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New Director General of World Conservation Union

Julia Marton-Lefvre appointed Director General of the World Conservation Union

Gland, Switzerland, 19 September 2006 (IUCN) - Ms. Julia Marton-Lefvre – a global expert and leader in development and conservation - has been appointed Director General of the World Conservation Union (IUCN), the world’s leading conservation authority.

“I am greatly honoured by the opportunity to serve the Union as its next Director General. Nature and conservation are part and parcel of the world’s struggle for development, peace and security. I am dedicated to work with the Union’s powerful network of 1,000 member organizations and 10,000 experts to demonstrate the importance of conservation to a fairer and greener planet, as a continuation of my life-long dedication to the inter-related issues of conservation, environment, development, and peace and security,” said Ms. Marton-Lfevre.

Ms. Marton-Lefvre will take up her position on 1 January 2007.

“The IUCN Council is delighted to announce that Ms. Marton-Levfre had accepted the appointment. We look forward to continuing and expanding upon the work of our previous Director General, Mr. Achim Steiner, who put the Union back on the world stage before taking up leadership of the United Nations Environment Programme,” said Mr. Valli Moosa, President of the World Conservation Union, in his announcement today.

Mr. Moosa expressed his confidence in Ms. Marton-Lefvre, underlining her skills in international relations and development, her extensive environmental and governmental network, her experience with the Union as a member of its Commission on Education and Communication, and her energy and passion for working with people throughout the world. They will serve IUCN well in meeting the global challenges of sustainable development and halting biodiversity loss.

The Council of the World Conservation Union appointed Ms. Marton-Lefvre after a three-month worldwide search process. The Council is the governing body of the Union, made up of 32 Councillors who are elected every four years by the Union’s governmental and non-governmental member organizations.

About Ms. Julia Marton-Lefvre

Ms. Marton-Lefvre is the current Rector of the University of Peace in Costa Rica, which has offices in several parts of the world. The University, mandated by the United Nations, provides education, training and research on issues related to peace and conflict.

Formerly, Ms. Marton-Lefevre was Executive Director of LEAD (Leadership for Environment and Development) International, a program established by The Rockefeller Foundation to bring together and train mid-career leaders from all parts of the world in improving their leadership skills around the issues of sustainable development.Â

She has been the Executive Director of the International Council for Science (ICSU) based in Paris, a Program Specialiising in Environmental Education under a joint UNESCO-UNEP Program. She was also formerly a university teacher in Thailand as a Peace Corps Volunteer.

She is Vice Chair of the World Resources Institute, and on the board of directors of the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), a founding member of the China Council for Environment and Development.

Born in Hungary, Julia moved when she was eleven years old to the United States with her parents, who were political refugees. She spent most of her adult life in France, where she continued her education. She is fluent in English, French and Hungarian and also speaks Spanish, Thai and German.

She is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society of the United Kingdom, and in 1999, she received the AAAS Award for International Cooperation in Science.


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