Experts' profiles - Sheila Aggarwal-Khan
Sheila Aggarwal-Khan
Sheila Aggarwal-Khan is the head of strategic planning in UNEP working in the organization´s programme strategy and planning team. She has previously served as the Chief of UNEP´s Quality Assurance Section and as Senior Advisor on Programme in the Strategic Implementation Team during the reform process in UNEP. Her work focused on changing the way UNEP plans its medium-term strategic planning and programme of work planning. Following an extensive consultative process, UNEP now delivers results-oriented medium-term strategies and programmes of work in line with UNEPs reform agenda. The Programme has been developed to be more responsive to country priorities, show measurable results in countries and fulfilling the mandate, catalytic and coordination role of the organization on environmental matters especially in the UN system.

Over Dr. Aggarwal-Khan´s past 20 years of professional experience, 15 years are at the international level with a successful track record in management, strategic planning, programme and project development and implementation and international environmental policy process analysis. Prior to joining the Strategic Implementation Team, Dr. Aggarwal-Khan served as the Ag. Deputy Director of UNEP´s Division of GEF Coordination (DGEF) where she supported the Director to build and manage a 100-member staff team with an average project income of US $75million annually in GEF funding alone. Her work with the DGEF team resulted in the establishment of a more strategic role for UNEP to influence GEF operations and directions. It also resulted in a UN commendation for a programme in the UN to show real results in the field. Prior to this, Dr. Aggarwal-Khan served as a GEF Programme Manager for a portfolio of projects where she was responsible for programme and project design. The work entailed partnering with partner agencies to build on UNEP´s comparative strength in the UN while also showing results in complex socio-economic environments. Dr. Aggarwal-Khan´s work experience at the intergovernmental level is complemented with experience at scientific research institutions such as the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, at the national level with work as an Environmental Specialist in the US State Government in Florida, and at the civil society level, working with NGOs such as the Environment Liaison Centre International.

Dr. Aggarwal-Khan has an interdisciplinary educational background encompassing degrees in natural sciences up to the Masters level from the USA and a doctorate degree in the social sciences from the School of Development Studies, University of East Anglia. Her doctorate focused on examining the policy processes of institutions of international environmental governance, with UNEP and the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) as case studies. This work entailed drawing an understanding of the social and political influences on the way in which institutions such as UNEP and multilateral environmental agreements design, implement, monitor and evaluate their operations. This research has been critical in understanding the complex political-economic and social environment in which UNEPs work is carried out. The work is published by Palgrave-Macmillan in a book entitled "The Policy Process in International Environmental Governance".
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