By Na Jeong-ju
The Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), a Seoul-based international organization, announced Thursday that it has selected Richard Samans, managing director of the World Economic Forum (WEF), as its new chief.
“We hope the institute will establish a strong global research network and elevate its status guided by his strong leadership,” Han Seung-soo, chairman of the institute’s board, said in a statement.
Samans is tasked to initiate greater cooperation with other countries around the world to develop policies on green growth and advance related technologies. He will work with a GGGI research center to be set up in London this year.
Previously the economist had led WEF’s public-private partnership programs aimed at ensuring sustainable global growth since 2001.
From 1999 to 2001, he served as special assistant to then-U.S. President Bill Clinton for international economic policy as well as senior director of the National Security Council.
The GGGI has also chosen Montek Singh Ahluwaria, deputy chairman of India’s Planning Commission, and Noeleen Heyzer, executive secretary of the U.N. Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, as new board members.
The current board members are Chairman Han, a former South Korean prime minister; Nicholas Stern, a professor of the London School of Economic and Political Science; Stanford University professor Thomas Heller; Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Shin Kak-soo; and Kim Sang-hyup, secretary for green growth and environment to President Lee Myung-bak.
The GGGI also named Jung Tae-yong, a senior economist at Asia Development Bank, as its deputy head.
Launched last year by the government the think tank aims to lead global efforts on finding workable solutions to climate change and provide a technological roadmap for nurturing green growth.
In a recent interview with The Korea Times, Secretary Kim said the objective is to develop the institute into a leading center targeting green growth and a “permanent international asset” like a United Nations body.
So far, Denmark, the United Arab Emirates, Germany and Japan have backed the Korean initiative and offered to donate funds to the GGGI, according to Kim.