Janez Potočnik graduated with honours from the Faculty of Economics at the University of Ljubljana. After successfully defending his master’s degree in 1989, Dr Potočnik worked as a researcher at the Institute of Economic Research in Ljubljana and defended his PhD degree in 1993.
In July 1994, Dr Potočnik was appointed Director of the Institute of Macroeconomic Analysis and Development of the Republic of Slovenia. Dr Potočnik has also been an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Law of the University of Ljubljana, as Lecturer of Statistics and Economy from 1991 to 2004. In April 1998, the Government of the Republic of Slovenia appointed Potočnik as the Head of Negotiating Team for Accession of the Republic of Slovenia to the European Union.
In 2000, Dr Potočnik served also as the Acting Director of Government Office for European Affairs. In June 2001, Dr Potočnik was appointed a Minister Counsellor at the Office of the Prime Minister. On January 24th, 2002, the Government of the Republic of Slovenia appointed Dr Potočnik as the Minister without portfolio responsible for European Affairs.
Janez Potočnik became a Member of the European Commission on May 1st, 2004 where from 2004 to 2010 Dr Potočnik was European Commissioner responsible for Science and Research. In 2010, Potočnik took on a second mandate as a Member of the European Commission responsible for Environment. The mandate ended November 1st, 2014.
Still, in 2014, Dr Potočnik was appointed as a member and Co-Chair of International Resource Panel hosted by the United Nations Environment Programme. In the same month, Potočnik was also appointed as a Chairman of The Forum for the Future of Agriculture and a Member of the European Policy Centre’s Advisory Council. From April 2016, Janez Potočnik is a Partner in SYSTEMIQ and from 2020 President of the ThinkForest.
- SYSTEMIQ; Partner.
- ThinkForest; President.
- Forum for the Future of Agriculture; Chairman.
- International Resource Panel; Co-Chair.
- European Policy Centre’s Advisory Council; Member.
- The Club of Rome; Member.
- Former European Commissioner for Science & Research and for the Environment.