Ivonne Higuero
Yvonne Higuero MEM'91

DURHAM, N.C. – Ivonne Higuero, a 1991 graduate of Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment, has been named secretary-general of the United Nations’ Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

With 183 national or regional signatories, CITES is one of the world’s most powerful multilateral treaties for wildlife conservation. It regulates the international trade of more than 35,000 species of plants and animals, and the sustainable use of their products and derivatives, to ensure the species’ survival in the wild.

Higuero holds a Master of Environmental Management degree from the Nicholas School in resource economics and policy.

Widely cited for her expertise on environmental economics and sustainable development, she has served the UN in various leadership posts for 24 years.  These posts include serving from 1994 to 2014 as coordinator of Pan-European Biological and Landscape Diversity Strategy at UN Environment headquarters in Nairobi and in the program’s regional office in Europe.

Between 2014 and 2018, Higuero also served in the UN Economic Commission for Europe, most recently as the director of the Economic Cooperation and Trade Division, where she led and supervised programs on trade facilitation, access to markets, innovation and competitiveness policies, and public-private partnerships. Before that, she was director of the commission’s Forests, Land and Housing Division and chief of the Operational Activities and Review Section of the Environment Division.

Higuero’s faculty advisor at the Nicholas School was Randall Kramer, Juli Plant Grainger Professor of Global Environmental Health.  

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