Naoko Ishii, elected as CEO and Chair of the Global Environment Facility in 2012, has led the development and implementation of the GEF’s first-ever long-term strategy. It positioned the GEF to address the underlying drivers of environmental degradation and to catalyze systems transformation in energy, cities and food systems while protecting critical ecosystems. Throughout GEF operations, she has promoted integrated approaches for greater results and actively pursued opportunities for the GEF to create and participate in multi-stakeholder platforms. She successfully concluded two international replenishment negotiations, both of which mobilized more than 4 billion US dollars for the GEF.
Before Joining the GEF, Naoko was Japan Deputy Vice Minister of Finance, and represented the Japanese Government during the design of the Green Climate Fund. She worked as a Country Director for the World Bank, and has held positions at the IMF and Harvard Institute for International Development.
Naoko is co-chair of the World Economic Forum’s Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy, and co-chair of the Advisory Network of the High-Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy. She is a Special Advisor to the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development, a Commissioner for the Global Adaptation Commission, Member of the Leadership Council of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, and of the Advisory Committee of Future Earth. She also serves on the Global Advisory Board of the University of Tokyo.
Naoko 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. Naoko holds a B.A. and a Ph.D. from the University of Tokyo.