Secretary General

Gino Van Begin is the Secretary General of ICLEI, the leading global network of more than 1,500 cities, towns and regions committed to building a sustainable future. 

Gino has been working for ICLEI for more than 15 years. In his roles as Regional Director for Europe (since 2002), Deputy Secretary General (since 2007) and Secretary General (since 2013), he has consistently worked towards ensuring ICLEI’s quality as a not-for-profit, responsible and forward-looking local government organization serving its members worldwide.

Over his 15 years at ICLEI, Gino has witnessed cities becoming home to over half of the world population while simultaneously facing more and more challenges. At the same time, he had a privileged view over the capacity of cities to respond to these challenges despite their limited means. Without waiting for national states to take action, they have started looking for local solutions to mitigate the effects of climate change, to increase their resilience, to become less dependent on fossil fuels and, overall, to increase their sustainability.

In his position as Secretary General of a global network of cities, towns and regions, Gino also ensures that ICLEI takes every opportunity to decisively influence global negotiation processes and increase local governments’ presence on the global stage, in order to promote the sustainability agenda at all levels.

Gino Van Begin was born in Belgium and graduated from the University of Brussels as a lawyer. Before joining ICLEI, Gino worked in Russia for seven years as an advisor and as Team Leader at the EU-funded Environmental Centers for Administration and Technology in Kaliningrad and St. Petersburg. Prior to that, he worked in Brussels for five years at the European Commission, DG Environment.

Gino can be contacted via

"Our goal is to lead in urban sustainability thinking. We generate novel proposals, search for innovative solutions, prepare new approaches, and are the first to act as new issues emerge. We help our Members to confront the realities of increased urbanization, adapt to changes in economic and demographic trends, prepare for the impacts of climate change and other urban challenges, and create livable cities. We guide our Members towards strategic policy development, sustainable planning frameworks, and comprehensive, integrated solutions."

Gino Van Begin
ICLEI Secretary General


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