IIED's new director takes on the post-2015 agenda

News, 23 March 2015
The International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) today announced the appointment of Dr Andrew Norton as director, replacing outgoing director Dr Camilla Toulmin at the end of June.

Dr Andrew Norton will take on the role as IIED director from 29 June (Photo: Andrew Norton)

Dr Norton most recently held the position of director of research at the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), and will be based at IIED's London headquarters.

He brings with him more than 30 years' experience: several years' field experience in Western, Eastern and Southern Africa, South Asia and the Caribbean, as well as in roles at the World Bank and the UK Department for International Development (DFID).

He comes to IIED during a critical year for environment and development, when the impacts of decisions made by global leaders will be felt by generations to come. He will play a key role in building on the successful work Toulmin has undertaken with the institute's researchers to position IIED as one of the world's leading thinkers on environment and development.

When Toulmin took up leadership of IIED almost 12 years ago, the institute was much smaller and less visible, with just 60 people and a budget of £5m. Today, staffing levels have doubled and income stands at £20 million in 2014-15.

Dr Norton said: "The urgent challenges of bringing the world to zero net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions while empowering the world's poorest people to transform their lives will profoundly change the way we think about development. IIED's deep expertise on sustainable development and the realities of life in many of the world's poorest places put it in a unique position to shift policies and attitudes. 

"I am delighted to have the opportunity to build on the great work Camilla has done with IIED's staff and partners to position the organisation at the forefront of global debates. It will be a privilege to lead IIED at this time, when its essential message of promoting environmental and social justice is more important than ever."

Dr Norton joins IIED at a time when the organisation seeks to be ever more ambitious in its influence around the world, shaping the key issues which determine the future of us all. IIED's organisational strategy identifies four major trends and challenges, focusing work from 2014-2019 and beyond to shift policy and practice towards more equitable and sustainable development. These are:

  • Inclusive transitions to climate resilience and green economy
  • International engagement for a sustainable planet
  • Rights plus action, and
  • Fair consumption from sustainable food systems.

Toulmin said: "At IIED, we have always believed in getting our hands dirty by listening to and engaging with people to try to find solutions to difficult problems. I believe Andrew's deep understanding and engagement for the issues we work on will give the institute great momentum as it navigates the post-2015 agenda.

"IIED's strength comes from the energy and hard work of its staff both here and in partner organisations, and I am confident that this dedication will continue and inspire Andrew as he takes up the directorship."

Rebeca Grynspan, chair of IIED's board of trustees, added: "I am absolutely delighted to announce the board's decision to appoint Dr Andrew Norton as the new director of IIED. This was a unanimous decision and a very enthusiastic one. We have every confidence that he is an excellent candidate to lead IIED and someone with whom we look forward to working over the coming years."

Dr Norton will take up his role as IIED director on 29 June, 2015.

For more information and interviewees, please contact:
Katharine Mansell, IIED media and external affairs manager
Email: katharine.mansell@iied.org; Tel: +44 (0)20 3463 7464; Skype: khmansell

Additional resources:

Notes to editors

About IIED: The International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) is an independent, non-profit research institute. Set up in 1971 and based in London, IIED provides expertise and leadership in researching and achieving sustainable development.

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