Kitty van der Heijden is the Director of WRI’s offices in Europe and Africa, and a member of WRIs Executive Team. She brings a distinguished diplomatic career with notable accomplishments in sustainable development and humanitarian aid to the global research organization. Kitty represents WRI’s vision and strategy in Europe, working on the international climate regime; the role of the private sector in development; global indicators on resource productivity and efficiency; and inequality. Kitty also leads WRIs work in Africa on sustainable development challenges such as water, climate change, forest, and urbanization, co-creating science-based solutions with local partners. An economist by training (Erasmus University Rotterdam), with hands-on experience in sustainable development, her career has been guided by a motivation to ensure dignified living conditions for all of human society within planetary boundaries. Prior to joining WRI, Kitty was the Ambassador for Sustainable Development and Director of the Department for Climate, Energy, Environment and Water in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, leading the Netherlands delegation to the Rio+20 summit and representing the Netherlands in the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals. In 2013, she was awarded a national Ribbon of Honour for her efforts to raise public awareness on the challenges and opportunities of a truly sustainable development pathway.