IIED appoints new executive director

IIED today announced the appointment of Dr Tom Mitchell as executive director, replacing outgoing director Dr Andrew Norton at the beginning of September 2022.

News, 04 April 2022
Headshot of Tom Mitchell with IIED logo in the top right corner.

Dr Tom Mitchell, IIED's new executive director (Photo: Tom Mitchell/IIED)

Dr Mitchell comes to IIED from Climate-KIC, where he has spent several years as chief strategy officer, shaping an agenda on transformative innovation.

Prior to that he led the climate and environment programme at the Overseas Development Institute, supported UN policy on disaster risk reduction, and served as a coordinating lead author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Report on Extreme Weather. Dr Mitchell has a PhD in climate and disaster risk management and has published widely on climate resilience.  

He joins IIED at a critical time for the environment and humanity amid recent warnings of the rapidly closing window of opportunity to address climate change.

Dr Mitchell said: "The need for urgent action on climate change, nature loss and inequality is abundantly clear with many of the trends still going in the wrong direction. Given this context, IIED, with its rich history of influencing policies and profound expertise on sustainable development, must challenge itself to do more and do things differently.  

"I am excited to have this opportunity to strive for social and environmental justice, and to build on the outstanding work that Andrew has done with IIED’s people and partners during some very turbulent times.” 

IIED recently celebrated 50 years of work to build a fairer, more sustainable world through evidence, action and influence in partnership with others. Dr Mitchell joins at a time when IIED’s researchers are contributing to critical change around the world by: 

  • Influencing negotiations over a new global biodiversity framework  
  • Continuing to support the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in urgent action for climate justice 
  • Advocating for debt management to fulfil sustainability goals for climate and nature 
  • Pushing for greater local climate leadership 
  • Devising initiatives to reduce inequalities 
  • Growing ambition to transform cities, and  
  • Striving  to get the technical knowledge and experience of Indigenous Peoples and local communities to the centre of global deliberations. 

Dr Tara Shine, chair of IIED's board of trustees, said: "We’re thrilled to announce the board's decision to appoint Dr Tom Mitchell as the new executive director of IIED. He brings an exciting, inclusive and ambitious vision for IIED's coming years that will ensure the institute remains globally relevant, influential and impactful."