Lisa Emelia Svensson

Lisa Emelia Svensson, Global director for Ocean, United Nations Environment


Lisa Emelia Svensson is a Swedish and American taught environmental and economical doctor with a PhD in political economy.  She has over 18 years of international experience working in public sector on a broad range of national, regional and international sustainability issues, working closely with private sector, civil society, academia and media alike. 


Dr Svensson is a trained diplomat and been in the Swedish Foreign Service since 2002. As a national expert on sustainability to the EU, she was the lead negotiator for the sustainable development chapters in EU´s Free Trade Agreements for ASEAN, MERCOSUR, the Economic Partnership Agreements and the Partnership and the Partnership Cooperation Agreement with China. 


As Ambassador for Corporate Responsibility starting in 2010, she engaged with private sector as to enhance public-private partnerships. Dr Svensson was Sweden’s chief negotiator during the revision of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. Based on her result-oriented work engaging with private sector, Dr Svensson was designated the talent of the year in 2012 by a leading Swedish business newspaper.  


As Sweden’s Ambassador for Ocean, Seas and Freshwater she initiated and expanded the international foreign policy’s and put Sweden on the map in the ocean community. Moving to UN Environment she is currently the UN Environment’s Ambassador for Ocean, where she leads the work on global ocean issues; addressing marine pollution, coral reefs, sustainable blue economy, ocean interlinkages to climate change and ocean governance. 


She has been posted in New York, Washington D.C., Stockholm, Brussels, Nairobi, and Paris.  She was a Diplomat-in-Residence at the Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies, in U.S. where she conducted research on technology and innovation to combat climate change. 

She holds a PhD in political economy. 


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