Prof. Phoebe Koundouri is a world-renowned environmental economics professor and global leader in sustainable development. She is widely recognized as a pioneer in innovative, human-centric, interdisciplinary systems for the sustainable interaction between nature, society, and the economy. She is listed in the 1% of most-cited women economists in the world, and she is included within the official Stanford University list of the Top 2 % of world scientists, with 15 published books and more than 500 published peer reviewed scientific articles, book chapters, research and policy reports.
Prof. Koundouri is an elected fellow of the World Academy of Art & Science and the President of the European Association of Environmental and Natural Resource Economists (EAERE), the largest scientific association in the field, with more than 1000 member institutions, from more than 55 countries. In 2020 she received the prestigious European Research Council ERC Synergy Grant , entitled: “Smart Water Futures: Designing the Next Generation of Urban Drinking Water Systems”. Currently, this is the biggest research project in the world on urban water systems. Prof. Koundouri is also a member of the Nominating Committee for the Prize in Economics Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, The Royal Swedish Academy of Science.
Prof. Koundouri is Editor in Chief of the Journal Frontiers in Environmental Economics, co-editor of the official journal of EAERE Environmental and Resource Economics, associate editor for Nature: Climate Action journal, co-editor in Q-Open journal, as well as editorial board member in more then 30 economics and interdisciplinary journals. Over the last two decades, Professor Koundouri has given keynote and public lecturers, at high level forums all over the world, and received various prizes for academic excellence, including best paper awards, highest policy impact paper award, most impactful European Research project award.
Prof. Koundouri is one of the Commissioners of the prestigious Lancet Commission on COVID-19 for which she co-chairs the “Green Recovery” Task Force. She co-leads with Prof. Jeff Sachs (president of SDSN) the UN SDSN Senior Working Group on “Transformation Pathways for the implementation of EGD and the SDGs”, co-leads the the UN SEAs Blue Growth Initiative. She is a member of the CEPR (Center for Economic Policy Research) Network (RPN) on Climate Change. She is IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change) delegate for EAERE and She is European Climate Pact Ambassador for the European Commission. She is also member of the National Climate Change Committee of Greece, of the Ministry of Energy and the Environment, was member of the 2021 Pissarides Committee (10 year Greek Development Plan) chaired by Nobelist Prof. C. Pissarides, as well as chair or member of numerous European and International Scientific, Research and Policy Boards and Councils.
Prof. Koundouri holds MPhil and a PhD in Economics and Econometrics from the University of Cambridge. For her studies she received a full scholarship from the University of Cambridge and the Cambridge Commonwealth Trust. She then held academic positions at the University of Cambridge, University College London, University of Reading, London School of Economics. Currently she is University Professor (the university’s highest academic rank) at the School of Economics, Athens University of Economics and Business.
Prof. Koundouri is the Founder and scientific chair of the Alliance of Excellence for Research and Innovation on Aeiphoria (AE4RIA), which includes three research and innovation institutions that she founded and scientifically chairs: ReSEES Laboratory at Athens University of Economics and Business, Sustainable Development Unit (SD.U) at ATHENA Research Center, and International Centre for Research on the Environment and the Economy (ICRE8). AE4RIA also includes three innovation acceleration institutions, co-founded and/or co-chaired: EIT Climate KIC Hub Greece , Maritime ClimAccelerator and BRIGAID Connect Association. AE4RIA also supports the following associations and science-policy networks: UN SDSN, SDSN Europe, SDSN Greece, EAERE,Water Europe and NEXUS Cluster.
Prof. Koundouri is the founder and Scientific Director of the Research Laboratory on Socio-Economic and Environmental Sustainability (ReSEES) at Athens University of Economics and Business, focusing on interdisciplinary research on socio-economic and environmental systems. She is also Affiliated Professor at ATHENA Information Technology Research Center, where she founded and scientifically directs the Sustainable Development Unit, leads systemic research on the Green and Digital Transition and the EIT Climate-KIC Hub Greece of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology, focusing on accelerating technological and social innovations for the transition to a climate neutral economy. She is Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board International Centre for Research on the Environment and the Economy (ICRE8) dedicated to interdisciplinary research on sustainable development and management of the Environment, Energy, Economy, Eco-innovations and their electronic versions. Prof. Koundouri is also the co-Chair of United Nations Sustainable Development Network (UN SDSN) – Europe & Greece. The leadership of UN SDSN-Europe is constituted from existing National SDSN European networks and its mission is to serve as a science driven interface with European Commission policymaking. Prof. Koundouri is also Founder of the NEXUS Cluster.
Since 1997, she has coordinated more than 100 interdisciplinary research projects, on Sustainable Blue Growth, Water-Food-Energy Nexus, Climate Change Mitigation & Adaptation and Sustainable Finance in all five continents, focused on combinations of Sustainable Development, Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation, Behavioural Economics and Econometrics, Economics of Wellbeing and Happiness, Natural Resource-Food-Energy Nexus, Smart Water Systems, Ecosystem Services Valuation, Blue Growth, Circular Economy, Systems Innovation, Innovation Acceleration and Commercialization, and has attracted significant competitive research funding. Prof. Koundouri acts as a scientific advisor to the European Commission, World Bank, European Bank of Reconstruction and Development, OECD, UN, NATO, WHO, World Water Council and various other Multilateral Institutions, as well as numerous national and international foundations and organizations. She also advises national governments across the world. Prof. Koundouri and her large interdisciplinary AE4RIA team (more than 200 researchers) have produced research and policy results that have contributed to accelerating research and innovation for the enablement of Sustainable Development and has contributed to shaping European and National policies.
Prof. Koundouri was born and raised in Cyprus and during 1991-2006 she studied and became Professor of Economics in the UK. Since 2006 she lives in Greece (Athens) with her husband, Prof. Nikitas Pittis, and their three daughters: Chrysilia, Billie and Athena.