Draft news release announcing MTE's departure 1042002 1247 PM
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For more information, contact: Hutton G. Archer Team Leader, External Relations Tel: (202) 458-7117 Fax: (202) 522-3240 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org NEWS RELEASE Mohamed T. El-Ashry to Step Down From GEF Leadership Washington, DC October 14, 2002 — Mohamed T. El-Ashry has announced that he will step down from leadership of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) after three terms as Chief Executive Officer and Chairman. He will leave the GEF at the conclusion of his third term in July 2003. Mr. El-Ashry has been the GEF Chairman since 1991, and was appointed the first CEO and Chairman of the GEF in 1994. Under his leadership, GEF grew from a pilot program with less than 30 members to the largest single source of funding for the global environment with 173 member countries. This past August, donor nations cast an extraordinary vote of confidence by replenishing GEF’s trust fund by nearly $3 billion— the largest amount ever. The third replenishment caps a decade of successful efforts to link global environmental benefits and sustainable development. GEF has allocated $4 billion in grants and leveraged $12 billion in additional financing for the environment; today the GEF portfolio includes more than 1,000 projects in over 140 countries. In addition, GEF has made more than 3,000 small grants, up to $50,000 each, directly to NGOs and community organizations. Leaders from many international organizations paid tribute to Mr. El-Ashry’s leadership. James D. Wolfensohn, President of the World Bank, said: ―The GEF, as we know it today, is the product of Mohamed El-Ashry’s vision, leadership, dedication, and hard work. He has made a significant contribution to the global environment and sustainable development.‖ ―The environment community will always remain indebted to Mohamed El-Ashry for his unique contribution in advancing the objectives of the GEF. Through his leadership, the partnership between the World Bank and the United Nations for the benefit of the global environment has become a reality,‖ said Klaus Toepfer, Executive Director of the U.N. Environment Programme (UNEP). ―Over the past decade, Mohamed El-Ashry has nurtured and guided the GEF into what it has become today – the world’s pre-eminent global environment fund. His inspirational leadership of the GEF has set a standard that will be hard to match," said Mark MallochBrown, Administrator of the U.N. Development Programme. The GEF forges international cooperation and finances actions that address critical threats to the global environment: biodiversity loss, climate change, degradation of international waters, ozone depletion, desertification, and persistent organic pollutants. An independent assessment of GEF’s performance found that it has ―produced significant results‖ by ―effectively using its resources for global environmental protection and sustainable development.‖ Mr. El-Ashry came to the GEF from the World Bank, where he was the Chief Environmental Advisor to the President and Director of the Environment Department. Prior to joining the World Bank, he served as Senior Vice President of the World Resources Institute (WRI) and as Director of Environmental Quality with the Tennessee Valley Authority. Mr. El-Ashry received his B.S. degree with honors in 1959 from Cairo University and PhD degree in geology in 1966 from the University of Illinois. He has received numerous international awards and honors and is the author of three books and more than 200 papers.