ICLEI elects new global leadership

ICLEI World Congress 2021 – 2022, the triennial gathering of local and regional governments advancing sustainable urban development worldwide, has been virtually launched with more than 1500 participants from over 115 countries. ICLEI’s new global leadership was also elected as part of the proceedings.

“We form a strong, dedicated, and balanced ICLEI Presidium that represents the diversity and strength of our network,” said Des Moines, USA, Mayor Frank Cownie, in his first address as ICLEI President to the participants of the ICLEI World Congress 2021 – 2022 on 13 April 2021.

Frank Cownie, Mayor, City of Des Moines, USA was elected as ICLEI President. Katrin Stjernfeldt Jammeh, Mayor City of Malmö, Sweden, was elected ICLEI First Vice-President. The Membership elected two Vice Presidents: Minna Arve, Mayor, City of Turku, Finland, and Atishi Marlena, Member of Legislative Assembly, National Capital Territory of Delhi, India.

“We are so thrilled to welcome our newly elected President and Vice-Presidents to the leadership of ICLEI. This slate of leaders – together with the rest of ICLEI’s governance representatives – speak for over 65 million city residents around the world. Our new leaders bring a depth of knowledge and global diversity that will enrich and guide our work to strengthen urban sustainability around the world for their three-year term,” said ICLEI Secretary General Gino Van Begin.


ICLEI President Frank Cownie, Mayor, City of Des Moines, USA


Frank Cownie, Mayor, City of Des Moines, USA was elected ICLEI President. “With the new administration in the United States support of the Paris Climate Agreement, this is a critical time for ICLEI’s work. It is more important now than ever to be pushing our world leaders towards sustainability and giving local governments a platform to contribute to that work. As president of ICLEI, I will continue to use my voice and connections to stress the importance of local government involvement in discovering and implementing solutions to the global climate crisis,” said Mayor Cownie. Mayor Cownie also serves in the North American Regional Seat on the ICLEI Global Executive Committee.


ICLEI First Vice-President Katrin Stjernfeldt Jammeh, Mayor, City of Malmö, Sweden


Katrin Stjernfeldt Jammeh, Mayor, City of Malmö, Sweden, ICLEI World Congress host, was elected ICLEI First Vice-President. She said, “ICLEI gives cities and regions a strong voice in the global arena. Through my previous engagements in the organization I have seen first-hand the value in exchanging knowledge and best practices. As the First Vice-President, I look forward to promoting and working with different aspects of sustainability, locally as well as globally.” Mayor Jammeh also serves on the ICLEI Global Executive Committee as the Chair of the Sustainable Local Economy and Procurement Portfolio.


ICLEI Vice-President Minna Arve, Mayor, City of Turku, Finland


Minna Arve, Mayor, City of Turku, Finland, was elected ICLEI Vice-President. “Circular economy is critical in decarbonizing our economy and is important on the pathway to the Paris Agreement and a 1.5-degree life. It calls for new innovations from cities and businesses, and that’s what we can do together,” said Mayor Arve. “I will put all of my energy and inspiration to work for Turku and all of ICLEI to make the circular economy strong globally.” Mayor Arve is also an ICLEI Global Executive Committee Member, serving in the European Regional Seat and as the chair of the Circular Development Portfolio.


ICLEI Vice-President Atishi Marlena, Member of Legislative Assembly, National Capital Territory of Delhi, India


Atishi Marlena, Member of Legislative Assembly, National Capital Territory of Delhi, India was elected ICLEI Vice-President. She said, “Sustainable development that can take the environment and people along together is what we need to put our minds together for.” MLA Marlena is also serving on the ICLEI Global Executive Committee as the Chair of the Resilient Development and Risk Management Portfolio.

Additionally, the ICLEI Malmö Commitment and Strategic Vision 2021-2027 was adopted by ICLEI Membership at the GexCom-ICLEI Council meeting. The document lays out how the ICLEI network will advance sustainable urban development for the next six years, locally and globally, in an era where the local, regional, and national governments are continuing to respond to and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic while advancing urgent action on climate, nature, land, and health.

Accompanying the ICLEI Strategic Vision is the ICLEI Malmö Action Plan 2021 – 2024, a compendium of concrete actions that ICLEI is undertaking with the ICLEI local and regional governments to achieve sustainable development. The three-year action plan includes 141 activities, involving well over 1100 cities, towns, and regions around the world.


The full document can be found in ICLEI in the Urban Era.



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