New CAFF Executive Secretary: welcome to Dr. Fiona S. Danks!
“I’m tremendously excited to take on this role for CAFF and to engage with colleagues familiar and new. I look forward to working with the CAFF Board and Secretariat, the Arctic Council Working Groups and Secretariat, and all Member States and Permanent Participants, observers, and others across the circumpolar Arctic. There has never been a more important time to collaboratively find solutions to critical Arctic biodiversity challenges.” - Fiona S. Danks
Dr. Fiona S. Danks will join the CAFF International Secretariat in Akureyri, Iceland in February 2024. She joins CAFF from her position as Head of Science at United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) in Cambridge, UK. In her nearly ten years at UNEP-WCMC she has focused on global conservation research at the science-policy interface, engaging with scientists, intergovernmental agencies, policy makers, governments, and on-the-ground stakeholders. Her role has demanded leadership and management of diverse projects, 20-50 staff and associated budgets, and international, collaborative development and fundraising. As part of the Senior Management Team at UNEP-WCMC, she has played a key role in strategy development, staff support, and working across innovation and impact areas. Fiona also holds a Bye-Fellowship in Geography at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge with various academic duties including teaching biodiversity and the cryosphere.
Previously, Fiona was Leader of the Norwegian Polar Institute’s Sverdrup Station in Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard. She has a Masters in Conservation Leadership from Cambridge University as well as a Masters in Biology from the University of Alaska Fairbanks where she developed predictive habitat models. Her PhD at the Scott Polar Research Institute at Cambridge focussed on current and future climate change impacts on reindeer and reindeer herders in the Barents region. She has a Bachelors degree in Geography and Environmental & Evolutionary Biology from Dartmouth College.
Fiona has lived, studied, and worked in much of the circumpolar Arctic, including in remote regions, Indigenous communities and research-based locations.
Until Fiona begins, please continue to reach out to Courtney Price, Acting Executive Secretary, for all CAFF Secretariat matters.