Senior Fellow with the UN Foundation. He served as Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) from July 1994 to July 2003. He also served as Chairman of the GEF during its Pilot Phase (1991-1994). Prior to joining the GEF he served as the Chief Environmental Adviser to the President and Director of the Environment Department at the World Bank, as Senior Vice President of the World Resources Institute (WRI), and as Director of Environmental Quality with the Tennessee Valley Authority. He has held teaching and research positions at Cairo University, Pan-American-U.A.R. Oil Company, Illinois Geological Survey, Wilkes University and the Environmental Defense Fund. He has also served as Senior Environmental Adviser to UNDP, as Special Adviser to the Secretary General of the 1992 U.N. Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), and as a member of the World Water Commission.
Dr. El-Ashry received his B.S. Degree with honors in 1959 from the University of Cairo and Ph.D. degree in Geology in 1966 from the University of Illinois. He has received numerous international awards and honors and is the author of three books and more than 200 papers and articles.
Dr. El-Ashry is a member of the UN Secretary General's High-Level Panel on System-wide Cohesion and the International Task Force on Global Public Goods. He is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is a member of the Third World and African Academies of Sciences and is listed in American Men and Women of Science and Men of Achievement. He has received a number of international honors and awards and serves on the Boards of a number of not-for-profit organizations, including Arab Forum for Environment and Development.