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Christiana Figueres          

Expert on Global Climate Change; Former Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change

Christiana Figueres is an internationally recognized leader on global climate change. She was Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) from 2010 to 2016.

With a long and distinguished career in the field, Figueres was a member of the Costa Rican climate change negotiating team from 1995 to 2009. She represented Latin America and the Caribbean on the Executive Board of the Clean Development Mechanism in 2007 and was then elected Vice President of the Bureau, serving from 2008 to 2009. She conceived the new financial instrument "programmatic CDM" with four groundbreaking publications that marked global thinking on this novel concept.

Figueres initiated her life of public service as Minister Counselor at the Embassy of Costa Rica in Bonn, Germany in 1982. She served as Director of International Cooperation in the Ministry of Planning in Costa Rica and was then named Chief of Staff to the Minister of Agriculture. Moving to the USA, she was Director of Renewable Energy in the Americas (REIA) and in 1995 founded the non-profit Center for Sustainable Development of the Americas (CSDA) which she directed for eight years. She designed and helped to establish national climate change programs in Guatemala, Panama, Colombia, Argentina, Ecuador, Honduras, El Salvador, and the Dominican Republic, becoming a prime promoter of Latin America's active participation in the Climate Change Convention. She served as a high-level advisor to both governments and private companies, including Endesa Latinoamérica. In 2001 she received the Hero for the Planet Award from the National Geographic Magazine.

Figueres has made important contributions to the analytic literature on the design of the climate regime, is one of the most widely published authors on the topic, and a frequent public speaker.

She has a Masters Degree in Anthropology from the London School of Economics, and a certificate in Organizational Development from Georgetown University.


"We are definitely moving in the right direction": Former U.N. climate ...
Former U.N. climate negotiator Christiana Figueres believes that anger, especially in humans' responses to climate change, is what ultimately could change ...
Climate Action Summit To Address Global Carbon Emissions : NPR
NPR's Scott Simon talks to former U.N. climate negotiator Christiana Figueres about Monday's Climate Action Summit in New York City. It coincides with the ...
The Woman Who Could Stop Climate Change - The New Yorker
Elizabeth Kolbert on Christiana Figueres, a U.N. official who is negotiating with world leaders about emissions before the Paris conference.

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