Stakeholder Forum Appoints Irena Zubcevic as its New Director

Stakeholder Forum is delighted to announce the appointment of Irena Zubcevic as its new Director. 

She will take up office on 1 August following her retirement from the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs.

Irena will take over this role from Charles Nouhan who has been SF’s Acting Director for the last 9 months since the previous Director, Ruben Zondervan stood down for health reasons in October 2021. Charles Nouhan will continue to act as Chairman of the Board of Stakeholder Forum.

Commenting on the appointment Charles Nouhan said “Stakeholder Forum is extremely fortunate to have secured the services of Irena Zubcevic as its new Director. Irena has been a highly effective promoter of stakeholder engagement with the United Nations on sustainable development issues during her distinguished career in UNDESA, and this wealth of experience and knowledge will be an invaluable asset to Stakeholder Forum as it continues to promote similar objectives from outside the UN itself. Irena will hit the ground running, and we look forward to developing an expanded and deepened programme of work under her leadership.”

Irena Zubcevic said: “I am honored by this appointment. Stakeholders of all kinds have a crucial role to play in enriching and deepening the work of the United Nations and other international organisations on sustainable development and the protection of the environment. I have been privileged to promote this kind of engagement with stakeholders on sustainability issues whilst working at UNDESA; and I am delighted now to be able to continue this work from outside the UN as Director of Stakeholder Forum, which has done so much over the years to advance this cause, and to help develop creative partnerships between Governments, officials and non-governmental actors of all kinds on sustainable development.”

Background Note
Stakeholder Forum is a long-standing NGO in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations, dedicated to promoting the active and constructive participation of stakeholders in the work of the United Nations and other international bodies concerned with Sustainable Development.

Irena Zubcevic has worked for over 20 years in the area of sustainable development both as part of the Croatian foreign service (from 1993 to 2007) and at the United Nations Secretariat (2008-July 2022) and contributed to a number of reports and papers in the area of sustainable development. She supported the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) since its inception. She was also supporting countries preparing their Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) since their beginning in 2016. In her work, Irena was working with stakeholders of all kinds from governments to civil society, business, academia, etc., facilitating their participation at the HLPF and other intergovernmental processes.

Irena Zubcevic can be reached at


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