Dr. David Cooper is the Acting Executive Secretary of the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) as of 15 February 2023. Prior to his appointment, David was the Deputy Executive Secretary at the CBD Secretariat where he assisted the Executive Secretary by leading the strategic and planning activities of the Secretariat, as well as the intergovernmental processes and activities under the Convention and its Cartagena and Nagoya Protocols.
David has more than 30 years of experience in environmental and agricultural science and policy, and international negotiations, including more than 20 years with the CBD. As Secretary of the fifteenth meeting of the CBD Conference of the Parties (COP 15), David was instrumental in facilitating the complex pathway that led to the successful finalisation and adoption of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework.
Before joining the CBD Secretariat, he worked at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, for the non-governmental organisation Genetic Resources Action International (GRAIN), the United Nations Association (UK) and in the Agricultural Research Council of the United Kingdom.
David was a lead author for the third, fourth and fifth editions of the Global Biodiversity Outlook, the Convention’s flagship publication. He has also contributed to various assessments of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) and was a lead author for the Biodiversity Synthesis of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. He has edited four books on agricultural biodiversity and has written numerous papers on biodiversity science and policy, including papers in high-impact journals.