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Kishore Rao

Director of UNESCO World Heritage Centre


Mr. Kishore Rao was appointed Director of UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre on 14 March 2011. He joined UNESCO in February 2005 as Deputy Director of the World Heritage Centre. In addition to his overall management and administrative responsibilities as Deputy Director of the World Heritage Centre of UNESCO, he was specifically responsibility for leading the Centre’s work on natural heritage and coordination of its programme.

Mr. Rao has Master’s Degrees in Forestry (from India), and in Natural Resources Policy and Planning (from Cornell University, USA) and has worked with the Government of India since 1976 on forestry, protected area, and wildlife conservation programmes in various capacities in the Ministry of Environment and Forests at the Centre, as well as in different States of the Union.

He has worked with IUCN – The International Union for Conservation of Nature, from July 1999 to January 2005 and was Head of its Ecosystems and Livelihoods Group for the Asia Region, with responsibility for the Asia Regional Protected Areas Programme, the Asia Regional Mountains Programmes, and oversight of the China programme. He was also the Vice-Chair for IUCN’s World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) for South Asia from 1994 to 1999 and a member of the IUCN’s World Heritage Panel from 2002 to 2004.

Mr. Rao has been responsible for the implementation of the 1972 World Heritage Convention from the perspective of a State Party, the Advisory Body (IUCN), and the Secretariat (UNESCO) over the past 30 years.