International Institute for Environment and Development appoints an Irish as new chair

Posted on 5 Dec 2019

The International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) is delighted to announce the appointment of Dr. Tara Shine from the Republic of Ireland as its new chair.

Dr. Shine will become the chair of IIED’s board of trustees on 14 September 2020, succeeding Rebeca Grynspan, former vice president of Costa Rica, when her term as current chair ends.  

Tara Shine is a specialist on climate change and the environment and development, with 20 years’ experience advising leaders, governments, multilateral agencies and civil society. She is an experienced policy adviser on environmental and development issues, including for Irish Aid, the Irish Government’s programme for overseas development; the Swedish Development Agency (Sida); the OECD; The Elders and the Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice.

Currently Director and co-founder of the award-winning social enterprise Change by Degrees, she works to educate and engage individuals, businesses and communities to live and work more sustainably.

She has been a member of IIED’s Board since 2014.

Her appointment comes at a time when IIED’s work is more urgent than ever. Current environmental and development policies are not viable while inequality prevails. Effective research and action are crucial as the pace of climate change becomes increasingly urgent, the scale of biodiversity loss escalates and risks from rapidly growing cities and unsustainable markets are on the rise.

Dr Tara Shine says: “I am honoured to be the next chair of IIED at a time when we urgently need to engage people in all walks of life ― from governments to the grassroots ― to be part of the transition to zero carbon, more resilient societies.  IIED’s action research and partnerships with organisations on the ground provide evidence and a clarion call for new models of leadership. I look forward to working with the Trustees and the amazing staff in IIED to help shape a better, more collaborative future and make change happen.”

Andrew Norton, Director of the International Institute for Environment and Development, says:We are thrilled to appoint Tara Shine as the new chair of IIED, from a strong and diverse shortlist. She will bring her deep personal commitment to climate justice, her great abilities as an analyst and communicator and her experience of many roles from scientist to social entrepreneur and activist.  We are delighted to have found a candidate with Tara’s exceptional experience and commitment to take forward the great work of our current chair Rebeca Grynspan.  We look forward to working with her to ensure that IIED makes the strongest contribution to addressing the great global challenges facing us, from the climate crisis to accelerating global biodiversity loss and rising inequality.

About IIED

International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) is a policy and action research organisation. It promotes sustainable development to improve livelihoods and protect the environments on which these livelihoods are built. IIED specialises in linking local priorities to global challenges. Based in London, UK it works in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and the Pacific, with some of the world's most vulnerable people to strengthen their voice in the decision-making arenas that affect them – from village councils to international conventions. See