Dr. Janez Potočnik

Janez Potočnik, Co-chair, UNEP International Resource Panel, France has played a large role in policymaking on natural resources through his current role in the UNEP International Resource Panel, and in his prior role as the Commissioner for Environment for the European Commission.

Janez Potočnik graduated from the Faculty of Economics at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia for his Ph.D. degree in 1993. After being a researcher at the Institute of Economic Research, he became the director of the Institute of Macroeconomic Analysis and Development in 1994. He was appointed Head of Negotiating Team for Accession of Slovenia to the EU in 1998. He was the Director of Government Office for European Affairs in 2000, Minister Councillor at the Office of the Prime Minister in 2001, and the designated Minister responsible for European Affairs in 2002.

In 2004 he joined the European Commission, first as Commissioner for Science and Research and then as the Commissioner for the Environment. During his term as the Commissioner for the Environment, he launched and pioneered on the implementation of Circular Economy and sustainability policies. His term ended on November the 1st 2014. Currently he is the Co-Chair of UNEP International Resource Panel, an active promoter of the transition to circular economy, and the adoption of sustainability policies.