Indian environment and economics expert Ligia Noronha has been appointed as assistant secretary-general of the United Nations as well as the head of the United Nations Environment Program’s New York office.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced the appointment via his spokesperson. Noronha will succeed another Indian, development economist Satya Tripathi, in this role.
Noronha has over 30 years of international development experience. She has worked since 2014 as Director of UNEP’s Economy Division based in Nairobi, leading UNEP’s work on climate mitigation and energy transitions; on inclusive green economies, sustainable consumption and production, as well as on trade and sustainable finance, and the nexus of environment, pollution and health.
Prior to joining UNEP, Noronha worked at The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in New Delhi, as Executive Director (Research Coordination) and as Director of the Division on Resources, Regulation and Global Security. She served as Secretary of the Asian Energy Institute and as Coordinator of the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnerships (REEEP), South Asia and worked with the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada on ecosystem approaches to human health.
She has served on various boards, expert panels and advisory committees on ecosystems, natural resources and minerals and metals, and served Inter alia on the National Security Advisory Board of the Government of India on matters relating to resources, energy and climate security.
She holds a Master’s degree in Economics from the University of Mumbai, as well as a Master’s degree in Sea Use Law, Economics and Policy and a PhD from the London School of Economics.
She joins a growing list of Indian appointees at the UN. Last week, Usha Rao-Monari was appointed the under-secretary-general and associate administrator of the United Nations Development Program.
Noronha and Rao-Monari join other Indians like Atul Khare, the under-secretary-general for operational support, assistant secretary-generals Chandramouli Ramanathan and Anita Bhatia at the global organisation, Preeti Sinha, Executive Secretary of the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), Gita Sabharwal, the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Thailand and Soumya Swaminathan, Chief Scientist at the World Health Organisation.