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Dr. Susan Gardner

Director, Ecosystems Division, United Nations Environment Programme

Dr. Susan Gardner is Director of the Ecosystems Division of the UN Environment Programme where she leads global programmes to promote nature-based solutions for sustainable development including for food systems transformation, climate resilience, global biodiversity protection and disaster risk reduction. Her work on combating ocean pollution included leading the process that achieved a global agreement to negotiate a treaty to end plastic pollution. 


She has three decades of experience in international environmental policy working for both the Mexican and United States governments, including as a senior official in the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Deputy Director of the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Science and Technology Cooperation, and as an environmental scientist at the Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas del Noroeste.  In these positions Dr. Gardner’s work has advanced women and girls in science and established the ASEAN-U.S. Science Prize for Women. Based on her contributions to the Global Mercury Partnership and the Minamata Convention, she was awarded the Gold Medal for Exceptional Services from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the highest national honor award this agency bestows. Her research has generated over 30 publications including a book and book chapters on topics related to natural resource management and sustainable development. 

Dr. Susan Gardner
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