John E. Scanlon


John E. Scanlon was appointed Secretary-General of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), one of the oldest and best known Multi-lateral Environmental Agreements, on 2nd May 2010. During his tenure, he has implemented a number of bold initiatives related to the use of new information and communication technologies to assist in efforts to conserve and sustainably use species found in the wild.

John has had a unique range of experience with environment and sustainable development policy, law, institutions and governance at the international, national, sub-national and local level.

His work experience has been gained in the private sector, in government, with the United Nations and with international organizations, as a leader, manager, professional adviser and legal practitioner, as well as through senior voluntary positions with the non government sector.

His previous international appointments include:

- Principal Advisor to the Executive Director of UNEP (Nairobi, Kenya);
- Strategic Advisor to the World Commission on Dams (Cape Town, South Africa);
- Head, IUCN Environmental Law Programme and Director, IUCN Environmental Law Centre (Bonn, Germany),
- Legal advisor on international projects in Botswana, Guyana, the Russian Federation, and Viet Nam.

His Australian appointments include:

- Chief Executive, Department of Environment, Heritage and Aboriginal Affairs (Adelaide, Australia),
- Deputy Director General, Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources (Sydney, Australia),
- Chief of Staff, Minister for Environment and Natural Resources (Adelaide, Australia) and Acting Policy Advisor, Australian Federal Minister for the Environment (Canberra, Australia),
- Partner in Charge of Environmental Law, Ward and Partners (Adelaide, Australia).

In June 2011 John was awarded the Member of the Order of Australia for his service to environmental law nationally and internationally.

John served as President of the National Environmental Law Association of Australia (SA Division) for three terms, was the founding chair of the Environmental Law Community Advisory Service (SA) in 1992 (now called the Environment Defender’s Office), and is a member of the IUCN Commission on Environmental Law (since 1995) and the World Commission on Protected Areas.