Deputy Executive Director, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
On 27 December 2022, the UN Secretary-General announced the appointment of Ms. Elizabeth Maruma Mrema of the United Republic of Tanzania as Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). She assumed her responsibilities on 15 February 2023. Prior to this role, Ms. Mrema served as the Executive Secretary of the Secretariat for the Convention on Biological Diversity starting in June 2020, having previously served in an acting capacity in the role since December 2019. Prior to that, Ms. Mrema served in various capacities in her two decades at UNEP, including as the Director of the Law Division and the Deputy Director of the Ecosystems Division. From 2009 to 2012, she served as the Executive Secretary of the Secretariat for the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals as well as served as the Acting Executive Secretary of the UNEP/ASCOBANS (Agreement on the Conservation of Small Cetaceans of the Baltic, North East Atlantic, Irish and North Seas) as well as Interim Executive Secretary of the UNEP/Gorilla Agreement, all based in Bonn, Germany. Before joining UNEP, she worked with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Republic of Tanzania and left as a Counsellor/Senior Legal Counsel. During her time with the ministry, she was also a lecturer in Public International Law and Conference Diplomacy at Tanzania's Centre for Foreign Relations and Diplomacy. She had also served as a pro bono visiting lecturer at the University of Nairobi Law School and in the past at the International Development Law Organization (IDLO), Rome, Italy. A lawyer and career diplomat with LLB (Hons) from the University of Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, LLM from Dalhousie University, Canada and Postgraduate Diploma in International Relations and Diplomacy (Summa Cum Laude) from the Centre of Foreign Relations and Diplomacy in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania. In 2021, the IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law (WCEL), in collaboration with the UNEP, awarded Ms. Mrema with the Nicholas Robinson Award for Excellence in Environmental Law. This prestigious honour was bestowed in recognition of her career achievements, dedicated to advancing the environmental rule of law. In 2022, she was also awarded the Kew International Award for her work in protecting nature and has been listed on the 2021 and 2022 Most Influential African Women as selected by Avance Media. She is also the co-chair of the Task Force on Nature-related Financial Disclosures.