Manar Oulfa Benessaidi is a 2023 Women Leaders in Energy and Climate Fellow. A first-generation French of African origin, Benessaidi’s background and triple citizenship have influenced her work across continents and disciplines. Driven by a commitment to public service, she actively works toward policy changes that amplify marginalized voices, address power imbalances in global negotiations, and contribute to reshaping engagement with Africa and its diaspora.
Throughout her early career, Benessaidi explored the intersections of public policy, climate action, diplomacy, environmental security, and social inclusion in Africa. She directs her efforts toward leveraging innovation within the public sector to foster sustainable economic growth and development. Collaborating with governments, UN agencies, international financial institutions, the private sector, and community stakeholders, she has developed and implemented policies to increase resilience and strengthen the adaptive capacity of the most vulnerable communities to climate change.
Benessaidi, a McKinsey Achievement Award recipient and World Economic Forum Global Shaper, was selected as an Africa & Diaspora Young Leader by the US Department of State. Passionate about gender-responsive climate action, she has contributed to educational programs addressing the disproportionate effects of climate change on women and girls across twenty-seven African countries.
Benessaidi holds an MA in international governance and diplomacy from Sciences Po Paris’ School of International Affairs (PSIA) and a BA in political science, government and law.