Mechtild Rössler is the Director of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre.
An expert in both cultural and natural heritage and the history of planning, Ms Rössler was appointed in 2013 to the post of Deputy Director of the World Heritage Centre. Since 2014, as Deputy Director of the Division for Heritage, her tasks included overseeing teams of the Cultural Heritage Treaty Section in charge of 3 international Conventions: The 1954 Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, the 1970 Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property and the 2001 Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage as well as Museums. She also managed the team of the History, Memory and Dialogue Section (HMD) dealing with the Slave Route, Silk Road Platform and the UNESCO Sharjah Prize for Arab Culture. In 2015 she became the Director of the Division for Heritage and the Director of the World Heritage Centre.
Dr. Mechtild Rössler has a degree in cultural geography from Freiburg University (Germany) and a Ph.D. from the Faculty for Earth Sciences, University of Hamburg (Germany) in 1988. She joined the CNRS at the Research Centre of the “Cité des Sciences et de L’Industrie” (Paris, France) in 1989 and worked in 1990/91 as a visiting scholar on geography, area research and spatial planning at the University of California at Berkeley, USA, in the Department of Geography. In 1991 she started working at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris in the Division for Ecological Sciences and transferred in 1992 to the newly created UNESCO World Heritage Centre. She held different positions including as Programme Specialist for Natural Heritage and cultural landscapes (1993-2001), Chief of Europe and North America (2001-2010), Chief of the Policy and Statutory Meeting Section (2010-2013) and Deputy Director. She has published and co-authored 13 books and more than 100 articles, including “Many voices, one vision: the early history of the World Heritage Convention” (together with Christina Cameron, 2013).
- Climate Change and World Heritage
- Global Strategy: Support to agro-pastoral cultural landscapes
- Socio-economic impacts of World Heritage Listing
- Technical assistance for the safeguarding, management and development of the Historic Centre of Riga, Latvia
- The Mid-Atlantic Ridge
- World Heritage and Biodiversity
- World Heritage and Extractive Industries
- World Heritage Centre’s Natural Heritage Strategy
- UNESCO World Heritage Centre participates in Annual Meeting of the International Scientific Committee on Cultural Landscapes 08-Dec-2017
- Report published following Workshop on World Heritage and Human Rights 02-Jun-2014
- Five World Heritage sites in Azerbaijan and Belgium granted “enhanced protection” in the event of armed conflict 20-Dec-2013
- The Colmar Forum: enhanced collaboration between Council of Europe, EU, UNESCO, UNWTO and OECD 24-Nov-2012
- “World Heritage and indigenous peoples” - on the occasion of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People, 9 August 2012 06-Aug-2012
- 18th ICOMOS General Assembly and Scientific Symposium 09-Nov-2014-14-Nov-2014
- International World Heritage Expert Meeting on Visual Integrity 06-Mar-2013-09-Mar-2013
- Orientation Session for Members of the World Heritage Committee 31-Jan-2013-31-Jan-2013
- International Meeting on the Cultural Landscapes of Agropastoralism 01-Oct-2012-05-Oct-2012
- International Expert Workshop on the World Heritage Convention and Indigenous Peoples 20-Sep-2012-21-Sep-2012