This week IUCN extends a warm welcome to Inger Andersen as she takes on her new role as Director General.
Previously Vice President for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) at the World Bank, Ms Andersen was responsible for the Bank’s strategy and operations throughout the region.
She succeeds Julia Marton-Lefèvre who served as IUCN Director General since January 2007.
A Danish national, Ms Andersen began her career working on desertification and dryland issues in Sudan, and with the UN Sudano-Sahelian Office in New York. With the establishment of the Global Environment Facility in 1992, she was asked to serve as the Arab Region Coordinator for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), a position she held until 1999 when she moved to the World Bank.
At the World Bank, Ms Andersen worked primarily on water, environment and sustainable development, with special focus on the Africa and MENA Regions. In 2010, she was named Vice President for Sustainable Development, overseeing the technical quality of the Bank’s portfolio and leading the Sustainable Development Network. In view of her long association with the Middle East, Ms Andersen was requested to take on the Vice President position for the region at the onset of the Arab Spring the following year. Ms Andersen was also appointed Head of the CGIAR Fund Council in 2010.
“I am extremely pleased and honoured to be taking on the role of Director General at IUCN,” said Ms Andersen. “As an indispensable source of fact-based intelligence for the conservation community and beyond, IUCN is uniquely positioned to help the world tackle this century’s vast environmental and societal challenges. I am delighted to be leading those efforts."