Elisabeth Freytag-Rigler is the head of Directorate EU-Coordination Climate and Environment in the Austrian Federal Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism.
After having completed a masters Degree from the Economic University of Vienna, Freytag-Rigler started her career working in the private sector in the field of international export. In 1988, she joined the International Department of the Austrian Ministry for Environment, Youth and Family. In 1990, she became Head of the Department for EU-Affairs. Elisabeth served as Environment Attaché in charge of accession negotiations for the Austrian Mission (1993-1994), and worked as EUPHARE long-term expert for the Hungarian Ministry for Environment and Regional Development, Budapest (1997). As expert for EU coordination, in the last 20 years, Elisabeth has worked for the preparations and coordination of the Austrian EU-Presidency (1998) in the fields of environment and youth; EU-enlargement, integration of environment and sustainable development into other policies; preparation of the EU Presidencies 2006 (environment) and 2018 (environment, European fisheries policy).
From 2014 – 2017 she chaired the Management Board of the European Environment Agency. Since 2003, she is co-chair of the European Sustainable Development Network (ESDN)