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Secretary General

Gino Van Begin is the Secretary General of ICLEI, the leading global network of more than 1,500 cities, towns and regions committed to building a sustainable future.

Gino has worked for ICLEI for more than 15 years. In his former positions as Regional Director for Europe and Deputy Secretary General, and now as Secretary General since 2013, he has consistently worked towards ensuring ICLEI performs as a responsible, forward-looking, not-for-profit local and regional government organization serving its Members worldwide.

Throughout his 15 years at ICLEI, Gino has witnessed cities becoming home to over half of the global population, while facing an increasing number of challenges. At the same time, he worked with and witnessed local and regional governments as they respond to these challenges, despite their sometimes limited means. Without waiting for nations to take action, over the years, local and regional governments have found solutions to mitigate the effects of urbanization, climate change, inequity and ecosystem degradation, while increasing their resilience, lowering their dependent on fossil fuels and becoming more sustainable overall.

In his position as Secretary General, Gino also ensures that ICLEI takes every opportunity to decisively influence global negotiation processes and increase the presence of local and regional governments on the global stage, in order to promote the sustainability agenda at all levels.

Gino Van Begin was born in Belgium and graduated with a law degree from the University of Brussels. Before joining ICLEI, Gino worked in Russia for seven years as an advisor and as team leader at the EU-funded Environmental Centers for Administration and Technology in Kaliningrad and Saint Petersburg. Prior to that, he worked in Brussels for five years at the European Commission, DG Environment.

"Our goal is to lead in urban sustainability thinking. We generate novel proposals, search for innovative solutions, prepare new approaches, and are the first to act as new issues emerge. We help our Members to confront the realities of increased urbanization, adapt to changes in economic and demographic trends, prepare for the impacts of climate change and other urban challenges, and create livable cities. We guide our Members towards strategic policy development, sustainable planning frameworks, and comprehensive, integrated solutions."

Gino Van Begin
ICLEI Secretary General

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ICLEI World Congress 2018
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