CEO and Chairperson of the Global Environment Facility
Since taking the helm at the GEF in 2012, Naoko Ishii, an economist by training, has steered the development and implementation of a new long-term strategy that addresses the underlying drivers of environmental degradation. She has put protecting the global commons – our air, water, biodiversity, forests, land, oceans and a stable climate – at its center. Previously, Naoko was Deputy Vice Minister of Finance in Japan and has also worked at the World Bank and the IMF. She has published numerous papers and several books, two of which were awarded the Suntory Prize (1990) and Okita Memorial Prize for International Development Research (2004). She is the inaugural recipient of the 2006 Enjoji Jiro Memorial Prize. Naoko holds a B.A. and a Ph.D. from the University of Tokyo.