Inger Andersen is a Danish economist and environmentalist. In February 2019, she was appointed as the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme UNEP.
Family, early life and education
Inger Andersen is the daughter of Aagot la Cour Andersen and Erik Andersen. She is the granddaughter of Danish historian and archaeologist Vilhelm la Cour. Her brother was Hans la Cour, author and film maker, known in the world of sail sport and environmental documentaries.
Andersen was born in Jerup, Denmark. She graduated from Midtfyns Gymnasium secondary school in 1977. Andersen obtained a BA in 1981 from the Polytechnic of North London (now London Metropolitan University) and in 1982 gained an MA degree from the School of Oriental and African Studies at University of London, with a specialisation in development studies focusing on economics and development.
Andersen started her career in Sudan in 1982 where she worked initially as an English teacher under the UK funded English teachers programme. In 1985 she joined SudanAid, the development and relief arm of the Sudan Catholic Bishops' Conference. Her work focused on famine and drought relief, and rehabilitation.