Episode 30 / Claire Perry O'Neill

Ecopragmatism & Policy Innovation

Naoko Ishii

Global Environment Facilitator

Season 3 / Episode 40 / April 28, 2021  

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Guest / Bio

Naoko Ishii is a professor, executive vice president, and Director of the Center for Global Commons at the University of Tokyo since August 2020. The Center for Global Commons has the mission of putting academia at the forefront of achieving sustainable development.


From 2012 to 2020, Dr. Naoko Ishii was CEO and chair of the Global Environment Facility (GEF). The GEF is a grant providing organisation with a focus on environmental initiatives. She played a key role in producing the organisation’s first long-term and mid-term strategies. During her time in office, she managed to secure more than $4 billion in funding for the GEF.  

Naoko Ishii was Deputy Vice Minister of Finance from 2010 to 2012, - after a long career in finance – both domestic and international: she spent a large part of her career at the World Bank (Country Director for Sri Lanka and the Maldives between 2006 and 2010, program coordinator for Vietnam between 1997 2001) and the International Monetary Fund. 

Naoko Ishi holds a BA in economics and a Ph.D. in international development, both from the University of Tokyo.  She is the author of a number of papers and award-winning books – she received the Suntory Prize in 1990 and Okita Memorial Prize for International Development Research in 2004. She is the recipient of the 2006 Enjoji Jiro Memorial Prize.  


Relevant Web Links 

  • Center for Global Commons Click Here  

  • Report on the pilot version of the Global Commons Stewardship Index Click Here​​​

  • Garrett Hardin "The Tragedy of the Commons" (1968) Click Here

  • Elinor Ostrom "A Polycentric Approach for Coping with Climate Change" (2009) Click Here

  • Robert Axelrod "The Evolution of Cooperation" (2006) Click Here

  • Michael Liebreich "How to Save the Planet: Be Nice, Retaliatory, Forgiving & Clear" (2012) Click Here

  • Naoko Ishii’s Ted Talk: An economic case for protecting the planet (September 2017) Click Here

  • The University of Tokyo is reminding the world to save our planet (March 2021) Click Here

  • Positive Analysis for Long-Term Economic Development, Nikkei Publishing Inc. (2003) Click Here