OECD Science and Technology Policy Ministerial


Lidia Arthur Brito


Assistant Director General for Natural Sciences


Lidia Arthur Brito was appointed UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences on November 2, 2023. She had been serving as Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences ad interim since June 2023, contributing to the development of innovative responses to contemporary environmental challenges. As a forest engineer with both a Master's and Doctorate in Forest and Wood Science from Colorado State University, USA, she was born in Mozambique and has been a part of the Eduardo Mondlane University staff since her graduation in Forest Engineering in 1981. Her career in Mozambique includes significant roles such as Head of the Forestry Department at the Faculty of Agronomy (1997-1998), Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs at Eduardo Mondlane University (1998-2000), Minister for Higher Education, Science and Technology (2000-2005), and Advisor for Strategic Planning and External Relations to the Mayor of Maputo City (2005-2008). In November 2009, Brito joined UNESCO as Director for Science Policy and Sustainable Development in the Natural Sciences Sector, based in Paris. By 2014, she was appointed UNESCO Regional Director for Sciences in Latin America and the Caribbean region, operating from the UNESCO Montevideo Office. In 2022, she took on the role of Director of the UNESCO Multisectoral Regional Office for Southern Africa in Harare, Zimbabwe, also serving as UNESCO Representative for Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Her expertise spans forestry, sustainable management of natural resources, higher education, science, and technology policies and programs within the framework of public policies for sustainable development. Brito has led various commissions and task teams in Higher Education and Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) for Sustainable Development. She co-chaired the Scientific Organizing Committee for the Planet under Pressure Conference in London, a key event leading up to Rio+20, and has been a member of several international boards, including the African Forestry Forum Governing Board, the Centre for Higher Education Trust (CHET) Board, the Stockholm Environment Institute Governing Board, and the Bioversity Governing Board, among others. From 2018 to 2021, she chaired the regional organizing committee of the Open Science Forum for Latin America and the Caribbean (CILAC), a vital regional platform for debates and exchanges aimed at promoting sustainable policies through science, technology, and innovation.