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Communication from the IUCN President: Dr Grethel Aguilar named IUCN Director General

Dr Grethel Aguilar named IUCN Director General

I am delighted to announce that Dr Grethel Aguilar has been appointed as the IUCN Director General. Through a comprehensive and thorough international search process, the IUCN Council’s Search Committee considered a very large, competitive and impressive field of candidates. The Committee shortlisted and interviewed five exceptional candidates from a longlist of 51 applicants, and unanimously recommended that the Council appoint Dr Aguilar. The IUCN Council, in turn, unanimously endorsed the Search Committee’s recommendation. Dr Aguilar has a long and distinguished career in IUCN with a strong track record and highly relevant experience as a leader in programme development and administration, as well as fundraising and external representation. Across the years, she has gained a deep understanding of the strength that IUCN’s diversity brings, whether it be through representing an IUCN Member, participating as an active Commission member, or serving as a Regional Director, Deputy Director General and twice as Acting Director General – the position she currently holds. Overall, Dr Aguilar’s career in conservation and sustainable development spans more than three decades. Her experience includes developing and applying environmental law and policy in collaboration with governments and civil society, as well as work in field projects, such as helping communities access clean water or championing gender equality in environmental governance. Dr Aguilar, who is from Costa Rica, has long been engaged in advocating the rights of Indigenous peoples and local communities, and has pushed for the inclusion of their knowledge and experience in mainstream conservation policy. She brings with her extensive knowledge of the challenges facing our planet, and IUCN’s unique and influential role in environmental policy and practice as an organisation with over 1,400 Members, 15,000 experts in seven Commissions, and 1,000 staff in more than 50 offices around the world. Grethel will formally take up her appointment on 20 October 2023. Many of you are already familiar with her, and I invite you to join me in extending a warm welcome as she assumes the role of incoming Director General, contributing to our shared mission of fostering a just world that values and conserves nature. Sincerely, Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak President International Union for Conservation of Nature president@iucn.org

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