Ms. Figueres was appointed Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2010, and in 2013 was reappointed for a second three year term. With a long and distinguished career in climate change negotiations, she was a member of the Costa Rican climate change negotiating team 1995- 2009, a member of the Executive Board of the Clean Development Mechanism, and a Vice President of the UNFCCC Bureau. She conceived the new financial instrument "programmatic CDM" with four groundbreaking publications that marked global thinking on this novel concept.
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 in Guatemala, Panama, Colombia, Argentina, Ecuador, Honduras, El Salvador and the Dominican Republic, becoming a prime promoter of Latin America's active participation in the Climate Change Convention. She 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.
Ms. Figueres has made important contributions to the analytic literature on the design of the climate regime, is one of the most widely published authors on the topic, and a frequent public speaker. She has a Masters Degree in Anthropology from the London School of Economics, and a certificate in Organizational Development from Georgetown University. She speaks Spanish, English and German.
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