StEP Management Board

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The Management Board acts as the operations, coordination and communication (internal & external) hub of the StEP Initiative. The Management Board is led by an Executive Officer and supported by respective staff. The chair of the StEP Supervisory Committee is also a member of the Management Board.


Meet the StEP Management Board


Elisabeth is an Environmental Scientist with a keen interest in e-waste management and in-depth knowledge of the subject on an international level. She has previously worked for the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and is currently heading the Dismantling- and Recycling-Centre (DRZ) in Vienna, a socio-economic facility for the treatment of e-waste.

Through her positions at both UNIDO and DRZ, Elisabeth has gained practical know-how in e-waste management, hands-on experience in developing and implementing projects on a global scale, as well as effective communication and networking skills.


Dr. Ruediger Kuehr is Director of the Sustainable Cycles Programme (SCYCLE) hosted by the UNU Vice-Rectorate in Europe (ViE).  From 2007-2017, he functioned as Executive Secretary of the Solving the E-Waste Problem (Step) Initiative, which aims to initiate and develop fair and environmentally safe solutions to the e-waste problem through analysis, planning, and pilot projects in joint cooperation with industries, governments, academia, and NGOs. He continues to actively support StEP as its co-founder and permanent member of the Supervisory Committee.

Since 1999 Dr. Kuehr served in various positions within the United Nations University such as Head of UNU-IAS SCYCLE, Head of UNU-ISP-SCYCLE, and Head of the UNU Zero Emissions Forum (ZEF) – European Focal Point. From 2000 to 2002 he was also Secretary to the Alliance for Global Eco-Structuring (AGES) under UNEP’s Cleaner Production Network. Dr. Kuehr has co-authored and co-edited several books, studies and proceedings, including “Global E-waste Monitor 2016” (2017), “Regional E-waste Monitor: East and Southeast Asia”(2016), “Japan’s transnational environmental policy” (2011), “E-waste: From Recycling to Resources” (2010), “Computers and the Environment: Understanding and Managing their Impacts” (2004), whose research results have received acclaimed attention worldwide. He also publishes and lectures on, inter alia, environmental technology transfer, transnational environmental policies, strategic sustainable development and development cooperation.

A political and social scientist by education with a PhD (Dr. rer. pol.) from the University of Osnabrück (Germany) and a M.A. (Magister Artium) from the University of Münster, (Germany), and additional post-graduate studies in Tokyo (Japan), Dr. Kuehr served as Senior R & D Specialist with The Natural Step in Sweden and as a freelance policy-consultant to various national governments, international organizations and companies. He was a visiting fellow to the Free University of Berlin (Germany) and the Hitotsubashi University (Japan) and a Research Associate to the Japan Research Centre of the University of Osnabrück (Germany).


Madan is the Administrative Programme Coordinator at the UNU-ViE SCYCLE and StEP Initiative. In this capacity, he oversees the SCYCLE and StEP Initiative finance and administration which includes Travel and Human Resources. Prior to his appointment as the Administrative Programme Coordinator, Madan worked as Country office manager and Finance and Administrative Officer at Bioversity International a CGIAR center for several years and gained extensive finance and administrative working experience. Madan is a finance professional and earned his MBA from Visvesvaraya Technological University, Karnataka, India, and Executive education from London School of Business and Finance (LSBF) and Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIMB).


Violeta Nikolova is a Research Associate at the United Nations University’s Scycle team based at the UN Campus in Bonn, Germany.

She represents the United Nations University in several research project consortia focused on the development of sustainable production, consumption/usage, and disposal of ubiquitous goods, with a special focus on electrical and electronic equipment. Her research interests revolve around the enabling of the circular plastics value chain for high tech polymers, the impact of electronic waste on human health and security, and more generally the ICT business’ impact on human rights and the environment.

Violeta started her career in Brussels as part of Weber Shandwick’s public affairs team. Following which in 2014 she embarked on a 3 year position as European sustainability manager for Samsung Electronics Europe. Violeta’s responsibilities included leading Samsung’s EU-wide social and environmental sustainability and citizenship agenda. She was directly involved in drafting Samsung’s human rights policy, and leading compliance efforts with EU’s Conflict Minerals Regulation, EU’s Non-financial Disclosure Directive, UN’s Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, among others. Violeta also represented Samsung in front of leading sustainability business associations (GeSI, EICC) and NGOs in Europe and globally.

She holds a Bachelor degree in business administration and journalism from the American University in Bulgaria; a Master degree in European Studies and EU project management from the Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium; and a postgraduate certificate in Business Sustainability Management from the University of Cambridge’s Institute for Sustainability Leadership.