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UNEP Regional Directors

Juliette Biao Koudenoukpo
Regional Office for Africa,
Isabelle Louis
a.i. Regional Office for Asia and
the Pacific, (ROAP)
Jan Dusík
Regional Office for Europe, (ROE)
Leo Heileman
Regional Office for Latin America
& the Caribbean, (ROLAC)
Patricia J. Beneke
Regional Office for North
America, (RONA)
Iyad Abumoghli
Regional Office for West Asia,

Juliette Biao Koudenoukpo

Regional Office for Africa, (ROA)

Juliette Biao KoudenoukpoMs. Biao is a national of Benin. She has a wealth of experience in international development and over 24 years of experience of environmental projects and programmes management. Prior to her appointment at UNEP, Ms Biao has been with the Canadian Crossroads International (CCI) where she was the Director of Programmes. She also worked for the Canadian Centre for International Studies (CECI) as Regional Director for Africa.

Ms. Biao has worked with a wide range of international organizations, including the UN agencies and leading international institutions working in the area of environment, addressing sustainable development and poverty reduction. She has been involved in multi-country project design, development, management and resource mobilization in numerous countries within Western, Southern, Eastern, and Central Africa. In 2007, she was appointed as Minister of Environment and Nature Protection for the government of Benin.

Ms. Biao holds an M.Sc. in Forestry economics, a PhD in Public Policy and Administration, and a certificate in Renewable Energy.

Isabelle Louis

a.i. Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, (ROAP)

Isabelle LouisIsabelle Louis has more than 25 years of global, Asia Pacific regional and national level experience in sustainable development and natural resource management as well as in office operations, programme management and multidisciplinary team management.

Isabelle was at the end of March 2016 appointed Director ad interim (a.i.) of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (UNEP ROAP) located in Bangkok. Prior to this appointment, Isabelle had been Deputy Regional Director at UNEP ROAP since September 2014. She coordinates the UNEP work programme in the region pursuant to the organization’s mandate to support the UN Member States in the region on issues related to the environment, including climate change, environmental governance, and ecosystems management. She facilitates UNEP’s strategic partnerships in the region and supervises UNEP’s presences in China and the Pacific.

Prior to joining UNEP, she managed a consultancy on Sustainability for the. Previous to that, she was the Director of the Asia Pacific Programme for WWF International, based in Switzerland and Singapore, and Deputy Executive Director at WWF Malaysia. She managed WWF International’s offices in China, the Greater Mekong region, Singapore and the Pacific. She facilitated the establishment of regional strategic partnerships as well as coordinated region wide environmental policy advocacy , communications and fundraising initiatives.

Isabelle, a Malaysian national, has a scientific background in Botany and Plant Pathology. She received her BSc and PhD from Sheffield University in the United Kingdom, followed by a Teaching Fellowship at the National University of Singapore and a Post doctorate Fellowship at Harvard University.

Jan Dusík

Regional Office for Europe, (ROE)

Jan DusikJan Dusík was born in Plzeň, Czech Republic. He graduated from the Law School of Charles University, Prague in 1998 and received a doctorate in 2001. In 2001-2002, he undertook a Master of Science Programme on Environmental Change and Management in the University of Oxford, United Kingdom.

After the democratic changes in Czechoslovakia, Mr. Dusik became involved with the environmental movement in 1990 - first in the Brontosaurus Movement, from organising youth camps to managing the Movement's central office and international activities in 1993-1995. In 1994, he co-founded the Environmental Law Service, initially an environmental law clinic, which gradually evolved into a highly respected public interest environmental advocacy.

After finishing his law studies in 1998, he joined the International Relations Directorate of the Ministry of Environment of the Czech Republic. His service for the Ministry involved managing accession of the Czech Republic to the European Union (as Deputy Director and then Director of the EU Department in 1999-2003), coordination of international activities, legislative drafting and procedure and supervision of environmental public administration (as Director General in 2005-2006; Deputy Minister for International Co-operation, Legislation and State Administration from 2006, and First Deputy Minister from 2007). In 2003-2004, he worked for the Environment Directorate-General of the European Commission in Brussels, handling cases of infringements of EC environmental legislation.

Over the years in the Czech civil service, Jan has been active in international environmental relations, both bilateral and multilateral. He was the Head of the Delegation of the Czech Republic to numerous meetings of parties of multilateral conventions and international organisations and their bodies (e.g. EU, UNEP, UN CSD, UN ECE, OECD). He served as the Vice - President of the Bureau of the UNEP Governing Council for 2007-2009, as the Chairman of the Committee of the Whole during the 24th session and 10th special session of the UNEP Governing Council. He was the Chairman of the Bureau of the Aarhus Convention for the period 2008-2011 and chaired the 4th Meeting of Parties to the Convention in 2011. He was the leading coordinator for the Czech Republic's Presidency of the EU Environmental Council in the first half of 2009.

