Janez Potočnik, PhD
Partner and Chairman, UNEP International Resource Panel
“…as an economist, I believe that in fact the only sensible way forward is for the economy and the environment to go hand in hand.”
Dr Janez Potočnik is partner and chairman of the UNEP International Resource Panel. He was previously Commissioner, European Commission. Dr. Potočnik graduated from the Faculty of Economics at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia (Ph.D. degree 1993). He began a successful career as a researcher at the Institute of Economic Research, and later became Director of the Institute of Macroeconomic Analysis and Development (1994). He was appointed Head of Negotiating Team for Accession of Slovenia to the EU (1998). He was also Director of Government Office for European Affairs (2000), Minister Councillor at the Office of the Prime Minister (2001), and Minister responsible for European Affairs (2002). In 2004 he joined the European Commission, first as “shadow” Commissioner for Enlargement and then as Commissioner responsible for Science and Research. In 2010 Dr Potočnik became Commissioner for Environment. In November 2014, he was appointed for a three-year term as a member and Co-Chair of International Resource Panel hosted by United Nations Environment Programme. In the same month he was also appointed as a Chairman of The Forum for the Future of Agriculture and RISE Foundation, and as a Member of the European Policy Centre’s Advisory Council.