Maaike Teunissen-Jansen is a Programme Officer in UNEP’s New York Office, working on inter-agency cooperation and coordination within the UN system in the field of environment. She is also charged with furthering understanding and awareness of the linkages between children's health and the environment. She spearheads UNEP’s substantive initiatives in this specific area, working with partners such as the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the International Pediatric Association and a range of NGOs and academic inistutions.
Maaike is from the Netherlands and undertook her studies at the London School of Economics (LSE), earning a Bachelors degree in International Relations, followed by a Masters degree in Politics of the World Economy, with a focus on environment and development.
Maaike started her work with the UN in 1993, initially working for a UNEP-affiliated working group at the University of Amsterdam on sustainable product development, and later for UNEP at its headquarters in Nairobi on inter-agency affairs. Since 1995, she has worked for the UN in New York, including for UNICEF’s Water, Environment and Sanitation section. She has been in her current function in UNEP’s New York Office since 1998. Last year she was seconded by UNEP to work on the Secretariat of the Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on System-Wide Coherence in the Areas of Development, Humanitarian Assistance and the Environment, and was particularly involved in supporting the work of the Panel with regard to its reform recommendations on environment and sustainable development.
Maaike was instrumental in developing the UNEP-WHO-UNICEF publication Children in the New Millennium: Environmental Impact on Health in 2002 and has contributed to a number of other publications on environmental health issues. She participated in the establishment of the Healthy Environments for Children Alliance as a World Summit on Sustainable Development partnership initiative, produced the Alliance’s monthly newsletter (HECANET), and co-organized a training workshop for African Pediatricians and other health care professionals on children’s environmental health. Currently, WHO, UNICEF and UNEP are updating Children in the New Millennium. The book is being written in plain language to provide information to decision makers, community leaders, parents, and other caregivers to promote better environments for children, using practical examples and listing resources.
Maaike is married and the mother of three small girls.