Dr. Sunday Leonard assumed the role of the STAP Secretary in October 2023. In this capacity, he is responsible for coordinating the work of the STAP staff and the Panel members in support of the GEF Council. Sunday has more than 18 years of experience in environmental science and policy, focusing on bridging the science-policy gap, identifying strategic issues, opportunities, and risks, and providing policy advice to decision-makers.
Sunday previously served as STAP’s Program Officer covering climate change and chemicals and waste, supporting GEF Integrated Programs, and leading STAP’s substantive work on circular economy, plastics, and novel entities and technologies.
Before joining STAP, Sunday worked with UNEP’s Climate & Clean Air Coalition, where he managed and coordinated the work of its Scientific Advisory Panel, including its interaction with the Coalition’s partners (countries, IGOs, NGOs, CSOs, & private sector actors).
He also worked at the UNEP’s Chief Scientist Office from 2011 to 2015, where he was responsible for the day-to-day functioning of the office and coordinating the office’s strategic engagement to bridge the science-policy gap and ensure the scientific credibility of UN Environment’s work. He supported several projects in this role, including the Global Foresight Process on Emerging Environmental Issues and the UN Environment/UN DESA Foresight Process on Sustainable Development Challenges and Opportunities in Small Island Development States. In addition, he worked on developing several UNEP reports on various thematic areas, including climate change mitigation and adaptation; early warning systems, disaster risk reduction and resilience; air pollution and human health; agriculture and food security; freshwater, marine & oceans; chemicals and wastes; energy; and sustainable development goals.
Sunday received his Ph.D. in Environmental Science and Engineering from University College London, UK, a Master of Science in Environmental Engineering from the University of Nottingham, UK, and an Executive Master of Arts in Global Affairs and Management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management, Arizona State University, USA. His bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Engineering was obtained from the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria.