UAE national, Razan Al Mubarak has just become the first Arab woman to be elected for the post of president at global environmental agency, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), since 1978. Al Mubarak is currently the managing director of the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD) and the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund (MBZ Fund) and was elected for the position with a majority vote following a campaign that continued for two years. Her appointment also makes her the second woman to lead the IUCN in its 72-year history.
Speaking about her history-making new position, Razan Al Mubarak thanked and honored the UAE and its leaders, “I am truly honored to have been elected as the 15th President of the IUCN, especially in this critical moment when we need to elevate nature conservation to the forefront of the global sustainability agenda. I am grateful to the UAE leadership and its institutions for their support, trust, confidence, and their belief not only in me but in the importance of elevating the issue of nature conservation globally. I am truly honored to pay homage to a conservation journey commenced by our forefathers and foremothers, led by our Founder, the late Sheikh Zayed and institutionalized by so many organizations in the UAE which have continued to nurture and embrace this rich legacy of nature and its conservation.”
The UAE based pioneer is renowned for her work that shaped the MBZ fund into one of the world’s largest philanthropic organizations, supporting over 2000 projects all over the world. Mohammed bin Ahmed Al Bowardi, Minister of State for Defence Affairs, Vice-Chairman of EAD, and Deputy Chairman of the MBZ Fund also spoke highly of Al Mubarak and stated, “Thanks to her passionate, innovative, and decisive leadership, the MBZ Fund has become a global model, showing the world that small but focused interventions on the ground can make a big difference in saving species. We know that she will bring this same sense of commitment, creativity, and collaboration to IUCN as it sets the global agenda for this crucial decade for conservation.”
Razan Al Mubarak embarked on her career in 2001 with the Emirates Nature WWF, in association with the World Wildlife Fund, and has since pioneered many efforts for coral conservation in the UAE. She also became the youngest person to lead an Abu Dhabi government entity with her role as the Secretary-General of EAD in 2010 and was featured on the list of Top 100 Young Global Leaders by the World Economic Forum in 2018.