The annual Dag Hammarskjöld Lecture, jointly hosted by the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation and Uppsala University, is given in memory of Dag Hammarskjöld. It recognises individuals who exhibit the values that inspired him personally and as Secretary-General: compassion, humanism, and commitment to international solidarity and cooperation.
In 2019, the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation and Uppsala University were honoured to present Christiana Figueres as the 2019 Dag Hammarskjöld Lecturer. The speaker’s biography can be found below.
2019 Dag Hammarskjöld Lecture
Christiana Figueres is a Costa Rican citizen and was the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 2010–16.
During her tenure, Ms. Figueres brought together national and sub-national governments, corporations and activists, women’s groups, scientists and spiritual communities, financial institutions and NGOs to jointly deliver the historic 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change. Under this Agreement, 195 sovereign governments decided on a collaborative path to limit future global warming to well below 2°C, and strive for 1.5°C in order to protect the most vulnerable in every nation. For this achievement Ms. Figueres has been credited with forging a new brand of collaborative diplomacy, for which she has received multiple awards.
Since then Ms. Figueres has continued to foster rapid action on climate change, She is the co-author of The Future We Choose, Surviving the Climate Crisis (Penguin Random House 2019) and co-host of the podcast Outrage and Optimism. She sits on the Board of ACCIONA and Impossible Foods.
She is a graduate of Swarthmore College and the London School of Economics, and has been awarded multiple honorary doctorate degrees from academic institutions such as Yale, University of Massachusetts, Georgetown and University of Edinburgh. After decades of living and working abroad, she has recently moved back to her beloved Costa Rica. She has two fantastic daughters, Naima and Yihana, fountains of much joy.