Jan was appointed as the Minister of the Environment of the Czech Republic in the care-taker government on 30 November 2009. He resigned from this post on 18 March 2010, following a political escalation concerning a project of a major thermal power plant reconstruction. Subsequently, he provided consultancy on international environmental policy and law in a number of countries worldwide, and served as an external advisor to the Czech Minister of Environment.

Jan speaks English, French, Czech and Slovak, some German and Russian.

Jan joined UNEP in July 2011 as the Deputy Director of the Regional Office for Europe and in December 2011 assumed functions of the Acting Director and Regional Representative in that office. In january 2014, Jan Dusík was confirmed as the Director and Regional Representative for UNEP's Office for Europe, (ROE).

Mr. Leo Heileman

Regional Office for Latin America & the Caribbean, (ROLAC)

Mr. Leo Heileman A national of Trinidad and Tobago, Mr. Heileman has over 20 years experience in the environment arena focusing on environmental management, programme coordination and environmental assessment.

Prior to this appointment, Mr. Heileman was on secondment from UNEP to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) where he held the position of the United Nations Resident Coordinator, and UNDP and UNFPA Resident Representative in the Comoros. He has previously also served as the UNDP Resident Representative a.i in Angola and before that as the United Nations Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Equatorial Guinea.

His first appointment with UNEP was with the Division of Regional Cooperation (DRC) in Mexico City from 1992 as a Programme Coordinator for the Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean and with DRC in Nairobi. Thereafter, Mr. Heileman worked at the UNEP's Division of Technology, Industry and Economics, in Paris where he held various senior programme positions with the Montreal Protocol programme and the Sustainable Consumption and Production programme.

Before joining UNEP, Mr. Heileman worked in Trinidad and Tobago as a Senior Environment Officer with the national Oil Company and with the Institute of Marine Affairs as a Senior Research Officer.

Mr. Heileman holds a Masters degree in Environmental Pollution Control and Operations Research, a Bachelor of Science in Natural Sciences and Postgraduate Diplomas in Marine Pollution Chemistry and also in Management Studies.

Patricia J. Beneke

Regional Office for North America, (RONA)

Patricia J. BenekePatricia J. Beneke was appointed Director and Regional Representative of the United Nations Environment Programme’s Regional Office for North America in May 2014.  Prior to that, she served as Senior Counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources for nearly 20 years, specializing on legislation and oversight matters relating to energy policy, water resources, and environmental issues.

In 1995, Ms. Beneke was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Water and Science, and served in that capacity until 2000. As Assistant Secretary, she played a leadership role with respect to several ecosystem restoration efforts, including those involving the Florida Everglades, the California-San Francisco Bay Delta, and the Platte River. In addition, she was responsible for programs of the Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Geological Survey.  She was heavily involved in water resource issues and in initiatives to provide quality science for natural resource decision-making.

Early in her career, Ms. Beneke was an attorney at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and she also handled environmental litigation as an attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice.  In addition, Ms. Beneke served as the Associate Solicitor for Energy and Resources at the U.S. Department of the Interior, and she has also worked in the private sector.

Ms. Beneke has taught natural resources law and policy on an adjunct basis at Harvard Law School, Columbia University Law School, the University of Virginia School of Law, the Georgetown University Law Center, and the Georgetown University McCourt School of Public Policy.  She holds a J.D. degree from Harvard Law School and a B.A. degree from Iowa State University.

Iyad Abumoghli

Regional Office for West Asia, (ROWA)

Iyad AbumoghliResponsibilities: Lead the regional team of UNEP West Asia in identifying and assessing relevant needs, priorities, trends, developments, and policies at the national, sub-regional, and regional levels, in order to incorporate them into UNEP policy and programme development. Identify and build/strengthen strategic partnerships at all levels, both with West Asia Governments, the private sector and civil society at large to mobilize support for sound environmental action. Represent the Organization at international, regional, inter-agency meetings, seminars and conferences

Expertise: Senior level expertise in sustainable development, environment, innovation and knowledge management. Strong knowledge in strategic planning, visioning and programme implementation and oversight working with local, national, regional and international organizations.

Professional Background: Twenty seven years of experience with the private sector, scientific and international organizations on sustainable development, water resources management and Environmental Impact Assessment. Before joining UNEP,

He served 14 years in UNDP in a number of positions starting as Assistant Resident Representative for programmes in Jordan, then as the Global Practice Manager of the Energy and Environment Group in New York.

He worked as a Senior Policy Adviser on Environment and as a Knowledge Management Team Leader and head of Innovation unit at the Regional Center in Cairo. Having served in a diverse development domains, Iyad adopts a holistic multi-sectoral approach to development ensuring cross-thematic integration with internal and external partners.

Education: Doctorate degree in Bio-Chemical Engineering from the University of Bath/UK, an outstanding graduate of the Virtual Development Academy - John Hopkins University, and a BA in Chemical Engineering from University of Jordan.

Language: Arabic and English