Maria Ivanova

Maria Ivanova is an international relations and environmental policy scholar. She was born and raised in Bulgaria and arrived in the United States in 1992 to attend Mount Holyoke College. She began studying international environmental policy as an undergraduate and continued in this field as a graduate student at Yale University. She pursued a joint master’s degree in International Relations and Environmental Management and then her PhD at Yale.


Maria is Associate Professor of Global Governance, Director of the Global Governance and Human Security PhD Program, and Director of the Center for Governance and Sustainability at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Her work focuses on the performance of international institutions, implementation of international environmental agreements, and sustainability. She has been studying the United Nations Environment Programme and her book, The Untold Story of the World's Leading Environmental Institution: UNEP at Fifty, was published by MIT Press in 2021. Her current work examines national performance on global environmental conventions, and she engages with countries in East Africa to inform policy.

From 2014 to 2016, Ivanova served on the Scientific Advisory Board of the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon. In 2020, she began a four-year term on the Joint Scientific Committee of the World Climate Research Programme. She is also an Andrew Carnegie Fellow and the Chair of the Board of the UN University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS). She serves on the External Advisory Board of the Environmental Solutions Initiative at MIT, on the Sustainability Advisory Council at Yale University, on the Carnegie Climate Governance Initiative (C2G2) Advisory Group, and on the Board of the Millennium Institute. In 2018, she chaired the jury for the $5 million New Shape Prize for global governance by the Global Challenges Foundation.

Areas of Expertise

Global Governance, International Organizations, Global Environmental Conventions, Climate Change, Science-Policy Interface, UN Reform, and Sustainability in Organizations and on Campuses.

Book Celebration: “The Untold Story of the World’s Leading Environmental Institution UNEP at Fifty”

UMass Boston celebrates Prof. Ivanova’s book on the UN Environment Programme

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Associate Professor, Department of Conflict Resolution, Human Security and Global Governance

Global Governance and Human Security PhD Program Director

Director of Center for Governance and Sustainability

John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies University of Massachusetts Boston
100 Morrissey Blvd., Boston, MA 02125 USA


Visiting Scholar, Center for Collective Intelligence at MIT

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

© 2020 by Maria Ivanova.

Campus on the Common - UMass Boston lectures in downtown Boston 2014