It is with great sadness that the United Nations University announces the death of Angela Cropper, a member of the UNU Council since 2007. Ms. Cropper, age 66, died on Monday, 12 November 2012, after a protracted illness.
Angela Cropper had a long professional record at the nexus of the environment and development in the Caribbean and at the global level. She contributed to policy analysis and formulation as well as governance for sustainable development. She had extensive volunteer service relevant to public interest issues and processes, including serving on the boards of trustees of a wide range of public policy organizations.
“The members of the United Nations University Council appreciated very much the expertise which Ms. Cropper brought to the deliberations of the Council”, said UNU Rector Konrad Osterwalder. “Her broad knowledge of environmental and sustainability issues coupled with her familiarity with the United Nations system contributed immeasurably to the Council’s work. She also was a strong advocate for improving the participation of women at all levels. She will be deeply missed by her fellow Council members and by the personnel and collaborators of the University.”
Ms. Cropper was the first President and co-founder (with her husband, John Cropper) of The Cropper Foundation, which was established in 2000 as a non-profit organization focusing on issues of sustainable development, equity, and better environmental and resource management.
After serving as an independent member of the Senate in the Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago from 2002 to 2007, Ms. Cropper was United Nations Assistant Secretary General and Deputy Director of the United Nations Environmental Programme from 2007 to 2011 (continuing afterwards as a special advisor).
From 2001 to 2005 she served as Co-chair of the Millennium Assessment Panel, which undertook a holistic scientific assessment of the state of eco-systems across the world. Previously, she was a Senior Adviser with the Bureau for Development Policy of the United Nations Development Programme, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, and Head of Governance at the World Conservation Union.
In the 1980s, she was Director of Functional Co-operation with the Guyana-based Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat, Adviser in Environment and in Education to the CARICOM Secretary-General, Caribbean Representative of the International Planned Parenthood Federation/Western Hemisphere Region, and project manager for the Eastern Caribbean in Population and Development. She began her career in the 1970s as Research Officer at the Caribbean Industrial Research Institute in Trinidad.
Ms. Cropper was the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2005 Zayed International Prize for “environmental action leading to positive change in society”. She held degrees in development economics and international law from the University of the West Indies.
She was preceded in death by her husband and their only son.