Maria Ivanova


Co-Director, Center for Governance and Sustainability and Director, Global Environmental Governance Project, University of Massachusetts Boston


Maria Ivanova is an international relations and environmental policy scholar specializing in governance and sustainability. Her research and policy work focus on global environmental governance and the performance of international environmental institutions. She has worked on issues such as financing for the environment, US foreign environmental policy, and sustainability on campuses and in organizations.

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 UN system for environment. She has worked closely with national governments and UN agencies in providing an academic perspective into their political positions about international environmental governance. Ivanova served as a coordinating lead author in the Global Environmental Outlook (GEO-5), the flagship UN environmental assessment in 2012.

She has numerous publications, has produced three short documentaries on global environmental governance, is the editor of the Governance and Sustainability Issue Brief Series, and serves on the editorial board of Global Environmental Politics. She co-leads (with Robyn Hannigan, Dean of the School for the Environment) a National Science Foundation project on Coasts and Communities, which will train doctoral students as environmental problem solvers and focus on the complex interactions of natural and human systems in urban and urbanizing coastal areas across Massachusetts Bay and the Horn of Africa. Ivanova holds a PhD (with distinction) and two masters degrees, in International Relations and Environmental Management, from Yale University.