Quantum Leap


Stubborn optimist

A global leader in climate and sustainable development issues, Christiana needs little introduction. Fueled by her relentless optimism and conviction, she seeks to bring about a prompt peaking of global greenhouse gas emissions and a swifter transformation of our economies.

She was Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 2010-2016. She directed the successful negotiations that culminated in the historical Paris Agreement of 2015, for which she has been credited with forging a new brand of collaborative diplomacy.

She is the convener of Mission 2020, a global initiative that seeks to ensure the world bends the curve on greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. She is also Vice Chair of the Global Covenant of Mayors, Climate Leader for the World Bank, Distinguished Fellow of Conservation International, Board member of Climate Works, Board member of the World Resources Institute and Ambassador of the Under 2 Coalition, among others.

Before her appointment as UNFCCC Executive Secretary, she was Director of Renewable Energy in the Americas (REIA) and founded the non-profit Center for Sustainable Development of the Americas (CSDA) in 1995, which she directed for 8 years. She was also a member of the Costa Rican negotiating team from 1995 to 2009.

She has an undergraduate Degree from Swarthmore College (USA), a master’s Degree in Anthropology from the London School of Economics (Great Britain), and a certificate in Organizational Development from Georgetown University (USA). Christiana has received honorary Doctorate Degrees from the University of Massachusetts Boston, Concordia University, Georgetown University, Cranfield University, Warwick University, Edinburgh University and Bristol University.