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Naoko Ishii

Naoko Ishii, elected as CEO and Chairperson of the Global Environment Facility in 2012, led the development and implementation of the GEF’s first long-term strategy. In so doing, she helped the GEF address the underlying drivers of environmental degradation and catalyze systems transformation in energy, cities, and food systems while protecting critical ecosystems. Ishii also promoted integrated approaches to tackling environmental challenges and led the GEF to create and participate in multi-stakeholder platforms. She successfully concluded two international replenishment negotiations, both of which mobilized more than $4 billion dollars for the GEF.

Before joining the GEF, Ishii was Japan’s Deputy Vice Minister of Finance and represented the Japanese Government during the design of the Green Climate Fund. She worked as a Country Director for the World Bank and held positions at the IMF and Harvard Institute for International Development.

Ishii is on the board of the World Economic Forum’s Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy (PACE), and Co-chair of the Advisory Network of the High-Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy. She is a Special Advisor to the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED), an Ambassador to the Food and Land Use Coalition (FOLU), a Food System Economics Commissioner, a Commissioner for the Global Adaptation Commission, a Member of the Leadership Council of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (UNSDN), and a Member of the Advisory Committee of Future Earth. She also serves on the Global Advisory Board of the University of Tokyo.

Ishii has published numerous papers and several books, two of which were awarded the Suntory Prize (1990) and Okita Memorial Prize for International Development Research (2004). She is the inaugural recipient of the 2006 Enjoji Jiro Memorial Prize. Naoko holds a B.A. and a Ph.D. from the University of Tokyo.

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Former GEF CEO and Chairperson

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