Izabella Koziell

Deputy Director General, Directorate

My role at ICIMOD

…..is to make things happen. We are all aware of the numerous challenges facing the HKH and other mountain regions. ICIMOD has been tackling these challenges for several decades but as the challenges get ever more acute, so our work becomes ever more important. As Deputy Director General here at ICIMOD, I am committed to increasing the pace at which we deliver results. We have a duty to ensure that the men, women, and children of our region enjoy improved well-being in a sustainable and healthy mountain environment and that the almost 2 billion people who rely on the rivers which emanate from our region continue to benefit from them. This is an important duty and one I take very seriously.

At the heart of what we do is knowledge, and I believe that knowledge is the crucial first step in innovation and impact. Through my role, I hope to ensure an atmosphere of open exchange of learning, knowledge, and information and leverage that for innovation and clear impact.

Short profile for introduction purposes

Izabella Koziell

Q:

How do you protect the pulse of the planet?

A:

I protect the pulse of the planet through all my work at ICIMOD but perhaps most visibly through my work raising global awareness of the HKH region. This region supports vast populations for whom we are committed to deliver new solutions and new investment. These are meant to help the pulse to be as strong as it can be and for it to be recognized for the vital function it serves. What happens here in the HKH matters to the rest of the world.

Q:

What is your favorite part of the work you do at ICIMOD?

A:

I have many favourites but will mention just two here.

The first is that I am fortunate to work with some inspiring people. They are a diverse team of true professionals.  And I am referring here not just to the people who work directly at ICIMOD, but the people within the eight governments and numerous other organisations with whom we work.

The second is that I feel strongly that my work here helps make a difference to the mountain peoples’ lives and livelihoods.

Q:

What are you passionate about?

A:

A lot. I’ve worked across the African and South Asian regions and lived in Nepal, Sri Lanka, India, Kenya and Tanzania, and through all the roles I’ve played, I’ve been able to fulfill my passion in making a difference to people’s lives.  Outside of work, I love hiking and cycling, growing vegetables (we have a large garden here in Nepal), and of course my children.

Q:

Your qualifications

A:

As I have got older this list has got longer so I will try and summarise!

I’ve worked for more than 30 years at the juncture of climate, environment, and development with CGIAR, FCDO (when it was DFID), the International Institute for Environment and Development and the Lutheran World Service. During this time, I’ve held numerous leadership positions in the UK, Africa and South Asia on policy, programs and research management.

My last position was as a Director of the Water, Land and Ecosystems Program based at the International Water Management Institute’s (IWMI) headquarters in Sri Lanka, where I led a global research for development program connecting 11 CGIAR centres, FAO and the RUAF foundation.