skip to content

Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL)


Polly shares a personal message to CISL’s Network as she hands over to Clare Shine as CISL’s new Director and CEO.

Yesterday marked the point at which my successor, Clare Shine, took on the role as Director and CEO of the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, as I stand down after just over three decades’ service.

Clare is an exceptional values-driven leader who joins an amazing and talented international team of staff, Fellows and Senior Associates. Their insight, dedication and generosity lie at the very heart of CISL’s success. I know that Clare will be catalytic in leading the organisation to new heights in its ambitious agenda to achieve a sustainable economy – working around the world with those at the forefront of driving systems change in business, finance and government.

CISL has an inspiring and purpose-driven mission, captured in its Transformation 2030 strategy which will guide and leverage our future activities at a time when incrementalism can no longer deliver progress with the urgency and scale we need.

Later this year, CISL will move into its new headquarters in central Cambridge. The Entopia Building will be a world-leading sustainable retrofit facility, showcasing the art of the possible and creating a dynamic hub for our corporate clients, staff, entrepreneurs in residence, and our network of over 16,000 alumni, and other members.

The CISL Network has been at the heart of much of the progress that we have made to take our sustainability agenda mainstream. I know that Clare and the team are developing exciting plans to harness the Network’s collective intelligence and influence for greater reach and impact – with all the help and inspiration that CISL can offer. I hope you will all get involved.

It has been a great privilege to have had the opportunity to lead such a remarkable group of people within one of the world’s greatest Universities in pursuit of such an important and urgent mission.

Thank you for being a valued and trusted friend and partner of CISL, and for all the support and encouragement you have given to me personally. I look forward to continuing the friendship and to celebrating and supporting CISL’s work and all your achievements in the years to come.

With warm regards and gratitude,


Dame Polly Courtice DBE, LVO

Emeritus Director and Senior Ambassador

University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership


Published 13 April 2021


Zoe Kalus, Head of Media  

Email | +44 (0) 7845652839