CEO and Chairperson, Global Environment Facility

Dr Naoko Ishii is CEO and Chairperson of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the world's largest public funder of environmental projects.

Prior to becoming the fourth CEO and Chairperson of the GEF, Dr Ishii, as Deputy Vice Minister of Finance, was responsible for Japan’s international financial and development policies, and for its global policies on environmental issues such as climate change and biodiversity. She led the Japanese delegation at the Transition Committee for designing the Green Climate Fund. Dr Ishii’s career at the Ministry of Finance began in 1981 with a focus on the international sphere, particularly development issues. Later in her career she was Japan’s Director for Bilateral Development Finance (2004-2006) and for coordination with Multilateral Development Banks (2002-2004).

For nearly half of her career, Dr Ishii has served in international assignments outside of Japan, including at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Dr Ishii also taught sustainable development and environment at Keio University. She 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. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Ph.D. from the University of Tokyo.

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