Short Bio

Ms. Figueres has been the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) since July 2010. She has directed four consecutive successful Conferences of the Parties, and is now charged with the intergovernmental process to deliver the 2015 Paris agreement on climate change.

She has a long trajectory in the field of global climate change, having been a member of the Costa Rican negotiating team 1995- 2009, and having played a number of key roles in the governance of the UNFCCC before formally joining the secretariat.

She initiated her life of public service as Minister Counselor at the Embassy of Costa Rica in Bonn, Germany in 1982. 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 throughout Latin America and served as high level advisor to both governments and private companies. In 2001 she received the Hero for the Planet Award from the National Geographic Magazine.

She has a Masters Degree in Anthropology from the London School of Economics, and a certificate in Organizational Development from Georgetown University. Ms. Figueres received an honorary doctorate of law degree from University of Massachusetts Boston in 2014. She speaks Spanish, English and German.

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