Barron Orr is the Lead Scientist for the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). He is Professor Emeritus at the University of Arizona (USA) where he also served as a NASA Geospatial Extension Specialist. As Profesor avalista at the University of Alicante (Spain), he helped develop a restoration ecology graduate degree. His experience in international development (4 years in-country and 11 more years through projects) and international business (4.5 years) strongly influenced the direction of his scientific research and extension programs as professor, where much of his work focused on coupled human and environmental systems undergoing environmental change and bridging the divides between science, policy, practice and society. In 2014 he was named a Marie Curie Fellow and was selected as an independent scientist for the UNCCD Science-Policy Interface (SPI). He is co-lead author of the Scientific Conceptual Framework on Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) which was formally endorsed by the 197 Parties to the UNCCD in 2017 – LDN targets are now being set and pursued in 122 countries. After a career teaching and also collaborating with local communities, he has brought his academic experience to the United Nations, where he is working on ensuring a strong scientific foundation for global policies focused on land and drought. This work includes contributing to global environmental monitoring of Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDG 15 “Life on Land”.