Building peace in the minds of men and women

A directory of Women speakers on UNESCO related Issues


Dr. Mechtild

Director of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre and the Heritage Division.

Dr. Mechtild Rössler has a master in cultural geography from Freiburg University (Germany) and a Ph.D. from the Faculty for Earth Sciences, University of Hamburg (1988). She joined the Research Centre of the “Cité des Sciences et de L’Industrie” (Paris, France) in 1989 and worked in 1990/91 as a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley, USA, in the Department of Geography.

In 1991 she joined UNESCO Headquarters in Paris at the Division for Ecological Sciences and transferred in 1992 to the newly created UNESCO World Heritage Centre. She held different positions including as Programme Specialist for Natural Heritage (1993-2001), Chief of Europe and North America (2001-2010), Chief of the Policy and Statutory Meeting Section (2010-2013) and Deputy Director (2013-2014). In May 2014 she became the Deputy Director of the Heritage Division covering 4 UNESCO Conventions (1954, 1970, 1972 and 2001) and in September 2015 the Director of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre and the Heritage Division.

She has published and co-authored 13 books and more than 100 articles.

Languages spoken: 
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Area(s) of competence: 
World Heritage conservation
cultural and natural heritage as well as cultural landscapes; theoretical heritage and planning concepts; history of UNESCO and its heritage activities