Gilles Kleitz, directeur exécutif Solutions de développement durable de l’AFD

Gilles Kleitz

Executive Director for Sustainable Development Solutions - Agence Française de Développement (AFD)
Takes part in committee(s) and board(s)

Professional experience

Gilles Kleitz began his career as a National Service volunteer, then as a technical cooperation officer in Zimbabwe (1989-1993). He subsequently worked at GRET (1994-1995), was a researcher at CIRAD (1996-2001) posted in Zimbabwe and Burkina Faso, and a lecturer at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) of the University of Sussex (UK).

From 2002 to 2009, he successively worked at the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (mission coordinator, agri-environment, pastoralism, wolves and bears) and at the Ministry of Ecology and Sustainable Development (coordinator of the national strategy for biodiversity, rapporteur of the Grenelle de l’Environnement multi-stakeholder consultation for the biodiversity and GMO groups, then as technical advisor to the Minister of State Jean-Louis Borloo).

From 2010 to 2013, he worked at AFD as a project manager (agriculture, forests, biodiversity) and appraised, supervised and evaluated projects in several countries (China, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Jordan, Kenya, Mauritania), followed the accounting of Official Development Assistance devoted to natural resources, was AFD’s biodiversity focal point and held the AFD/Ministry of Foreign Affairs seat at the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund. He also lectured at the Paris Institute of Political Studies for the Master’s in International Relations/Biodiversity Policies. In addition, he was a coordinator of the France-IUCN Framework Agreement and a UN expert for the Convention on Biological Diversity. He was subsequently appointed advisor to the Office of the Minister Delegate for Development (Pascal Canfin, 2013-2014). He has worked or intervened in over 40 countries on nature conservation issues.

Gilles Kleitz subsequently spent four years in French Guiana as Director of the Guiana Amazonian Park and was elected President of the College of Directorates of the ten French national parks (2016-2018). He returned to AFD in September 2018 as Director of the Agriculture, Water and Biodiversity Department (“ecological transitions”). He was appointed Executive Director for Sustainable Development Solutions (SDS) in April 2022.

Gilles Kleitz graduated as an agricultural engineer from INA-PG, a tropical agronomy engineer from CNEARC and is a senior technician in horticulture. He holds a PhD in Political Science (University of Sussex, UK) and is a member of France’s Grand Corps of Bridges, Water and Forests. Gilles Kleitz is a Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur (Knight of the Legion of Honor) and Chevalier de l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques (Knight of the Order of Academic Palms). He is a member of the Scientific Council of CIRAD, the Strategic Orientation Committee of IRD and President of the Commission on Protected Areas of the IUCN French Committee.