Having served as the Secretary General and Regional Director for Europe at ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, Gino Van Begin brings to his position a wealth of experience in coordinating and leading international institutions and organizations across different aspects of sustainable urban development. He has been ICLEI’s Chief Negotiator on local climate actions and was instrumental in organizing various major events, such as the European Sustainable Cities and Towns Conferences which have grown to become the major sustainability rendezvous for local governments in Europe. Gino was also a member of the EU Expert Group to the European Commission on the Urban Environment from 2003-2006, and is a member of the European Commission’s Jury on the European Green Capital. Before joining ICLEI in 2000, Gino worked as advisor and as Team Leader at the EU-funded Environmental Centres for Administration and Technology in Kaliningrad and St. Petersburg, Russia for seven years. From 1987 to 1993, he was a legal advisor at the European Commission’s DG Environment, General Secretariat and DG External relations. He also worked at the Cabinet of the Vice-President of the Government of Flanders and Minister of Economy, Small Business and Energy. Trained as a lawyer from the University of Brussels, Gino speaks Dutch, French, English, German and Russian.