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The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) oblige all countries to adopt new ways of thinking and acting. They are the yardstick for the limitations and opportunities of globalization.

Achim Steiner, Member of the Council

Achim Steiner
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Achim Steiner

Director of the Oxford Martin School/University of Oxford; former Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

Achim Steiner

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.
 

Curriculum Vitae

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
 

Education

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
 

Memberships (selected)

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
 

Awards (selected)

Honorary Laureate of the German Sustainability Award 2012

Tällberg Foundation Leadership Award for Principled Pragmatism 2010

Steiger Award – Environment 2007
 

Press photos

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Achim Steiner - © Foto: Oxford Martin School

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