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Maria Ivanova

Maria Ivanova is a distinguished Professor of Public Policy and serves as the Director of the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs at Northeastern University. Her academic journey in the United States began at Mount Holyoke College, followed by a deep dive into international relations and environmental policy at Yale University. There, she earned a joint master’s degree in International Relations and Environmental Management and later completed her Ph.D. Before starting at Northeastern University, Ivanova directed the Center for Governance and Sustainability and the Ph.D. program in Global Governance and Human Security at the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston.

Through her academic contributions and policy roles, Maria has significantly influenced global environmental governance. Her work is particularly known for bridging theory and practice in global environmental governance. She has also authored influential works, including her most recent book "The Untold Story of the World's Leading Environmental Institution: UNEP at Fifty," published by MIT Press in 2021. Her numerous roles on international advisory boards and committees, such as her four-year term on the Joint Scientific Committee of the World Climate Research Programme, underscore her standing as a leading voice in both academic discourse and practical policy initiatives on a global scale.

Research and Book
Selected Publications

Ivanova, Maria (2021). The Untold Story of the World’s Leading Environmental Institution: UNEP at Fifty. Cambridge, MA, MIT Press.

**The book is now available for everyone to read for free.**

Esty, Daniel and Maria Ivanova, Eds. (2002). Global Environmental Governance: Options & Opportunities. New Haven, CT, Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.

Selected Journal Articles

Ivanova, Maria, and Sharachchandra Lele (2022). “Fifty Years after UN Environment Summit, Researchers Renew Call for Action.” Nature 606, no. 7912: 30–30. DOI: 10.1038/d41586-022-01511-7

Wood, Sylvia L. R., Amy Luers, Jennifer Garard, Ajay Gambhir, Kalpana Chaudhari, Maria Ivanova, and Casey Cronin (2021). “Collective Foresight and Intelligence for Sustainability.” Global Sustainability 4: e3. DOI:10.1017/sus.2021.3

Ivanova, Maria (2021). “At 50, the UN Environment Programme Must Lead Again.” Nature 590: 365. DOI: 10.1038/d41586-021-00393-5

Ivanova, Maria. (2020). “Fighting Fire with a Thermometer? Environmental Efforts of the United Nations.” Ethics & International Affairs, 34 (3), 339–349. Cambridge University Press. DOI: 10.1017/S0892679420000404

Ivanova, Maria (2020). Guest editor of special issue on “Global Environmental Policy and Governance in Sustainability” for Sustainability 12, no. 17.

Ivanova, Maria (2020). “Coloring the UN Environmental: The Catalytic Role of the UN Environment Programme.” Global Governance 26: 2, 307-324.


The Environmental Conventions Index (ECI) aims to provide a consistent, efficient, transparent, and unbiased metric that captures and simplifies intricate environmental scenarios. Its core objective is to create a meaningful connection between treaty goals and actual results. By assessing the depth of implementation of conventions, the ECI offers a panorama of a nation's advancements in instituting regulations, establishing bodies, and crafting strategies vital for reaching global environmental objectives. Moreover, it pinpoints the challenges encountered in meeting treaty commitments. Our ultimate aspiration is to democratize access to this invaluable data, ensuring all states, regardless of their resources, can benefit from comprehensive insights.

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