An internationally recognised global climate change leader and keynote speaker, Christiana Figueres assumed the role of Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change after the failed 2009 Copenhagen climate change negotiations. Determined to lead the process forward in order to bring about a universally agreed regulatory framework, Christiana Figueres was successful in directing Conferences at various locations across the globe, such as Cancun 2010, Durban 2011, Doha 2012, Warsaw 2013, and Lima 2014. The culmination of her efforts was the historic 2015 Paris Agreement.
The years of her tenure as Executive Secretary saw Christiana Figueres bring together many and diverse leaders, including governments, corporations, financial institutions, technology providers, think tanks, and NGOs, to name but a few. Together, they presented the climate change agreement. Her achievement saw her given credit for forming a new brand of collaborative diplomacy.
Christiana Figueres is also a Founding Partner of Global Optimism and convener of Mission 2020. The latter is a world-wide initiative seeking to address greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.
Her life in the public sector is not a new one, however. Christiana Figueres first made a name for herself as Minister Counsellor at the Costa Rica embassy in Bonn, Germany, as Minister Counselor. After her tenure in Bonn, she moved to the USA, where she took up the position of Director of Renewable Energy in the Americas. In 1995, she went on to found the Centre for Sustainable Development of the Americas. She directed this non-profit organisation for a period of eight years. Christiana Figueres has also been instrumental in designing and establishing climate change programmes in numerous South American countries, including Honduras, Argentina, Panama, and Guatemala, amongst others. Her work in this regard has seen her regarded as a prime promoter of Latina America’s active participation in the Climate Change Convention.
With regards to her educational background, Christiana Figueres has a Masters Degree in Anthropology from the London School of Economics and a certificate in Organisational Development from Georgetown University. Her background has seen her serve as a high-level advisor to numerous governments and private companies. Christiana Figueres is National Geographic Magazine’s 2001 Hero for the Planet Award recipient.
Regarded by many as the author of the world’s view of climate change, Christiana Figueres is a much sought after keynote speaker who has addressed diverse audiences across the globe. She lives in the USA and is fluent in English, Spanish, and German.