Joseph Pierre Claude Gascon, a Canadian/United States national, has been appointed as the GEF’s Director of Strategy and Operations.
Welcoming the appointment, GEF CEO Carlos Manuel Rodriguez said, “Claude will be playing a critical function in both the internal and external agendas of the GEF Secretariat.”
In his new position, Gascon’s top three priorities will be (i) to provide direction and oversight of the GEF Secretariat and its teams with an aim to increased impact and effectiveness, (ii) to develop and implement strategic programming priorities and policies for the GEF Family of Funds, and (iii) to position the GEF Secretariat as the key partner of choice in the global sustainable development agenda.
“I am very excited about my new role and the trust placed in me,” Gascon said. “The GEF is ready to face the new challenges and opportunities that lay ahead of us, and together with our colleagues across the GEF partnership will deliver strong, impactful, and ambitious environmental outcomes for the world.”
Gascon joined the GEF in 2015 as Manager of the Programs Unit. In this role, he oversaw a team of staff working to help developing countries tackle biodiversity loss, climate change, chemicals and waste management, land degradation, ocean pollution, and the drivers of these overlapping threats.
In a past interview, he shared how a fascination and love for nature led him to this international role and reflected on what makes the GEF special as a place to work.
Before joining the GEF, Gascon was Chief Science Officer and Executive Vice-President at the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation from 2010-2015. He was with Conservation International from 1999 to 2010, most recently as Executive Vice-President for Field Programs.
Gascon started his professional career in the Brazilian Amazon as project director and scientific coordinator for the Biological Dynamics of Forest Fragments Project. His research has resulted in more than 70 publications and three books.