Vice-President, Strategy & Executive Director, IISD-Europe

Mark Halle lectures, writes and publishes frequently on issues relating to sustainable development. He has worked for IISD as its European Representative and as its Director for Trade and Investment. In this capacity, he supervises a team of some 30 professionals based in Europe and around the world.

He began his career in the field of international negotiations, serving in the diplomatic secretariat of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe. In that capacity, he was associated with the negotiation of the Barcelona Convention on the Mediterranean Environment, one of the first regional environmental conventions ever adopted.

He then spent five years with UNEP, starting in the Policy Planning Unit and ending up working on the global State of the Environment report published 10 years after UNEP’s establishment. From UNEP, he worked with WWF and IUCN in writing the World Conservation Strategy, a document which fundamentally changed the way in which conservation of nature was approached, namely by abandoning the earlier notion that conservation and development were necessarily in opposition to one another and embracing the notion that they are essential components of sustainable development.

Halle then moved to WWF International, serving for three years as conservation assistant to HRH The Prince Phillip (a past president of WWF) and helping to establish and direct the WWF program in China.

He moved to IUCN in 1984 to establish the Conservation for Development Centre, IUCN’s first move to involvement with the developing countries. For seven years, he worked in, and directed, this Centre, establishing the foundation for what is now an extensive worldwide IUCN presence. Halle then spent a further three years setting up IUCN’s fundraising system, and a final four years establishing its Global Policy and Partnerships program.

Halle was born in the United States and grew up in Switzerland.



  • Member, Advisory Board, Centre for the Study of Unconventional Security Affairs, University of California.


  • Bachelor of Arts – History (1972): Tufts University.


  • English
  • French
  • Spanish
  • Italian
Building an Effective Review Mechanism: Lessons for the HLPF
Paper: Mark Halle, Adil Najam, Robert Wolfe (March 10, 2014)
Shining a Light on Fossil Fuel Subsidies at the WTO: How NGOs can contribute to WTO notification and surveillance
Paper: Liesbeth Casier, Robin Fraser, Mark Halle, Robert Wolfe (January 8, 2014)
Keynote speech by IISD VP International Mark Halle to UNECE on April 9, 2013
This video records a keynote speech by IISD VP, International Mark Halle to the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe panel discussion on the follow-up to Rio+20 and post-2...

Locating Accountability: Conceptual and categorical challenges in the literature
Paper: Mark Halle, Robert Wolfe, Anna Drake (November 21, 2012)
State of Play on Biofuel Subsidies: Are policies ready to shift?
June 19, 2012 - RIO DE JANEIRO - The GSI report State of Play on Biofuel Subsidies: Are policies ready to shift? was launched at a special discussion on biofuel subsidies organized...

Life after Rio: A commentary by Mark Halle, IISD
Commentary: Mark Halle (June 25, 2012)
Phasing out fossil fuel subsidies
Commentary: Mark Halle (May 30, 2012)
International Environmental Governance Reform: Inputs to the African preparatory process
Paper: Mark Halle, Adil Najam, Christopher Beaton (November 30, 2011)
TRI-CC Conference - Mark Halle (2011)
Halle concludes the event with a summary of the key issues and their underlying drivers, asking how we can move forward given the Doha negotiating impasse.

Towards a Green Economy: Pathways to Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication - Enabling Conditions Supporting the Transition to a Global Green Economy
Book: Peter Wooders, Mark Halle, Christopher Beaton, Nathalie Bernasconi-Osterwalder, Aaron Cosbey, Tara Laan, Kerryn Lang, Oshani Perera, David Sawyer, Yasser Sherif (Environics Consulting Firm) (April 5, 2011)
Beyond Rio+20: Governance for a Green Economy
Book: Adil Najam (Editor), Henrik Selin, Mark Halle (March 4, 2011)
A New Approach to Transparency and Accountability at the WTO
Paper: Mark Halle, Robert Wolfe (January 27, 2011)
Crossing the Bridge to a Carbon-neutral Society
Commentary: Mark Halle (December 15, 2010)
Elements of a Sustainable Trade Strategy for China
Book: Mark Halle, Long Guoqiang (November 10, 2010)
Phase out fossil-fuel subsidies
Commentary: Mark Halle (October 28, 2010)
Pardee House Seminar: Accountability in Global Governance
On Thursday, September 9, 2010, The Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future launched its Fall 2010 calendar of activities with a lunch seminar on "...

Mark Halle reflects on whether the term "sustainable development" still has currency
Mark Halle reflects on whether the term "sustainable development," in use for the past 23 years, still has currency, why sustainability has not been adequately advanced a...

Mark Halle talks about why sustainable development hasn't worked and what to do about it
The notion of sustainable development was launched two decades ago, and quickly attracted a broad following worldwide. It appeared to offer a means to organize economic development...

Global Environmental Governance: The Challenge of Accountability
Commentary: Adil Najam, Mark Halle (May 4, 2010)
Letter from the Green Economy Coalition to G-20 Ministers of Finance
Paper: Ola Engelmark, Mark Halle, Andreas R. Kraemer, James P. Leape, Joost Martens, Julia Marton-Lefèvre, Alastair McIntosh, Camilla Toulmin, Jan-Olaf Willums (November 25, 2009)
Mark Halle sees investment as critical to addressing sustainable development.
Mark Halle, Director of IISD's Trade & Investment program, says massive international investment is critical to addressing issues related to climate change and sustainable ...

Mark Halle talks about the need for greater government accountability on environmental issues.
Mark Halle, Director of IISD's Trade & Investment program, talks about the need for greater government accountability on environmental issues. He says there is a need for e...

Mark Halle talks about the intersection between international trade and climate change
Mark Halle, Director of IISD's Trade & Investment program, talks about the intersection between international trade and climate change.

Process Matters: Sustainable Development and Domestic Trade Transparency
Book: Mark Halle, Robert Wolfe (August 20, 2007)
Envisioning a Sustainable Development Agenda for Trade and Environment
Book: Adil Najam, Mark Halle, Ricardo Meléndez-Ortiz (July 13, 2007)
Trade and Environment: A Resource Book
Book: Adil Najam, Mark Halle, Ricardo Meléndez-Ortiz, Sabrina Shaw, Malena Sell, Heike Baumüller, Nathalie Bernasconi-Osterwalder, Luke Eric Peterson, Konrad von Moltke, Aaron Cosbey, (May 31, 2007)
Environment and Globalization: Five Propositions
Paper: Adil Najam, David Runnalls, Mark Halle (January 24, 2007)
Trade, Aid and Security: An agenda for peace and development
Book: Oli Brown, Mark Halle, Sonia Peña Moreno, Sebastian Winkler (December 15, 2006)
GTI Paper Series
Paper: Mark Halle (October 5, 2006)
Where Are We in the Doha Round
Paper: Mark Halle (September 8, 2005)
Trade, Aid and Security: Elements of a Positive Paradigm
Paper: Sebastian Winkler, Jason Switzer, Mark Halle (August 26, 2002)
Conserving the Peace: Resources, Livelihoods and Security
Book: Mark Halle, Richard Matthew, Jason Switzer (August 26, 2002)
Seattle and Sustainable Development
Paper: Mark Halle (January 15, 2002)