Cristiana Pașca Palmer was appointed by the United Nations Secretary-General as the Executive Secretary of the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, starting 17 March 2017.
Prior to her appointment, Ms. Paşca Palmer served from November 2015 to January 2017 as Romania’s Minister for Environment, Waters and Forests, during which time she also headed the Romanian delegation at the 2015 Paris Climate Conference, where she signed the agreement on behalf of Romania, the 2016 Marrakech Climate Change Conference and the 2016 UN Biodiversity Conference in Cancun. As Head of the Ministry of Environment, Ms. Paşca Palmer oversaw eight subordinated agencies–including the National Environmental Protection Agency, the Environmental Fund Administration, the National Forest Authority, Romania’s Water Administration, and the Romanian Meteorological Administration—totaling approximately 30,000 staff and a $250 million annual budget.
She has extensive experience in global policymaking and in coordinating the implementation of environment and sustainable development policies, programmes and projects at the national and international levels.
Ms. Paşca Palmer is a former Head of the Climate Change, Environment and Natural Resources Unit within the European Commission’s Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO-EuropeAID) between 2011 and 2015. There she was responsible for EuropeAid’s global policies and programs supporting biodiversity conservation and ecosystems management in developing countries, in addition to its global policies and programs on climate change, forests, water and sanitation, and green economy. To operationalize this work, she managed a $2.8 billion budget, with a large portion allocated towards biodiversity. One of the most significant biodiversity related efforts conceived and led by Ms. Paşca Palmer was the design of the “EU’s Biodiversity for Life Initiative (B4Life)”, a $1.2 billion comprehensive flagship program, financing innovative initiatives linking biodiversity conservation with food security and green economy transformation. As well at the EU, she worked as a Policy Analyst on International Relations and the Western Balkans in the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Climate Action, from 2010-2011.