Following her nomination by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, the General Assembly on 20 February elected Inger Andersen of Denmark to a four‑year term as Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
Serving as Director General of the International Union for Conservation of Nature since 2015, Ms. Andersen brings a passion for conservation and sustainable development with more than 30 years of experience in international development economics, environmental sustainability and policymaking, as well as in designing and implementing projects and generating on-the-ground impact from working with a small non-governmental organization in Sudan to multilateral and international settings with a constant focus on poverty eradication.
Ms. Andersen has held various leadership positions at the World Bank and United Nations, most recently as Vice President of the Middle East and North Africa Region at the World Bank (2011‑2015) and Vice‑President for Sustainable Development and Head of the Consultative Group of International Agricultural Research Fund Council (2010‑2011).
Throughout her 15‑year career at the World Bank, her managerial roles focused on water, environment, and sustainable development with special emphasis on Africa and the Middle East. She further worked at the United Nations for 15 years, starting in the United Nations Sudano-Sahelian Office working on drought and desertification issues, and was then appointed United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Global Environment Facility Coordinator for the Arab Region.
Ms. Andersen’s educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts degree from London Metropolitan University North and a Master of Arts degree from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London with specialization in development economics.
The Secretary-General wishes to extend his appreciation and gratitude to the Deputy Executive Director of UNEP, Joyce Msuya of the United Republic of Tanzania, for her service as Acting Executive Director.