As part of the 2017 International Women's Day, a call for nominations was launched in February 2017 to recognize Geneva-based individuals’ commitment and contribution to the advancement and support of gender equality and women's empowerment in the field of environment. An exhibition celebrating their achievements was launched on 8 March 2017, at the International Environment House.
Barbara Ryan is Secretariat Director of the intergovernmental Group on Earth Observations (GEO). Before becoming GEO Director in July 2012, Ryan served as Director of the World Meteorological Organization Space Programme and prior to this was the Associate Director for Geography at the U.S. Geological Survey in Reston, Virginia. Barbara holds a Bachelor’s degree in Geology, a Master’s degree in Geography, and a Master’s degree in Civil Engineering. She has been awarded an honorary doctorate of science degree from the State University of New York at Cortland and was recently named an Honorary Fellow of the American Geographical Society. In January 2017, she was one of 10 global leaders to be named for a lifetime award in the Geospatial World Forum’s Hall of Fame. She is one of the few female leaders in this space and works hard to support and inspire her colleagues, including through mentoring young female professionals.
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