Alexander Shestakov has a MSc and PhD in physical geography, landscape sciences and environmental management, and a MA in Land and Environmental Law from Moscow State University. He has various experience working in the field of environment and policy for academia, with government, the private sector and environmental NGOs. Shestakov has done research on global environmental problems and environmental management at the Institute of Geography, Russian Academy of Sciences, and worked with international consultancy companies on EIA and environmental audits.
He was engaged as an expert with the Committee on Ecology at the Russian Parliament as a member of the Highest Ecological Council to focus on drafting new federal environmental laws. He has represented Russia in the Convention on Biological Diversity, including as a Bureau Member for the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) and has been working with other international environmental conventions. Between 2006 and 2010, Alexander worked for BP Russia as head of the Health, Safety and Environment department. He worked for WWF-Russia as an Environmental Law Officer and then as Conservation Director from 1999 to 2006. Alexander also lead the TRAFFIC office in Russia.
From 2010 to 2017, Alexander has lead the WWF Arctic Programme and has been the WWF representative to the Arctic Council. Dr. Shestakov has over 80 publications on various aspects of environmental issues.
Since March 2018, Dr. Shestakov, has been the Director of the Science, Society and Sustainable Futures (SSSF) Division in the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD) in Montréal, Canada.