Sonia Peña Moreno is a Colombian and Italian national. For the last eighteen years she has been working at the Headquarters of IUCN – International Union for Conservation of Nature, in Gland, Switzerland. Until early 2021, Sonia was the Coordinator – Global Biodiversity Policy and Governance within the Global Policy Unit (GPU) where she led IUCN’s biodiversity policy work, mainly in the context of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), but also with respect to other biodiversity-related conventions and agreements as well as UN processes. Since February 2021, Sonia took on the role of Acting Head of GPU and worked closely with the Director General leading the new IUCN “Nature-based Recovery initiative”. This initiative aims at ensuring that post-COVID investments are effectively directed to nature and nature-based solutions. Since October 2021 and following an internal restructure of the IUCN Secretariat, Sonia has been appointed Director of the newly established International Policy Centre.
She holds professional degrees on Political Science and Modern Languages from the University of Los Andes in Bogota, Colombia. After having worked for two years at the Ministry of Environment of Colombia as part of the team that advised the Minister on international cooperation issues, she travelled to Switzerland to continue her postgraduate studies at the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva where she completed a Master on International Relations in 2002. In 2017 she obtained an Executive Certificate on Environmental Governance from the same Institute in Geneva. Sonia is married, has two children and lives in neighbouring France. She speaks Spanish (Mother Tongue), is fluent in English and French and understands some Italian.