Gino Van Begin is ICLEI's distinguished Secretary General.
Gino has been working for ICLEI for more than 15 years. In his roles as Regional Director for Europe (since 2002), Deputy Secretary General (since 2007) and Secretary General (since 2013), he has consistently worked towards ensuring ICLEI’s quality as a not-for-profit, responsible and forward-looking local government organization serving its 1,000 members at worldwide.
He says: "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."
In addition, Gino ensures that ICLEI takes every opportunity to decisively influence global negotiation processes and increase cities’ presence on the global stage in order to promote the sustainability agenda at all levels.
Before joining ICLEI, Gino worked in Russia for seven years as an advisor and as Team Leader at the EU-funded Environmental Centres for Administration and Technology in Kaliningrad and St. Petersburg. Prior to that, he worked in Brussels for five years at the European Commission, DG Environment.
Trained as a lawyer at the University of Brussels, Gino speaks Dutch, French, English, German and Russian.
“Sustainability: understand it, localize it, customize it and humanize it. Our core business is helping you to understand global
sustainability challenges, localizing their impacts and customizing solutions, so that citizens feel that they too need to be part of the effort. Join the organization and our work!"
Gino Van Begin
ICLEI Secretary General