Director of the Oxford Martin School/University of Oxford; former Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
Achim Steiner was appointed Director of the Oxford Martin School on 1st September 2016. Prior to joining the University of Oxford he served as United Nations Under-Secretary General and Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (2006-2016). During his tenure at the United Nations, Mr. Steiner helped to position UNEP as a central global player on issues such as climate change, technology innovation, ecosystems management and the role of markets and the private sector in sustainable development. He also led UNEP through a major reform and transformation process culminating in the UN General Assembly establishing a new UN Environment Assembly in 2014, to foster more effective global environmental cooperation and governance. As Executive Director he pioneered a number of new major initiatives linking economic and environmental transitions such as on the green economy, finance, energy, and resource management. Mr Steiner also served as a member of the UN Secretary General’s Chief Executive Board and chaired the UN System’s High Level Committee on Programmes.
During his career, which he began as a development economist and which gradually led him into the broader arena of sustainable development, international relations and global diplomacy, Mr Steiner has led a number of institutions as Chief Executive, including as Secretary General of the World Commission on Dams, Director General of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Director General of the United Nations Office at Nairobi (UNON). He has lived and worked in Oman, UK, India, Pakistan, Germany, Zimbabwe, USA, Vietnam, South Africa, Switzerland and Kenya.
He currently serves on a number of Boards and Councils – including as International Vice-Chair of the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development, as Chair of the AGORA Verkehrswende Council, Germany, and as a member of the International Olympic Committee’s Sustainability and Legacy Commission. In November 2016 he became a member of the German Council for Sustainable Development.
Since 2016 Director and Professorial Fellow of the Oxford Martin School, University of Oxford
2006 - 2016 Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Nairobi
2001 - 2006 Director General of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
1998 - 2001 Secretary General of the World Commission on Dams
1991 - 1997 Employee of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in Zimbabwe and the Unites States
1986 - 1991 Employee of the GTZ GmbH in Pakistan and Germany
Doctorate Honoris Causa by the International University in Geneva, Honorary Professor at Tongji University, Shanghai
Post-graduate studies at the German Development Institute as well as the Harvard Business School Executive Programme
MA at the University of London
MA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at the University of Oxford
International Vice-Chair of the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development
Chair of the AGORA Verkehrswende Council, Germany
Envoy – Platform on Disaster Displacement
Member of the International Olympic Committee’s Sustainability and Legacy Commission
Member of the German Council for Sustainable Development
Honorary Laureate of the German Sustainability Award 2012
Tällberg Foundation Leadership Award for Principled Pragmatism 2010
Steiger Award – Environment 2007
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