Executive Secretary of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification; four decades of career in environment and development. National of Mauritania; first served as senior civil servant; also served as a specialist, a manager and an executive leader (Director-General ad interim) with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in Switzerland and in Burkina Faso. Joined the United Nations in 2007. First with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) serving respectively as Division Director and Deputy Executive Director, before being appointed as Special Adviser of the Secretary-General of the UN for the Sahel (based in Dakar), and finally as Executive Secretary of the UNCCD (Bonn, Germany). Passionate about sustainable development issues, notably how environmental degradation affects human well-being in developed and developing countries. Sustainable production and consumption, ecosystem services and the synergies between climate change, biodiversity and land degradation.