Naoko Ishii has served as the CEO and Chairperson for the Global Environment Facility (GEF) since June 2012. Prior to that, Ms. Ishii was Japan’s Deputy Vice Minister of Finance, where she was responsible for the country’s international financial and development policies, and for its global policies on environmental issues such as climate change and biodiversity. She led the Japanese delegation at the Transition Committee for designing the Green Climate Fund.
For nearly half of her career, Ms. Ishii has served in international assignments outside of Japan, including at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. At the World Bank, Ms. Ishii was the Country Director for Sri Lanka and the Maldives (2006-2010). She also served as the World Bank’s country program coordinator for Vietnam (1997-2001), project manager at Harvard Institute for International Development (1996-1997), economist at the International Monetary Fund (1992-1995) working for Africa and Asia, as well as visiting fellow at Center for International Affairs at Harvard University (1984-1985).
Ms. Ishii also taught sustainable development and environment at Keio University. 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. She holds BA and Ph.D. from University of Tokyo.