Trustee chairs in conversation: Maureen O'Neil and Rebeca Grynspan (Part IV)

Article, 14 August 2014

The incoming chair of the International Institute for Environment and Development's board of trustees, Rebeca Grynspan, discusses her enthusiasm for her new role and for the work done by IIED.

Grynspan, the former UN Under-Secretary-General and associate admistrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) until April 2014, said she had been honoured and thrilled to be invited to become chair of IIED's board.

She said she had been very involved in discussions about sustainable development in recent years. Grynspan also served as regional director for Latin America and the Caribbean at the UNDP and added that, while in that role, she had been away from the organisations that were doing the research and gathering the evidence about sustainable development.

What appealed to her was IIED's ability to combine research with action. She said: "Reflect and act: that really characterises the organisation."

She added that during her term as chair she hoped to learn from IIED, saying "I think that I will have something to contribute after the experience that I have had in the UNDP and in the UN all these years and in the negotiations at the global level."

Grynspan has recently taken up the position of Secretary-General of the Ibero-American Secretariat. This Madrid-based organisation links heads of state from Latin America, Spain, Portugal and Andorra, and promotes economic, social and cultural development.

The 20-minute conversation between IIED's incoming and outgoing chairs was published in four parts. Other segments include a discussion of the importance of good governance, the IIED's impact as a driver for change and important challenges for the future.