Achim Steiner

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Achim Steiner
Achim Steiner-IMG 0837.jpg
Born 1961
Nationality Brazilian, German
Alma mater Worcester College, Oxford, University of London, Harvard Business School
Occupation Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme
Predecessor Klaus Töpfer

Achim Steiner (born 1961 in Brazil) is an expert in environmental issues and politics. He is Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme UNEP. Before joining UNEP, he was Director General of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and before that Secretary General of the World Commission on Dams.


Achim Steiner was born in Brazil in 1961 and holds German as well as Brazilian citizenship. He obtained a BA from the University of Oxford and an MA from the University of London, specializing in development economics, regional planning, international development and environment policy. He also studied at the German Development Institute in Berlin and the Harvard Business School. [1]

Career before UNEP[edit]

Steiner started his career in 1989 at the Rural Regional Development Department, GTZ in Germany. From 1991 to 1997 he worked for the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in Southern Africa and Washington DC. He was Chief Technical Adviser of the Mekong River Commission (1997-1998) before becoming Secretary-General of the World Commission on Dams. In 2001 he returned to IUCN as Director-General.[2]


The United Nations General Assembly in 2006 elected Steiner Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme for a four-year term. His mandate so far has been extended twice and will end in June 2016. Within the UN system Steiner also chairs the High-level Committee on Programmes of the United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination and the United Nations Environment Management Group. He serves on a number of international advisory boards, including the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED).[3]

Honours and awards[edit]

Steiner has received a number of honours and awards for his work:

  • 2010 Leadership Award for Principled Pragmatism - Tällberg Foundation;
  • Officer of the Order of Saint-Charles (Monaco) 2009;
  • Shark Guardian of the Year 2008 - Shark Project;
  • Schubert Preis - 2008 Bruno H. Schubert Stiftung
  • Steiger Award - Umwelt 2007.[3]


  1. ^ "Biography of Achim Steiner". UNDP. Retrieved 4 November 2014. 
  2. ^ "Profile of Achim Steiner". weforum. Retrieved 4 November 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "Executive Director Biography". UNEP. Retrieved 4 November 2014. 

External links[edit]