Naoko Ishii leads the Global Environment Facility (GEF), a public financial institution that provides around US$1 billion every year to help tackle our planet’s most pressing environmental problems.

Why you should listen

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, Ishii was Deputy Vice Minister of Finance in Japan and has also worked at the World Bank and the IMF. As a sustainable development leader, Ishii strives to be build coalitions that address the "defining moment" that we're in for the future of the planet. She is a leading advocate on the need to make the environment everybody's business, and she believes safeguarding the global commons is, quite simply, the wisest investment we can make.

Ishii has been profiled for her pioneering work on cities and climate change, and she has highlighted the role of women in driving sustainable change around the world.

Naoko Ishii’s TED talk

More news and ideas from Naoko Ishii


Future visions: The talks of TEDGlobalNYC

September 21, 2017

The advance toward a more connected, united, compassionate world is in peril. Some voices are demanding a retreat, back to a world where insular nations battle for their own interests. But most of the big problems we face are collective in nature and global in scope. What can we do, together, about it? In a […]

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