Monika Griefahn was born in 1954 in Mülheim-Ruhr, Germany. She graduated in sociology in 1979 and later completed her doctorate degree. In 1980, she co-founded Greenpeace Germany, of which she was first Executive Director and later Member of the International Board of Directors.
During her time at Greenpeace, Monika was first responsible for campaigns against chemical pollution and the protection of the North Sea, later for developing training programmes and establishing new offices in Europe, the former Soviet Union, and Latin America.
In 1990, Monika became Minister of Environmental Affairs in Lower Saxony, Germany. From 1998-2009, she served as a Member of the German Parliament, with her main focus on culture and media as well as on foreign affairs.
Today, Monika works as a consultant for various institutions and companies.
She has been on the Board of the Foundation since 1986, and chaired the Board from 2015 to 2018.