Ms. Julia Marton-Leffvre - a global expert and leader in development and conservation - is the current Director General of the World Conservation Union (IUCN), the worldds leading conservation authority. Julia MARTON-LEFEVRE was born in Hungary and moved to the United States with her parents who were political refugees after the Hungarian Revolution. She spent most of her adult life in France , where she continued her education, and raised two sons, both of whom are now working in the public sector.
Previous to becoming IUCN Director General, Julia was Rector of the University for Peace. UPEACE is a graduate level (MA and beyond) international university established by a UN General Assembly resolution in 1980, with its headquarters campus in Costa Rica. The UPEACE system includes locations in several parts of the world and provides education, training and research on all issues related to peace and conflict. UPEACE students are exposed not only to a high quality international education, but also improve their leadership skills in order to be able to contribute effectively to the Peacebuilding agenda.
Before her position at the University for Peace, Julia was Executive Director of LEAD (Leadership for Environment and Development) International, a programme established by The Rockefeller Foundation to bring together and train mid-career leaders from all parts of the world in improving their leadership skills around the issues of sustainable development. The powerful LEAD Network now consist of some 2000 change agents holding key positions in all sectors of society. Julia was Executive Director of the International Council for Science (ICSU), based in Paris prior to joining LEAD. ICSU is an important and respected global organization bringing together scientific academies and scientific Unions around the mission of promoting scientific activities for the benefit of humanity. Earlier positions have included Programme Specialist in Environmental Education under a joint UNESCO-UNEP Programme; university teacher in Thailand as a Peace Corps Volunteer, and a staff member of the Fund for Education and Peace in New York.
Julia is a member of a number of boards and commissions, including: the Board of Directors of the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED); of LEAD International; a Trustee of the International Research Institute for Climate and Society of Columbia University, and of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt . She has recently ended a 9-year term as Vice President of the World Resources Institute, and was one of the founding members of the China Council for Environment and Development, a body providing policy advice to the Chinese Government. She also serves on environmental advisory bodies to the Dow Chemical Company and The Coca-Cola Company.
Julia Marton-Leffvre has co-authored numerous books and papers. In 1999 she received the AAAS Award for International Cooperation in Science. She is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society of the United Kingdom . She is a dual national of the US and of France and studied history, ecology and environmental planning in those countries. Julia feels most comfortable as a global citizen, in the international arena, and speaks a number of languages in addition to her Hungarian mother tongue.