutions and the third sector.

In 2017, she set up the first EU office for Global Witness, a climate and human rights NGO, growing its influence across the EU. She’s led high-impact campaigns on investor disclosure and due diligence, corporate accountability, transparency in the fossil fuel sector and anti-money laundering. She also headed up Global Witness’ work in the EU and globally on corporate accountability.

Previous to this, she spearheaded a major investigative report on the involvement of an oil major in a corrupt deal in Nigeria worth $1.1 billion. She led a successful global campaign to change the rules of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, a multi-stakeholder initiative focused on transparency and accountability in the fossil fuel sector in 51 countries.

Before joining Global Witness, she was Chief of Staff to the Vice President of the European Parliament’s Economic and Financial Services committee, leading all financial services and economic legislation. Her work focused on EU and UK response to the fallout from the 2008 financial crisis, including leading legislative work on highly political and controversial dossiers.

She’s lived in Belgium, Italy, France, Peru and Rwanda and speaks French, Italian and Spanish.

She graduated Magma Cum Laude and was first in class with her Master’s in European Public Policy and Politics at the Katholieke Universiteit in Leuven. She also holds a postgraduate diploma in EU law from Kings College London. She was recently accepted onto the award-winning Leaders Plus Senior Leaders programme.

In her spare time, Rachel loves yoga and spending time with her family in the beautiful forests around Brussels.

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