Welcome to the CBD Secretariat

Astrid Schomaker

Executive Secretary of the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity

In April 2024, the United Nations Secretary-General appointed Astrid Schomaker Executive Secretary of the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

Prior to her appointment as Executive Secretary of the CBD, Astrid was the Director for Green Diplomacy and Multilateralism with the European Commission in Brussels. There she promoted a global transition to resource-efficient, low emission, nature-positive circular economies. She also focussed on increasing the EU's effectiveness in addressing international environmental challenges, strengthening multilateralism and international environmental governance, and working towards the full implementation of multilateral environment agreements, among other priorities.

Astrid also worked as the Director for Global Sustainable Development at the European Commission's Directorate-General for Environment. In this role, she oversaw international and interinstitutional relations, as well as environment policy strategy, supervising the implementation of the EU's 7th Environment Action Programme.

Astrid studied English, history and law in Hamburg and Norwich and has an LLM in international legal cooperation from Brussels' Free University. After briefly working at the law schools of the Universities of Hamburg and Ann Arbor (Michigan), she joined the European Commission in 1992, working on EU - US relations.

She returned to Brussels in 1999 where she oversaw regulatory cooperation with Japan. In 2001, she became Head of Unit for Relations with the Andean Community in the Directorate-General for External Relations. Astrid moved to the Environment Department in 2004 and led work on a variety of issues within the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Environment, ranging from bilateral and multilateral relations to chemicals, oceans, and the water industry, including as Director of Strategy; Head of Unit for Global Sustainability, Trade and Multilateral Agreements; Head of Unit for Marine Environment and Water Industry; and Head of Unit for Chemicals and Nanomaterials, among other roles.

Astrid is fluent in English, French and German.