Who we are

The recommendation was further discussed at a 1975 regional meeting on integrated ecological research and training needs in Southern Asian mountain systems in Kathmandu, Nepal. Subsequently, the Government of Nepal extended an invitation to establish an international centre in Kathmandu capable of providing all the countries of the Hindu Kush Himalayan region with the scientific knowledge and qualified personnel needed for the implementation of integrated development activities.

In 1979, concrete commitments were made to establish the centre during a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) regional meeting in Kathmandu under the Man and the Biosphere Programme framework. The Government of Nepal offered to host the new institution, and UNESCO, along with the Governments of Switzerland and Germany, agreed to act as the founding sponsors. Subsequently, the Government of Nepal and UNESCO signed an agreement providing the legal basis for ICIMOD as an autonomous international centre in 1981 in Paris, France.

Based on the agreement, the statutes for establishing ICIMOD were drafted and approved at the first meeting of the interim Board of Governors in Kathmandu in July 1982. Article 1 of this statute specifies ICIMOD’s Regional Member Countries (RMCs): Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan. ICIMOD was formally established and inaugurated on 5 December 1983, with its headquarters in Lalitpur, Nepal, and legitimised through an Act of Parliament in Nepal in the same year. Between 1983 to 1987, ICIMOD went through a formative stage under the stewardship of a regent, Peter Gueller of Switzerland, and governed by an interim Board of Governors. In 2012, the statutes underwent modifications to facilitate further growth and development.


Our highest governing body is our Board of Governors, which consists of one representative from each of our eight regional member countries and independent members who are nominated by the ICIMOD Support Group based on their recognized professional expertise and experience. Serving on our ICIMOD Support Group are representatives from among the organizations and institutions providing us financial contributions.

The Board of Governors

ICIMOD’s Board of Governors is the highest governing body of the centre. The first Board of Governors meeting was held in Kathmandu in 1983, chaired by Ratna S.J.B. Rana, elected as its first chairperson. The Board of Governors then included eminent personalities from both within and outside the region and was not structured in the current format until 1991. At a meeting held in Berne, Switzerland, in June 1991, the board approved the formation of a new structure consisting of 15 members – eight representing governments of the RMCs and seven independent members. This format continues to this day.

Government nodal agencies from the eight RMCs nominate their respective board members representing the RMCs at the level of ex officio members (i.e. secretaries, vice-president, vice-chairpersons, directors general, or equivalent). The term of members from RMCs is according to their tenure of service in their respective government positions.


Director General
Natural Resource Management
Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation & Livestock
Islamic Republic of Afghanistan


Mr. AKM Shamimul Haque Siddiqui
Ministry of Chittagong Hill Tracts Affairs
Bangladesh Secretariat, Dhaka
Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh



Dasho Karma Tshering
Secretary, Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources
Royal Government of Bhutan
Thimphu, P.O. Box 252, Taschichhodzong


Dr. Zhang Yaping (Chairperson, ICIMOD Board of Governors)
Vice President
Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS)
52 Sanlie Road, Xicheng District, Beijing 100864, China


Smt. Leena Nandan
Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC)
Government of India
Indira Paryavaran Bhavan, Jorbagh Road


Dr. Thaung Naing Oo
Director General
Forest Department
Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation
Nay Pyi Taw, Union of Myanmar


Dr. Min Bahadur Shrestha
National Planning Commission
Government of Nepal
Singha Durbar, Kathmandu, Nepal


Dr. Muhammad Fakhre Alam Irfan 
Ministry of National Food Security and Research
Government of Pakistan
Islamabad, Pakistan



The independent board members, who are international experts, are nominated by the ICIMOD Support Group and approved by the board based on their professional competence in the scientific and technical fields relevant to ICIMOD. Their assignment is set at three years with the provision to extend for a second term.



Dr. Teresa Christina Fogelberg (Chairperson PAC and Vice Chairperson ICIMOD Board of Governors)
Chair Sustainability and Integrity Board of Mercedes Benz International,
Former National Director Climate Change,
Former Director Research and Education, resp,
Ministries of Environment and Foreign Affairs,
Founder and Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) – the Netherlands

Dr. Renate U. Christ
Former Secretary of the WMO UNEP Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

Dr. Carolina Adler
Executive Director
Mountain Research Initiative
C/o University of Bern

Mr. Lennart Bage
Chair of the Board
Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI)
Former Co-Chair of the UN Green Climate Fund
Former Board Member and acting Director General of Sida
Former President of IFAD. Former Ambassador
Stockholm, Sweden

Ms. Anita Arjundas
Executive Director
Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment,
Royal Enclave, Srirampura, Jakkur Post, Bengaluru,

Professor Wu Ning
Director General
Chengdu Institute of Biology
Chinese Academy of Sciences
Chengdu, China

Mr. Ivar T Jørgensen
Former Policy Director
Department of Climate and Environment Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation
Norad, Oslo, Norway


The board meets annually to endorse institutional policies, strategies, and multi-year plans; review annual progress reports; and approve annual plans and budgets. They also attend special meetings, as needed, to consider crucial matters. The RMC representatives serve as the board chairperson on a yearly rotational manner in alphabetical order.




H.E. Ms. Torun Dramdal (Chairperson, ICIMOD Support Group)
Royal Norwegian Embassy
Bakhundol, Lalitpur, Nepal



The Programme Advisory Committee

The independent board members constitute the Programme Advisory Committee (PAC). The board vice chairperson is the PAC chair. PAC meets during the annual board meeting or when required. PAC is concerned with the professional and technical orientation and advances of ICIMOD’s programmes and with the strategic relevance and quality of ICIMOD’s delivery. It provides its views, findings, and advice to the board for consideration.

The Finance Committee

The Finance Committee consists of three regional board members and an independent member who serves as the chairperson. The committee’s primary responsibility is to review broad issues related to ICIMOD’s financial resources and allocations, including budget proposals and revisions. It also provides recommendations for auditor appointments and discusses audit control reports. The committee meets during the annual board meetings and presents its findings and recommendations to the board for consideration.

The Board Secretariat – ICIMOD

Under the direct supervision of the ICIMOD Directorate, ICIMOD undertakes the responsibility of coordinating the Board Secretariat. The secretariat carries out the substantive and administrative work of the board and related matters for the board, including agendas, summaries, documentation, and associated logistics for the meetings.


The ICIMOD Support Group

The ICIMOD Support Group (ISG) is the main link and forum for interaction between the centre and the sponsoring states and institutions contributing to ICIMOD. The ISG includes core funders and programme and project funders representing bilateral, multilateral, philanthropic foundations, and the private sector. The ISG provides advice for ICIMOD’s development and programme emphasis and provides feedback on the statutory reports on programmes and finance. The ISG meets annually during the board meeting, and the ISG chairperson sits on the board as an observer. The chairperson presents the ISG’s findings and recommendations to the board for consideration.