Achim Steiner is United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Effective as of 1 March 2009, Mr Steiner was also appointed Director-General of the United Nations Office at Nairobi (UNON). Before joining UNEP, he served as Director-General of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) from 2001 to 2006. His professional career has included assignments with governmental, non-governmental, and international organizations in various parts of the world. In Washington, where he had previously been Senior Policy Advisor of IUCN's Global Policy Unit, he spearheaded the development of new partnerships between the environmental community, the World Bank, and the United Nations system. In South-East Asia he worked as Chief Technical Advisor on a programme for sustainable management of Mekong River watersheds and community-based natural resources management. In 1998 he was appointed Secretary-General of the World Commission on Dams, based in South Africa, where he directed a worldwide programme of work to bring together the public sector, civil society, and the private sector in a global policy-making process on dams and development.