Maria Ivanova is an international relations and environmental policy scholar. Her research focuses on international environmental institutions and their performance, environmental sustainability, and the science-policy interface. She studies the implementation of global environmental conventions and the policy processes around the Sustainable Development Goals. She is Associate Professor of Global Governance at the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston where she also directs the Center for Governance and Sustainability. She is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the U.N. Secretary-General, a Board member of the U.N. University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS) and the Global Young Academy, and an Andrew Carnegie Fellow. She also serves as Ambassador for the New Shape Prize of the Global Challenges Foundation.
Her career, marked by teaching excellence and policy leadership, has bridged academia and policy. Her academic work has been recognized for bringing analytical rigor and innovative input to the international negotiations on reforming the U.N. system for environment. She works closely with national governments, UN agencies, and convention secretariats in providing an academic perspective into their international environmental governance work.
Ivanova is co-PI on a $3.1mln National Science Foundation program on Coasts and Communities, which trains doctoral students as environmental problem solvers and focuses on the complex interactions of natural and human systems in urban and urbanizing coastal areas across Massachusetts Bay and the Horn of Africa. Previously, she worked at the Environment Directorate of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris and at the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency in Stockholm.
Ivanova served as a coordinating lead author of the Global Environmental Outlook (GEO-5), a flagship U.N. environmental assessment. She is also the editor of the Governance and Sustainability Issue Brief Series and of the Global Leadership Dialogues and serves on the editorial board of the Global Environmental Politics journal. She is the recipient of the 2007 Professor of the Year Award from Member 13 at the College of William and Mary, the 2010 Mary Lyon Award from Mount Holyoke College, the 2010 Goddess Artemis Award from the Euro-American Women’s Council.
Ivanova holds a PhD (with distinction) and two master's degrees, in international relations and environmental management, from Yale University, and a bachelor’s degree from Mount Holyoke College.