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ICLEI welcomes new SG – Gino Van Begin

Gino Van Begin succeeds Konrad Otto-Zimmermann as ICLEI Secretary General from 1 January 2013.

Gino served as ICLEI Regional Director for Europe since 2002 and Deputy Secretary General since 2007, he brings to his position a wealth of experience in coordinating and leading international institutions and organizations across different aspects of sustainable urban development.

“Gino is an excellent choice for this role,” said Konrad, who bows out after 20 years of service. He added, “The Global Executive Committee and our team of staff can rely on his leadership and dedication. He has led the most international of our regional secretariats in terms of nationalities represented, languages spoken and working relationships with other regions for more than ten years and assisted me in global affairs as our Deputy Secretary General.”

From 2003-2006, Gino was a member of the EU Expert Group to the European Commission on the Urban Environment, and is a member of the European Commission’s Jury on the European Green Capital.

Before joining ICLEI in 2000, Gino worked as advisor and as Team Leader at the EU-funded Environmental Centres for Administration and Technology in Kaliningrad and St. Petersburg, Russia for seven years.

From 1987 to 1993, he was a legal advisor at the European Commission’s DG Environment, General Secretariat and DG External relations. He also worked at the Cabinet of the Vice-President of the Government of Flanders and Minister of Economy, Small Business and Energy.

Gino has consistently and comprehensively worked over the last 12 years towards ensuring ICLEI’s quality as a responsible, professional, non for profit, local government organization in Europe. He has been ICLEI’s Chief Negotiator on local climate actions and was instrumental in organizing various major events, such as the European Sustainable Cities and Towns Conferences which have grown to become the major sustainability rendezvous for local governments in Europe.

Gino’s vision is to extend this excellent leadership to the ICLEI World Secretariat on a global level. He says, “ICLEI with its multi-facets and various functions, as developed by our two former Secretary Generals, is set to play important roles at all levels. As the Secretary General, I will be thrilled to contribute my energy, intellectual capacities, diplomacy and perseverance to take this mission-driven organization to the next stages of ambition.”

Trained as a lawyer from the University of Brussels, Gino speaks Dutch, French, English, German and Russian.

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