Since 2012, Naoko Ishii has served as CEO and Chairperson of the Global Environment Facility, the largest public funder of programs to benefit the global environment. She led the development and implementation of the GEF’s first-ever long-term strategy, which positioned the GEF to address the underlying drivers of environmental degradation and to catalyze systems transformation in energy, cities and food systems while protecting critical ecosystems. She successfully concluded two international replenishment negotiations, both of which mobilized more than 4 billion US dollars for the GEF. Before joining the GEF, Ishii was the Deputy Vice Minister of Finance of Japan, responsible for Japan’s international financial and development policies, and for its global policies on environmental issues such as climate change and biodiversity. She also worked as a Country Director for the World Bank and has held positions at the IMF and Harvard Institute for International Development.
Ishii serves as co-chair of the World Economic Forum’s Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy, and co-chair of the Advisory Network of the High-Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy. She is a Special Advisor to the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development, and a Commissioner for the Global Adaptation Commission.