Maria Ivanova is an international relations and environmental policy scholar. Her research focuses on international environmental institutions and their performance, environmental sustainability, and the science-policy interface. She studies the implementation of global environmental conventions and the policy processes around the Sustainable Development Goals. She is Associate Professor of Global Governance at the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston where she also co-directs the Center for Governance and Sustainability. She is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the UN Secretary-General, a Board member of the UN University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS) and the Ecologic Institute in Berlin, and an Andrew Carnegie Fellow.
Her career, marked by teaching excellence and policy leadership, has bridged academia and policy. Her academic work has been recognized for bringing analytical rigor and innovative input to the international negotiations on reforming the UN system for environment. She works closely with national governments, UN agencies, and convention secretariats in providing an academic perspective into their international environmental governance work. Ivanova served as a coordinating lead author of the Global Environmental Outlook (GEO-5), the flagship UN environmental assessment. She is also the editor of the Governance and Sustainability Issue Brief Series and of the Global Leadership Dialogues and serves on the editorial board of the Global Environmental Politics journal. She co-leads (with Robyn Hannigan, dean of the School for the Environment) a $3.1 million National Science Foundation program on Coasts and Communities, which trains doctoral students as environmental problem solvers and focuses on the complex interactions of natural and human systems in urban and urbanizing coastal areas across Massachusetts Bay and the Horn of Africa. She also collaborates with the Horn of Africa Regional Environment Centre and Network on a Global Resilience project on integrated landscape management in the Horn of Africa.
Ivanova is a faculty associate in the Governance, Environment and Markets Initiative at Yale University. From 2005 to 2010, she was on the faculty at the College of William and Mary in Virginia. Previously, she worked at the Environment Directorate of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris and at the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency in Stockholm. She is the recipient of the 2007 Professor of the Year Award, the 2010 Mary Lyon Award from Mount Holyoke College, and the 2010 Goddess Artemis Award from the Euro-American Women’s Council.
Ivanova holds a PhD (with distinction) and two master's degrees, in international relations and environmental management, from Yale University, and a bachelor’s degree from Mount Holyoke College. She is a national of Bulgaria.