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Claire Simon takes up post as CIPRA Executive Director

Claire Simon - Director of CIPRA since April 2013 © Caroline Begle

CIPRA International is getting a new Executive Director. Claire Simon, 35, holds dual French-German nationality and is the first woman in 60 years to lead the organisation. Nor is that the only first.
Claire Simon took over as Executive Director of CIPRA International at the beginning of April 2013. She follows Bruno Stephan Walder, 59, who left the International Commission for the Protection of the Alps by mutual consent owing to disagreements over operational matters. Claire Simon worked for many years as Deputy Executive Director of CIPRA International and was previously (2004-2006) Executive Director of CIPRA France.
As a long-standing member of CIPRA she has a thorough knowledge of the Alps as well as of the organisation and its values. As Deputy Executive Director she helped restructure CIPRA International internally to give individual project managers more responsibility and room for manoeuvre, leading to the creation of a strong team. Claire Simon, a planner by profession, also substantially contributed to CIPRA's giving young people in the Alps a voice. Youth has thus become a priority for the organisation alongside its core issues of biodiversity and landscape, climate change and energy, traffic and Alpine policies.
A mother-of-two, Claire Simon is not only a strategist but also an enabler: for almost ten years now she has been advising the "Alliance in the Alps" network of municipalities. "It is the people, with all their stories, their contradictions and personal developments that I particularly like about working for CIPRA", she says.
The new Executive Director wants to see dialogue which is transparent and honest. "Even where opinions differ, if minds are open we wish to find joint solutions for people and nature to live together in the Alps in a way that will also be attractive and worthwhile for future generations".
To ensure that such solutions are successful, CIPRA will need to provide sufficient space for unconventional thinking, creativity and innovative approaches.
Further information: www.cipra.org/de/CIPRA/cipra-international (de/fr/it/sl)