Yolanda Kakabadse was the president of the World Wildlife Fund and Ecuador’s former minister of the environment. She has been a member of the Inter-American Dialogue since 2003.
Kakabadse’s work with the environmental conservation movement began in 1979, when she was appointed Executive Director of Fundación Natura in Quito. During her tenure, Kakabadse helped Fundación Natura become one of Latin America’s most important environmental organizations. In 1993, Kakabadse created Fundacion Futuro Latinoamericano, an organization dedicated to promoting the sustainable development of Latin America through conflict prevention and management. She served as the foundation’s executive president until 2006 and remains as Chair of the Advisory Board. From 1990 until 1992, Kakabadse coordinated the participation of civil society organizations for the United Nations Conference for Environment and Development (Earth Summit) in Geneva. From 1996 to 2004, Kakabadse was president of the World Conservation Union (IUCN) and a member of the board of the World Resources Institute (WRI). In August 1998, Kakabadse was appointed Ecuador’s minister of environment, a position she held until January 2000. During 2001, Kakabadse was a visiting professor at Yale’s School of Forestry and Environment. She co-chaired the Environmental Sustainability Task Force of the UN Millennium Project from 2002 to 2005 and chaired the Scientific and Technology Advisory Panel of the Global Environment Facility (STAP / GEF) from 2005 to 2008.