Meet our Speakers

Dionysia-Theodora Avgerinopoulou

Member & Chair, Special Permanent Committee of Environmental Protection, Hellenic Parliament

Dr. Dionysia-Theodora Avgerinopoulou is a leading future in International Environmental Law and Policy. A former Member of the Hellenic Parliament, she serves as the Vice-Chair of the Steering Committee of the Global Water Partnership Organization and the Head of Water of the Energy and Environment Committee of the International Chamber of Commerce. She is by profession a specialized attorney in Public International Law, European Law, Environmental, Climate Change and Sustainable Development Law and ADR and the Executive Director of the European Institute of Law, Science and Technology. Dr. Avgerinopoulou has also served as the Chairperson of the Circle of the Mediterranean Parliamentarians on Sustainable Development and the Vice-Chair for the Mediterranean Commission for Sustainable Development. She was nominated as the candidate for the position of the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Program at the rank of the Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations by the Hellenic Republic.

Dionysia received a first degree in Law from the Faculty of Law of the National and Kapodestrian University of Athens, Greece (top 1 in class, grade: excellent) and an LL.M. in International Legal Studies from the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C. with distinction. She also holds a Doctorate in International Environmental Law (J.S.D.) from the Columbia University School of Law. She has been the recipient of many awards and scholarships. Dionysia is the author of several articles on environmental and international issues and has presented her work on several international conferences.  International media have covered aspects of her work in many countries.

She has previously worked, among others, on environmental cases at the Legal Service of the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium, the Permanent Mission of the European Union at the United Nations in New York, U.S.A., the Center on Environmental and Land Use Law of the New York University School of Law in New York, the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy and the Yale Law School in New Haven, C.T., U.S.A. and the International and Foreign Law Institute in Athens, Greece. She is an attorney-at-law by profession. She teaches Public International Law, International Environmental Law, European Environmental Law, Law of Sustainable Development and Energy Law.

She served twice as a Member of the Hellenic Parliament, as well as the Chairperson of the Special Permanent Parliamentary Committee on Environmental Protection and its Subcommittee of the Watercourses, as well as a Member and Chair of the National Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee, and as a Member of the Committee on the Revision of the Greek Constitution and the Committee on the Parliament’s Library. She has been the Secretary of the Parliamentary Committee of Friendship between Greece and the Netherlands and Member of the Parliamentary Committees of Friendship between Greece and the U.S.A., Russia, Kenya and Israel. She has also served as the President of the Parliamentary Committee of Friendship between Greece and Botswana, and a member of the Parliamentary Committees of Friendship between Greece and the U.S.A., Russia, Israel, and Albania. She has served as the Deputy Secretary of Volunteerism and NGOs of the New Democracy Party (“Nea Democratia”), and the Deputy Head of the Environmental Policy Sector of the New Democracy Party. Dr. Avgerinopoulou was a member of the Committee regarding the Genetically Modified Organisms of the Greek Ministry for Environment, Energy and Climate Change. Most notably, she was the Chairperson of the Standing Committee for the UN Affairs of the Inter-Parliamentary Union.

In 2015, Dr. Avgerinopoulou was nominated for the position of the Executive Director of UNEP at the rank of the Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations by the Hellenic Republic. In 2013, Dr. Avgerinopoulou was nominated for the position of the Deputy Executive Secretary of UNEP by the Hellenic Republic. In 2011, Dr. Avgerinopoulou was elected as a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum for her leadership in environmental protection. In 2011, she received the “Green Star” Award by UNEP/OCHA/Green Cross International for her efforts in preparing and combating environmental emergencies. She was also selected among the “40Under40” of the EU, namely among the most promising 40 leaders of the European Union under the age of 40.  In 2010, she also received a Special Congressional Recognition for her “outstanding efforts and invaluable contributions on behalf of Hellenic Students and the environment” and the Global Citizenship Award for Leadership in Assisting Humanity by Orphans International Worldwide in 2010. In 2009, she received the international Goddess Artemis Award by the Euro-American Women’s Council for her contribution to transatlantic cooperation between the U.S. and the EU on environmental and climate change issues, as well as a Recognition by the Mayor of Athens of “her contribution in promoting the Hellenic spirit worldwide.”

She is also a Member of the Network of Women Ministers and Leaders for the Environment, the Hellenic Association for Environmental Law; the Parliamentary Network on the World Bank and IMF; the American Society of International Law (ASIL), the European Society of International Law (ESIL), the Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS), the Biopolitics International Organization, the European Women Lawyers’ Association, the Global Diplomatic Forum, the Euro-American Women’s Council, and the Women’s of Europe Award-Greek Division.

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