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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.

Hélène Gandois works as Programme and Documentation Officer at the Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Since joining the Secretariat, she has been a passionate advocate for gender parity and a gender perspective in many elements of its work. She is a strong role model for many young women and a source of inspiration to her colleagues. Recently, at the 17th CITES Conference of the Parties, Hélène travelled with her 7-month old daughter to South Africa, where she successfully balanced her (sometimes round-the-clock) professional responsibilities with her role as a mother. Prior to her work with CITES, she worked for the United Nations Institute of Training and Research and the United Nations University. She holds a Ph.D. in International Relations from the University of Oxford. She maintains an interest in academic research with a particular focus on comparative regionalism and regionalism and security in Africa.

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