Executive Secretary, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
Christiana Figueres was appointed Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in 2010, and was reappointed for a second three year term in July 2013.
Ms. Figueres has been involved in climate change negotiations since 1995. Initially a member of the Costa Rican negotiating team, she was also a member of the Executive Board of the Clean Development Mechanism, and Vice President of the Bureau of the Conference of the Parties in 2008-2009.
In 1995 she founded the Centre for Sustainable Development of the Americas (CSDA), a non-profit think tank for climate change policy and capacity-building which she directed until 2003. Before that, she served as Director of the Technical Secretariat, Renewable Energy in the Americas (REIA).
Ms. Figueres began her life of public service at the Embassy of Costa Rica in Germany in 1982. She also served as Director of International Cooperation in the Ministry of Planning in Costa Rica (1987-1988), and was Chief of Staff to the Minister of Agriculture (1988-90).
Ms. Figueres has served on many boards of non-governmental organizations involved in climate change issues. She is a widely published author on the design of climate solutions, has been a frequent adviser to the private sector and lecturers at many universities and colleges.
Ms. Figueres holds a Master’s Degree in Anthropology from the London School of Economics, a certificate in Organizational Development from Georgetown University and an honorary Doctor of Law degree from the University of Massachusetts. She was born in San José, Costa Rica in 1956 and has two daughters.