Mr. Steiner succeeds Helen Clark of New Zealand to whom the Secretary-General is grateful for her leadership over the past eight years as UNDP Administrator and Chair of the United Nations Development Group. A highly effective communicator and champion of development, environmental protection, democratic governance and institutional reform, she has advocated for the rights of the poor and marginalized, particularly women, LGBTI, refugees and migrants, and people with HIV/AIDS.
Currently Director of Oxford Martin School, University of Oxford and Professorial Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford (since 2016), Mr. Steiner brings to the position extensive senior leadership experience both at the grassroots and at the highest levels of international policymaking addressing environmental sustainability, social equity, and economic development.
His professional career includes assignments with Governmental and non-governmental, as well as international organizations in different parts of the world, most recently as Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (2006-2016) and Director-General of the United Nations Office in Nairobi (2009-2011), as well as Director General of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (2001-2006) and Secretary General of the World Commission on Dams, South Africa (1998-2001).
Born in 1961, his educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Oxford, as well as a Master of Arts from the University of London with specialization in development economics, regional planning, and international development and environment policy. He also studied at the German Development Institute in Berlin, as well as the Harvard Business School.