Dr Massoumeh Ebtekar served as Iran’s first female Vice President and Head of the Department of Environment from 1997 to 2005. During her tenure, she drove awareness and practical impacts through influential legislation and regulation. Domestically, the economic and industrial sectors in Iran improved environmental compliance; natural protected areas grew from 4.5% to 7.5% of the country’s area; and environmental Non Government Organisations grew from 20 to more than 650. Internationally, she attended and provided stewardship in the Kyoto negotiations, The Tehran Convention for the Caspian Sea Environment, the International Conference on Environment, and the Peace and Dialogue among Civilizations.
In 2004, she founded the Center for Peace and Environment which pursues the environmental agenda through civil society initiatives, and in 2006 she was awarded the “Champion of the Earth” by the United Nations Environmental Protection agency. From 2007 to 2013 she served as an elected member of the Tehran City Council where she established the Environment Committee.
Dr Ebtekar was again appointed as Vice President and Head of the Department of Environment in 2013.
Dr Ebtekar has a Ph.D in Immunology and has served as Faculty Member of Tarbiat Modares University since 1996. She has been active in environmental and women’s issues throughout her career, including heading the Women’s Non-Government Organisations Network in Iran up to 1997.