The University has announced the appointment of Achim Steiner as the next Director of the Oxford Martin School, to take over from Professor Ian Goldin, who will step down later this year after ten years as founding Director. Mr Steiner will join the School on 1 September 2016 from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), where he has been Executive Director since 2006.
The Oxford Martin School at the University of Oxford is a world-leading centre of pioneering research that addresses global challenges. It supports novel and multidisciplinary projects that aim to improve the wellbeing of this and future generations.
The appointment was made by a panel chaired by the University of Oxford’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Louise Richardson, and which included the University’s Heads of Division and external advisors Julia Marton-Lefèvre, Lord Martin Rees and Lord Nick Stern. Professor Richardson said: “Achim Steiner’s success in bringing together inter-disciplinary teams of researchers and stakeholders on significant global issues deeply impressed the panel. It makes him a natural choice as the next Director of the Oxford Martin School.”
In addition to being the Executive Director of UNEP, Achim Steiner is Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations. Before joining the UN, Mr Steiner was Director General of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and he has also served as Secretary General of the World Commission on Dams and Chief Technical Advisor of the Mekong River Commission. He has worked both at grassroots level as well as at the highest levels of international policy-making, to address the interface between environmental sustainability, social equity and economic development. Mr Steiner serves on a number of advisory councils and boards including as the International Vice-Chair of the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED). His undergraduate degree was in PPE at the University of Oxford, he has an MA from University of London and has studied at the German Development Institute in Berlin and Harvard Business School.
Accepting the appointment, Mr Steiner said: “I am deeply honoured to be offered the opportunity to lead the Oxford Martin School into its second decade of pioneering research and thought leadership. James Martin’s vision of a unique platform for interdisciplinary research on the great challenges of the 21st century, and dialogue with global leaders across all sectors of society remains urgent and compelling. I very much look forward to advancing the work of the Oxford Martin School towards this exciting vision.”
Professor Roger Goodman, Chair of the Oxford Martin School’s Management Committee and Head of Social Sciences Division, said: “This is an important and exciting appointment for the University and we greatly look forward to working with Achim as he leads the Oxford Martin School into its second decade.”