Mark Halle was born in the United States but grew up in Switzerland. He took a degree in history and French from Tufts University (Massachusetts, USA) and a postgraduate degree in history from the University of Cambridge (UK).
His career began in the field of international negotiations, serving in the diplomatic secretariat of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe. He then spent five years with the United Nations Environment Programme, starting in the Policy Planning Unit and ending up working on the global State of the Environment report published ten years after UNEP’s establishment. From UNEP, he moved to WWF-International, serving for three years as conservation assistant to HRH The Prince Phillip, President of WWF, and both establishing and directing the WWF programme in China.
He moved to IUCN in 1984 to establish the Conservation for Development Centre, IUCN’s first move to involvement with the developing countries. For seven years, he worked in, and directed, this Centre, establishing the foundation for what is now an extensive worldwide IUCN presence. He then spent a further three years setting up IUCN’s fundraising system, and a final four years establishing its Global Policy and Partnerships programme.
After his departure from IUCN in 1998 and until his retirement in 2016, he worked for the International Institute for Sustainable Development, both as Vice President, International and as Executive Director of IISD-Europe. In this capacity he supervises a team of over forty professionals. He is now a Senior Fellow of IISD.
Mark lectures, writes and publishes frequently on issues relating to sustainable development. He is founder and former Chairman of the Board of the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development and a Senior Adviser to the UNEP Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System.