Julia Marton-Lefèvre, the longest serving Director General of IUCN, has expressed her intention to step down next year, after nearly eight years at the helm of the organization. The process of recruiting her successor has now officially been launched and the IUCN Council’s Search Committee will develop a Terms of Reference for this position shortly.
“I believe that it is healthy for an organization such as IUCN to seek a change of leadership on a regular basis,” says Julia Marton-Lefèvre. “I will continue to be an active and involved Director General until I hand over to my successor, between 30 June and 31 December 2014, thereby assuring a smooth transition.”
Ms Marton-Lefèvre has been steering the world’s largest environment membership organization since January 2007 and has successfully led the conservation movement during and between two World Conservation Congresses, in Barcelona and Jeju.
Under her leadership, IUCN grew to more than 1,200 government and non-government Members, 11,000 Commission members, 1,000 staff in 45 offices and hundreds of partners around the world.
Among her accomplishments as IUCN Director General has been the establishment of the concept of nature-based solutions which IUCN pioneered in the context of the UN climate negotiations. These solutions have become an integral part of the organization’s overall response to the biggest environment and development challenges of the 21st century.
“Julia has successfully managed to keep together such a large organization and led us through uneasy economic times,” says Zhang Xinsheng, President of IUCN. “IUCN has been fortunate to have the leadership provided by Julia Marton-Lefèvre over the last seven years, and we are grateful for her continued energy and commitment to IUCN’s mission.”
The Search Committee in charge of finding the best candidate for IUCN’s top job consists of the IUCN President Mr. Zhang Xinsheng (China); the four IUCN Vice Presidents: Mr. Malik Amin Aslam Khan (Pakistan), Mr. Miguel Pellerano (Argentina), Mr. John G. Robinson (US) and Ms. Marina von Weissenberg (Finland); the Chair of the Species Survival Commission, Dr. Simon Stuart (UK) and Ms. Nilufer Oral (Turkey), IUCN Regional Councillor for West Europe.
Born in Budapest, Hungary, Julia Marton-Lefèvre studied history, ecology and environmental planning in the US and in France. Her prior positions include Executive Director of the International Council for Science (ICSU) in Paris, Executive Director of LEAD (Leadership for Environment and Development) International in New York and London and Rector of the UN-affiliated University for Peace in San José, Costa Rica. She has brought her considerable international network to IUCN including several high profile public figures, scientists and communicators who now serve as Patrons of Nature or Goodwill Ambassadors.
News about the recruitment process and the advertisement for the position of IUCN’s Director General will be posted on the IUCN website as soon as it is available.