Prof. Phoebe Koundouri
is a world-renowned environmental economics professor and global leader in sustainable development. She is widely recognized as a pioneer in innovative, human-centric, interdisciplinary systems for the sustainable interaction between nature, society, and the economy. Prof. Koundouri is listed in the most-cited women economists in the world, with 15 published books and more than 465 published peer reviewed scientific articles, book chapters and reports.
Prof. Koundouri is University Professor (the university’s highest academic rank) at the School of Economics, Athens University of Economics and Business, an elected fellow of the World Academy of Art & Science and the President-elect of the European Association of Environmental and Natural Resource Economists for the period 2019-2025 (EAERE) with more than 1200 scientific member institutions, from more than 75 different countries).
Prof. Koundouri is the Founder and Scientific Director of the Research Laboratory on Socio-Economic and Environmental Sustainability (ReSEES) at Athens University of Economics and Business, focusing on interdisciplinary research on socio-economic and environmental systems. She is also Affiliated Professor at the ATHENA Research and Innovation Center, where she founded and scientifically directs the Sustainable Development Unit and the EIT Climate-KIC Hub Greece of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology , the latter focusing on accelerating technological and social innovations for use in the transition to a climate neutral economy.
Prof. Koundouri is also the co-Chair of United Nations Sustainable Development Network (UN SDSN) –Europe. The leadership of UN SDSN-Europe is constituted from existing National SDSN European networks and its mission is to serve as a science driven interface with European Commission policymaking. Prof. Koundouri is also the Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Centre for Research on the Environment and the Economy (ICRE8) and Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of the European Forest Institute.
Prof. Koundouri is one of the Commissioners of the prestigious Lancet Commission on COVID-19 for which she co-chairs the “Jobs-based Green Recovery” Task Force. She leads the UN SDSN Senior Working Group on “Transformation Pathways for the implementation of EGD and the SDGs”, co-leads the UN SDSN Sustainable Shipping and Ports and Shipping Initiative, and the UN SDSN 4-seas (Mediterranean, Black, Caspian and Aral Seas) Blue Growth Initiative. She is a member of the CEPR (Center for Economic Policy Research) Network (RPN) on Climate Change, member of the Priministerial Committee for the Recovery and 10-year Development Plan of Greece, the National Climate Change Committee of the Greece, as well as chair or member of numerous European and International Scientific, Research and Policy Boards and Committees.
Prof. Koundouri acts as a scientific advisor to the European Commission, World Bank, European Bank of Reconstruction and Development, OECD, UN, NATO, WHO, World Water Council and various other Multilateral Institutions, as well as numerous national and international foundations and organizations. She also advises national governments across the world. Prof. Koundouri is editorial board member of more than 20 prestigious scientific journals.
Since 1997, she has coordinated more than 100 interdisciplinary research projects, in all five continents, focused on combinations of Sustainable Development, Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation, Behavioural Economics and Econometrics, Economics of Wellbeing and Happiness, Natural Resource-Food-Energy Nexus, Smart Water Systems, Ecosystem Services Valuation, Blue Growth, Circular Economy, Systems Innovation, Innovation Acceleration and Commercialization, and has attracted significant competitive research funding. Prof. Koundouri and her large interdisciplinary team (more than 200 researchers) have produced research and policy results that have contributed to accelerating research and innovation for the enablement of Sustainable Development and has contributed to shaping European and National policies.
Over the last two decades, Professor Koundouri has given keynote and public lecturers, at high level forums all over the world, and received various prizes for academic excellence, including best paper awards, highest policy impact paper award, European Research project award, etc. as well as the prestigious European Research Council (ERC) Synergy Grant (2020-2027), which focuses on design of the next generation of urban water systems, via the combination of water science, systems and control theory, economics, decision-science and machine learning. This is the biggest research project in the world at the moment working on urban water systems.
Prof. Koundouri was born and raised in Cyprus. During the period 1991-2006, she studied and held academic positions in the UK. She holds a PhD and MPhil in Economics and Econometrics from the University of Cambridge. For her studies she received a full scholarship from the University of Cambridge and the Cambridge Commonwealth Trust. She then held academic positions at the University of Cambridge, University College London, University of Reading, London School of Economics. Since 2006 she lives in Greece (Athens) with her husband, Prof. Nikitas Pittis, and their three daughters: Chrysilia, Billie and Athena.