Ms Julia Marton-Lefèvre became Director General of IUCN in 2007. Previously she was Rector of the University for Peace, a UN Treaty Organization with its main campus in San José, Costa Rica. She is also Vice Chair of the World Resources Institute and a member of a number of boards and commissions, including: the Board of Directors of the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and LEAD International, and the Board of Trustees of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina.

She serves on environmental advisory bodies to the Dow Chemical Company and The Coca-Cola Company. Before her position at the University for Peace, she was Executive Director of LEAD (Leadership for Environment and Development) International, whose headquarters were in New York, then in London. Before LEAD, she was Executive Director of the International Council for Science (ICSU), based in Paris. Prior positions have included Programme Specialist in Environmental Education under a joint UNESCO-UNEP Programme; university teacher in Thailand as a Peace Corps Volunteer, and a staff member of the Fund for Education and Peace in New York.

Ms. Marton-Lefèvre has co-authored numerous books and papers. In 1999 she received the AAAS Award for International Cooperation in Science. She is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society of the United Kingdom. She studied history, ecology and environmental planning in the U.S. and in France and was born in Hungary.